His “percentage of income payment plan” or PIPP bill, will be before us this session:
In 2009, some 31,000 households in Rhode Island will have their utilities shut off, and the effort to juggle energy bills and mortgages is helping push some homeowners into foreclosure, said Henry Shelton, director of the George Wiley Center, a consumer advocacy group here. (Here, as in many states, utilities may not disconnect the poor in the winter.)
Since 2000, the cost of heating a home with fuel oil has more than doubled and the cost of heating a home with electricity has risen by one third, outpacing many incomes. The recent surge in unemployment has thrown even more people into energy debt.