Petition seeks investigation into high utility bills for Danville Utilities customers

Petition had close to 6,000 signatures Monday

DANVILLE, Va. – The petition Samantha Goode set up on the Change.org website calls for an investigation of Danville Utilities and it is getting a lot of attention.

In comment after comment, customers express frustration about their high utility bills.

Angela Hall writes, "The prices are outrageous! Our electric bill for one month was over $900."

Paige Hayes says, "...mine have been almost 1000 for 1 month before when I wasn't even staying in the home...ridiculous..."

"It just skyrockets and I feel so sorry for the people who don't have a choice but to keep the heat on," Danville resident and Danville Utilities customer David Puryear said about the cost of utilities.

He says he and his wife are able to keep their utility bill low by using minimal heat and wearing extra clothes and blankets.

But he has friends and neighbors who don't have that luxury.

"If you have elderly (residents) or children in your house, you have to keep the heat on for them," Puryear said.

"My neighbor's (bill increased by) $200 or $300, and I've got a friend on the edge of the city and theirs went up $347. It was all Facebook, everybody complaining," Puryear continued.

Danville Utilities director Jason Grey says there's a logical explanation for the spike.

"A lot of our customers are seeing the bills from early January, from when temperatures were so cold," Grey said.

David Pelletier commented on the petition, blaming the spike on Danville Utilities giving a huge rate reduction to the Intertape Polymer Group company.

He believes everyone else's bills were then increased to make up the lost money.

Grey says that's not true.

"We didn't pass anything on to our customers, " Grey said. "We had higher priced energy blocks that expired, and we sectioned a portion of our power supply off for industry."

He says he is willing to talk to any customer about their bill, including Goode.

As of Monday, he had not contacted her though.

On Monday, 10 News reached out to Goode for comment but did not get a response.

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