I understand they're in business to make money, and I'm not saying they should give it away for free, but this is really cold:
Mary Martin says it felt like she had gotten punched in the chest - by her utility bill. It has run as high as $350 during the coldest of winter months, she says. But last month, it climbed to over $600: an overwhelming figure to a 52-year-old who, like millions of other Americans, has lost her job and tapped out her unemployment benefits.
With Charlotte-area unemployment hovering at a near-record 12.1 percent, problems like those are multiplying. Duke Energy and Piedmont Natural Gas are both reporting a jump in residential disconnections in 2009, with Duke's up 6.3 percent (to 144,804 statewide) and Piedmont's up 15.9 percent (to 53,696).