Struggling families upset by WE Energies rate hike

For Rose Onama, the WE Energies rate hike comes down to some difficult decisions.

\"If I have to give all my money to the power company, that's less money for me to get that coat that I need,\" said Onama.

Choosing between a coat and paying a power bill is just the beginning.

\"I've had cancer, stroke, and heart failure,\" said Onama.

Onama is disabled and can't work.

\"I had to go into a nursing home,\" Onama explained, \"because I was so sick, I couldn't walk, I couldn't do anything.\"

Onama is currently living off social security, with medical expenses adding up-- it's difficult for Onama to pay her energy bills.

\"My bill went all the way up to $600.00 plus,\" said Onama.

Onama is just one of many WE Energies customers worried about what's ahead as the Public Service Commission decides to move forward with plans to increase the fixed portion of residential electric bills from $9.00  to $16.00.

\"This is going to be a sad Christmas for a lot of folks,\" said Jaqueleen Ivy, with the Alliance for Fair Energy.

WE Energies said in a statement-- \"The Commission also reduced the energy charge. The net impact on individual customers won't be known until the final order is issued.\"

Onama says for struggling families-- it's not enough.

\"If your family member was in this situation, if your child was in this situation, would you still be callous enough to do that?\" said Onama.

The PSC will make a final decision on the rate hike by the end of this year.


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