The Lansing Board of Water and Light will increase electric bills as soon as March 1.
Lansing has the lowest utility rates for its residents compared to other regions in the state. This has been put into jeopardy by a series of electricity hikes.
According to the Lansing Board of Water and Light, customer’s bills will go up about 72 cents per month. This would mean a 1.5 percent increase starting in March, and over the next two years rates would increase 3.75 percent on average.
Community members may find this questionable because of the state of Michigan’s economy.
Communications Director of Lansing Board of Water and Lights, Mark Nixon said, “We understand that the state’s economy is still fragile… the BWL’s rates are among the very lowest in the state of Michigan.”
East Lansing is home of many students. What will this electric bill increase mean for these students?
“It’s still nicer to be off campus,” said education sophomore Shelby Wilson. “I didn’t even know my bill could be going up.”
Increases would pay for general cost and construction, a trend that is occurring across Michigan.
This trend could cause some students to be unable to pay rent.
“If my electric bill got too high I’d have to live on campus,” said English major Justina Esposito “I wouldn’t be able to afford that.”
Esposito said her apartment for next year will average $50 for the gas and electric bill. Nixon said the average residential electric bill is $55.61 a month. If prices increase dramatically students living in East Lansing will have to reevaluate their living arrangements.
Students can rely on university resources such as Off Campus Living at Michigan State. According to this university organization students should attempt to be “green” to save resources and money.
BWL has similar strategies to encourage residents to promote cheaper bills. “We have a great number of energy-saving programs and incentives,” said Nixon “We give away free kits of energy-efficient CFL light bulbs.”
East Lansing residents should expect changes in their utility bill in the near future. Nixon and the rest of BWL remain conscious of residents in economic distress.
“The BWL has longstanding protections for customers struggling to pay their utility bills,” he said.