Power lines in Wrangell. (Katarina Sostaric/KSTK)

The City of Wrangell is looking for answers after its public utility recently received an unusual number of complaints on social media. Many customers are coming forward saying their electricity bills were much higher than expected this past month. Folks believe colder temperatures alone don’t explain the increased costs.  

Here’s your math and English lesson for the day. What’s it called when something increases fivefold? It’s been quintupled. And that’s how much the electrical portion of Bob Robbins’s utility bill increased in just a month.  

“Our charge for electrical consumption went from $50 this previous month to $250 this month,” he says.

Bob Robbins has been living in Wrangell for more than 30 years. He’s used to the increased heating costs associated with the colder months. But this quintupled charge sent him looking for an explanation. He called a certified electrician to his house.

“We called up Tim Buness and had him come out and check, and everything seemed normal. And had him put a wireless meter to track our usage. And then we let the city know and they said maybe because you put in a new heat pump, but that really just can’t explain it. ”

Robbins is one of many people in Wrangell scratching their heads over their most recent electric bill. Many folks posting in a community Facebook group said that they saw high or moderate increases too. A few, however, said they didn’t see a difference.

The city has taken notice. In a statement Friday, the city says it is investigating the situation, and should have some answers within a week.