CAPE CORAL, Fla. — People in Cape Coral say that they’re trying to juggle the higher cost of electricity weeks after Lee County Electric Cooperative announced it would have to charge more to keep the power on.
LCEC said in June that rates would be going up about 20% for an average household.
For Cape residents like Kaylin Nuccio, owner of K-Nine Dog Grooming in southeast Cape, that’s only another cost to absorb.
“It turned into something that I love doing. It’s not for the money, it’s for the love,” says Nuccio.
“Usually I don’t check, but I heard a lot of people were online talking about their electric bills going up. So when I got into work, I popped open the letter. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw it,” she adds.
She says that her bill was a significant jump from this time last year.
“A forty dollar difference from last year to this year is significant for someone who’s barely making ends meet with everything else that’s gone up in the world right now,” says Nuccio.
Fox 4 talked to LCEC about the cost hike back in June, with spokesperson Karen Ryan saying that supply chain issues would make the tools to generate power scarce – and end up raising costs.
Those costs, in turn, would be passed along to consumers.
“They are really at the mercy of fuel prices, and the cost to generate power in so many ways,” says Ryan.
It’s important to note that in the meantime, oil prices have dropped since early June – from about $120 a barrel to $96 a barrel.
Cape resident, John Gutjahr, also says that his electric bill has been going up since January, and he’s been keeping a running list of those costs.
But he says that it’s not people like him that he’s worried about.
“It’s not really affecting me and my bills yet, but I do know a lot of people in town here that are on fixed incomes. And it’s getting tougher and tougher for them to pay the bill and even put food on the table,” says Gutjahr.
It’s tough times for people from all walks of life.
“I don’t know what we’re going to do. Just groom some more dogs and keep the wheels turning,” says Nuccio.