TXU Plans 24 Percent Rate Hike

If TXU Electric gets its way, most residential customers will be paying nearly 25 percent for for their power come the first of the year.  The proposal in front of the Texas Public Utility Commission has some folks frightened.  Some residents are trying to make ends meet, as the costs of natural gas and gasoline have also shot up.

"I don't know how they figure that we're going to survive with our income like that. It's not right," says George Haggerty, who lives with his wife Christine their home of 36 years.  It's irony as the home grows older, it's getting more expensive.

"We're barely making it now. If they raise [the rate], I don't know what we'll do because I have to have air," says Christine, who has a heart condition.

In winters past, it's been tough to pay for heat.

"If I get too cold in the inside of the house, I have to go outside and sit in the sun," Christine says.

They're on a fixed income, and on this hopefully last hot day, the air conditioning runs non-stop. The cost for electricity is astronomical. Right now, they owe TXU more than $300.

"I don't know what us poor people are going to do if they keep raising it," says Christine.

TXU wants a 12 percent rate hike effective Oct. 28, and another 12 percent by January.

Reliant Energy wants a 14 percent hike on Oct. 31, and another by January.

Centerpoint Natural Gas rates in Tyler were hiked some 41 percent in September, and of course, gasoline is higher than ever.

All the while, the Haggertys' Social Security checks are staying where they are.

So, they'll be asking for assistance from others and from above, so they can stay in the home they love.

"[We're] just hoping and praying. The Lord hasn't let me down this far, so someway, somehow we're going to make it," says George Haggerty.

In their announcement about the proposed rate increases, TXU says they have to raise the rates because natural gas is more expensive. Natural gas is used to produce electricity.

Also, TXU buys electricity from other providers, and that cost has risen as well.

The Texas Public Utility Commission has yet to sign off on the rate hikes.

Reported by Morgan Palmer. morganpalmer@kltv.com