Rutledge: Potential Skyrocketing Energy Costs during Severe Weather Must be Investigated by Public Service Commission
February 26, 2021
‘Arkansas consumers must not face exorbitant utilities bills’
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge submitted a letter to the Arkansas Public Service Commission urging it to investigate the cost of power and natural gas incurred by the State’s electric and natural gas utilities during the recent severe winter storms. As the representative of Arkansas consumers, Rutledge is anticipating customer bills will skyrocket in the coming weeks because utility companies paid high prices to third parties in order to meet energy needs during the severe weather.
“Arkansas consumers must not face exorbitant utilities bills when the service provider resorted to purchasing energy at excessive prices in spot markets,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Not only do I want to ensure Arkansans do not face skyrocketing bills at no fault of their own, I want to ensure our friends and family are protected and safe if winter weather strikes again.”
On Tuesday, Rutledge announced an investigation was opened into Liberty Utilities to review its preparation and actions which resulted in a catastrophic failure of water to customers in Pine Bluff. Prior to this announcement, Rutledge worked with the Pine Bluff Mayor, leadership at Jefferson Memorial, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Saracen Casino and Simmons Bank to immediately address the emergency.