Are some Butler County residents getting gouged on utilities? - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Are some Butler County residents getting gouged on utilities?

(File) (File)
HAMILTON, OH (FOX19) -

Many Hamilton residents are upset about their latest utility bills from the city.

“My utilities went from $300 to $553 in the last month,” Tammy Saurber said. “I called them they said that it was water usage, that I must have a leaking pipe or something of that nature.”

Saurber says that’s not the case, and like many others has expressed her displeasure with the latest bill cycle on social media.

The City of Hamilton says the base rate has not changed and there is no glitch in their system causing a spike in prices. They say usage is up from past billing months, attributing the jump in cost to late blooming summer temperatures forcing residents to have the A/C running or requiring them to water their lawns.

“Often times we’re seeing where maybe the customer payed a similar amount the previous August but for the last few months they haven’t been,” Utilities Business Manager Nathan Perry said.

FOX19 NOW weather records indicate in years past the temperatures, on average, were higher in the months of May and June:

  • 2015 – 81.3
  • 2016 – 79.2
  • 2017 – 78.5

This difference could have helped created a more drastic change in usage from one month to the next.

“They can say whatever they want but you can’t tell me that every single Butler County resident had more usage in the past month -- it’s too coincidental,” Saurber said.

Representatives from the Hamilton Utilities Department directed FOX19 NOW to a pair of articles they posted in May and June that they posted in an attempt to educate people and prepare them for the annual summer bump in usage.

Saurber says she enjoys living in Hamilton but is still concerned she is paying more for utilities than in years past.  

“We love the Ampitheatre over there, we love the parks, we love the mural and everything that they’ve done here but I just feel like the Butler County residents are getting gouged on the utilities,” Saurber said.

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