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Attorney General Kathleen Kane investigating electric rate hikes

Published On: Feb 26 2014 09:36:14 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 27 2014 06:00:55 AM CST

Electric rates are soaring for many people in Berks County including John and Patricia Shults in Hamburg.

HAMBURG, Pa. -

Turning the lights on has gotten more expensive in Berks County.

John and Patricia Shults from Hamburg switched from Met-Ed to Pennsylvania Gas & Electric last spring after being promised lower competitive rates.

But in the last few months, their electric bill has skyrocketed from $186 in December to a whopping $469 in February.

"The bill, $470 is just outrageous. We have lived here over 30 years and have never had a bill even over $250. $470 threw us for a loop," said Patricia Shults.

Their bill did not go up because they were using more electricity, but because the price in kilowatts per hour increased.

The CEO of Pennsylvania Gas and Electric - Doug Marcille -- says the cold weather put more of a demand on natural gas which often is used to generate electricity.

"This winter was an aberration and we do know that because of that, prices will come back down, they will stabilize and we will be back to normal," Marcille said.

Even so, the Shults say these price hikes are putting a major strain on their finances, causing them to cut back on other utilities like heating oil.

"I realize that prices can go up and down. But they should not be able to jack it up that high. There has to be some kind of oversight," said John Shults.

The Shults are not the only ones concerned about the rising prices.

Attorney General Kathleen Kane says her office has received numerous complaints of similar price hikes. And she encourages people to submit written documentation to the Bureau of Consumer Protection so it can begin an investigation.

On the other hand,Marcille of PA Gas and Electric encourages customers to stick with the company as prices are expected to stabilize over the next few months.