2006 Sep – Price Gouging Cited in High Electric Bills –Expensive electricity bills are hitting residents of mobile homes and recreational vehicles in Arizona especially hard.
Some of the bills are being calculated at twice the rates charged to single-family houses.
‘There are many RV parks that are flat out price-gouging their tenants, and I think it needs to stop,’ said Corporation Commissioner Kris Mayes. ‘To be profiteering on electricity in the middle of the summertime is completely objectionable.’
Some manufactured-home residents, such as Scott Yount of Tempe, are taking matters into their own hands. He flipped off the streetlight in front of his trailer and padlocked the switchbox because he thinks he was paying to light the roadway.
The 48-year-old has been living in the 359-unit Chaparral Mobile Village for nearly 10 years. He said he started becoming troubled several months ago when his bill was higher than his next-door neighbor’s.
‘I keep my AC at 80, with a floor fan on, and at night there’s maybe one light bulb and a TV,’ said Yount, who lives alone. ‘Meanwhile, they have kids running everywhere and their bills were consistently lower by at least 50 percent or more.’
Abe Arrigotti, president of the California company that manages the Chaparral park along with 28 other parks, said he did not believe that was true. ‘If it was true, we would be happy to send an electrician out to fix the problem,’ he said.
Even so, many other residents face similar billing issues but are too scared or financially strapped to do anything, said attorney William Spence, a family practice attorney from Chandler. He says he speaks with frightened mobile-home-park residents almost daily.
Mayes is now asking her fellow commissioners to help solve the problem and is seeking to implement statewide legislation to curb such practices.
Arizona Daily Star
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