Utility Regulator Says Arkansas' Rates Will Keep Going Up

APRIL 19, 2006 - Posted at 8:05 a.m. CST

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, AR - The chairwoman of the Arkansas Public Service Commission says nothing is on the horizon that could end the steady rise in energy costs.  PSC chairwoman Sandra Hochstetter said yesterday that soaring energy costs could be devastating to middle-income Americans.

At a forum in North Little Rock that focused on low-income energy users, Hochstetter said energy conservation and finding new fuel sources are critical to making gas and electricity bills affordable.

She said many in the middle-income group would sink to low income because of energy costs.

More than 100 people attended the forum, sponsored by the Arkansas Community Action Agencies Association.

Phyliss Fry, president of that group, said some people are hundreds of dollars behind on their electricity and gas bills.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)