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Outrage Over Energy Costs Following Frigid Month

For some in Fairfield, Illinois their energy bill for January was $200-$300 more than December's bill. The bill is due on February 20th and some are in a panic about how they will pay on time.
January was one of the coldest months for the Tri-State in recent memory and some are feeling the heat with their energy costs. "I was shocked. I was like how am I going to come up with this kind of money?" Billy Moore is pouring over his energy bill, wondering how to make ends meet. "I'm going to have to not pay other bills to make sure my electric is paid, because I got kids at home that need heat," said Moore. Moore says his bill for December was $260, his bill for January...almost $540. "Every wintertime you have an increase in your bill, but not a double increase." Moore thinks if he doesn't pay his bill by February 20th his heat will be shut off.
   
But Mayor of Fairfield Charles Griswold says that won't happen. However customers will have to pay. "If you use it I think people should be expected to pay for it." He says December's bill was estimated for some customers, but it was 98% accurate. He says the bill increase is more associated with an increase in consumption. "My bill was approximately $200 more this month and I keep my temperature at about 66 (degrees)," said Mayor Griswold.
   
Outside of the mayor's office people gather in protest of the energy bills. One person even brought a sign, that got personal. "Let me just say I know what the sign says and I would never stoop to that," said Mayor Griswold. Some say the mayor has been unwilling to help people struggling to pay. "Right now $120 or so, I think my husband said, and now it's $430. I mean it's just went up too high. He's come up here and talked to them before, but they were not wanting to cooperate." But the mayor says nobody's power will be shut off and he's willing to help anyone who asks. "My door is always open. I always answer my own phone. So I don't hide from residents," said Mayor Griswold.
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