Group in Lunenburg sets its sights on...

Group in Lunenburg sets its sights on Unitil for raising rates

There are 8 comments on the Lowell Sun story from Mar 22, 2013, titled Group in Lunenburg sets its sights on Unitil for raising rates. In it, Lowell Sun reports that:

A group of local residents who believe their Unitil electric bills were unreasonably increased are reaching out to Attorney General Martha Coakley for help.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Lowell Sun.


Westminster, MA

#1 Mar 22, 2013
did't this same martha promise to rid unitil out of our area back in 2008 after the ice storm and thier clear intentional "IDGAF" about our customers attitude before AND after the storm? what happened to that? oh right.....lobbyists. forgot. Good luck crew, i hope she listens but i hate to say it MA is all about money, taxes, raising prices, and regulations. I doubt she will do much if anything, and even if she does corporations run our country now clearly. So My advise just make a big ass stink at all their local and coporate offices all over the state. keep doing it until they work something out. I doubt they will do this forever or be willing to ignore their customers if they got class action lawsuits for intterupted service, because large crowds of past and or present customers, want answers!!:) just an idea but give it a shot. But, martha won't do a thing. she is one who ok'd the scheduled and un scheduled increases as this company see fit. so....
doubt it

Westminster, MA

#2 Mar 22, 2013
not to mention the one guy who talks to the public on unitil is the one guy who NEVER dealt with complaints. Hmmm, so lets say its a usage problem! the main gas line that blew up victory auto here in fitchburg, let me guess....that guy used too much gas right? or...its a 150 year old line you never fixed ro maintained, cut gas from one pipe line thinking its off when it wasn't, and then this guy who wasnt even there at the time..turned up the heat and BAM! his office si raised to the ground, employees out of work all because thi same attny general, and guy from untitil allow things to "Slide" which in turn causes gas leaks, on a epic scale! your justa greedy uncaring grimmey use the law in your favor to get cash, and ignore it when you lose it, attitude as you clearly dont have ANY idea what your talking about. Anyone can throw around speculation and assumptions like children use their imagination, but bottom line is your only speaking now publicly to make it look like you guys did nothing wrong. even so if it is legal, then the state is allowing such bs on top of the crazy taxes they want to continue to force upon the work force! i doubt anybody will hear of the full conclusion of this story as im sure it will be brushed under a rug while they continue to double and triple your bill with a minimum of $80-$100 bill regardless if you are actually home using it or not. trust me I KNOW! i got billed $130 when i wasnt even home! meters were fine, no usage at all from my house yet i get a bill THAT HIGH?! for not using it?! for real???! no, unitil needs to get the F out of mass and national grid (though not too much better) needs to take over. when will this state stop allowing this company to rob its residents?
Missing Martha

Fitchburg, MA

#3 Mar 22, 2013
Group in Lunenburg sets its sights on Unitil for raising rates

By Katina Caraganis , [email protected]

Updated: 03/22/2013 06:34:41 AM EDT

LUNENBURG -- A group of local residents who believe their Unitil electric bills were unreasonably increased are reaching out to Attorney General Martha Coakley for help.

Lunenburg resident Cathy Clark is collecting utility bills from residents who feel their rates have risen at unreasonably steep levels. Clark plans to mail the utility bills to the AG's Rate Payer Advocacy Office for review.

"There are quite a few people I have heard from whose bills have doubled, and it doesn't seem right," said Clark, adding that her own bill has spiked at least 50 percent.

Clark will collect the bills April 1, from 5 to 7 p.m., at Chaibo, a café at 37 Boulder Drive, in Fitchburg.

"There's been an army of us who have been diligent about questioning Unitil on what they do and their practices," she said. "I'm hoping to get some answers as to why this is happening. It's breaking it down and understanding and seeing if there's any deception or unfair practices involved."

Clark has a long history with Unitil.

She is the founder of the activist group Get Rid of Unitil, and a plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit targeting the utility for its handling of the 2008 ice storm. She said she is leading this effort because she wants to help other people affected by the increase.

"When you see people whose bills have doubled, something isn't right there," she said. "This is driven by people whose bill has suddenly gone up. They aren't getting any straight



answers from Unitil, and they asked if I could help. I think when you see something like this going up, it's something you have to look at."
Unitil spokesman Alec O'Meara said because Lunenburg is not enrolled in a municipal aggregation plan, higher bills are to be expected.

Under aggregation, a consultant would negotiate lower rates with electricity providers using the combined purchasing power of residential and small-business consumers.

"Their aggregate rate started over this summer, and it was a six-month rate," O'Meara said. "That rate expired in December. When that rate expired, they went out to bid for another one, but couldn't find one that was lower than the one at Unitil's default rate."

Unitil's distribution rate has not changed since 2011, O'Meara said.

While O'Meara said he has not personally dealt with any potential complaints in this particular instance, he said a potential increase could also be because Unitil provides customers with their gas needs in addition to their electrical needs.

"Something else that happens in the wintertime, and I'm not sure if this happened in other places, but we're a gas and electric company," he said. "There could be a change in their heating bill. That would be a usage thing."

Anyone who believes his or her bill is incorrect is encouraged to call Unitil, O'Meara said.

Follow Katina Caraganis on Twitter @kcaraganis.

Read more:

Fitchburg, MA

#4 Mar 22, 2013
Let's just continue to give Billions in tax breaks to Oil and Gas Companies cause you know, they would like to continue to break all records on the planet for profits!

Unitil is going to screw you/us every chance they get.
Missing Martha

Fitchburg, MA

#5 Mar 22, 2013
Martha Coakley needs to go. She is not for the people!

When is the last time that she held anyone accountable? She came close with Cahill but $100,000 cash was the way to go.

Maybe I should manufacture a "good ole boy network" monopoly game, huh? That is an idea!

Cash parties at the Sheriffs house. Double salaries for government workers. Corporations can be Board walk and Park Place. Two sets of laws.
Board of trustees

Fitchburg, MA

#6 Mar 22, 2013
Isn't Antonucci on the board of trustees at Unitil? Can't he talk to Unitil about manageable rates?

Who pays the Utility rates at FSU? All those lights on North street? From an airplane North Street looks like a runway!

Oh, ya the state pays it all so Antonucci sees no pain at the pump!

Where does Mayor Wong stand on the issue? Oh ya, that's right she purchases all the electricity for the city off of a different utility company!

I wonder if FSU buys off Unitil?????? Then the city lets it out of the bag that Unitil DOES NOT OWN ALL THE POLES which is required of a company that runs as a monopoly!

With such information you would think our "caring Mayor" would state this fact?

Fitchburg, MA

#7 Mar 22, 2013
We're watching everything. The blue light is reporting constantly.
Blue light democracy

Fitchburg, MA

#8 Mar 22, 2013
Illuminati wrote:
We're watching everything. The blue light is reporting constantly.
Can you tell me where there is a blue light as bright as the one on Cedar street? One that is in a similar residential area?

The blue light is the sign of pure ignorance. The blue light is intrusive! It has made residents switch their living rooms around. It shines streaks of blue light onto all the houses like a third grader grafitti'd each house while running past.

So, it takes away from value of the homes both from the physical reflections on the homes and its appearance.

I have figured it out that there was a detective at the blue light sitting in his truck with the lights on when the shooting took place. I should think that they would have a suspect by now.

Five shots at eye level. This is like a 50 yr bid?

It is a wonder that no one pulled the alarm at the blue light. In 40yrs besides this shooting has there been a need for a police box?

I think the FSU has spent more time securing the blue light as they feel that I am going to break it than they have patrolling the area!

The blue light is a middle finger symbol to all the local residents. And the FSU police are just overpaid escorts for drunkin students vandalizing the neighborhood. Things are just gravy train here in the burg.

We almost had a shot at fixing things!

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