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Some Wilson Residents Are Charged Up About Their Electric Bills

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WILSON — If just the thought of maybe having your electric bill cut in half makes you want to celebrate, you know how residents in three Wilson County towns feel. The towns have made history by being the first in North Carolina to break away from their primary power provider in search of a better deal. Residents say they have better service, more money in their pockets and a feeling of independence.

Rosa Seltzer's town, Black Creek, was buying electricity from the city of Wilson. Now, Black Creek, Lucama and Stantonsburg are purchasing electricity at about half their former cost from North Carolina Power. This month Seltzer's bill is going down.

Lucama Mayor Virginia Johnson says everyone in town is happy about the new system.

The towns celebrated their independence by throwing a larger than life light switch.

The federal government allowed the towns to break away because they were buying electricity from Wilson, not directly from a company. Electric Utilities Consultant Kevin O'Donnell says, by law, consumers who buy directly from a company still don't have that option.

The NC General Assembly may consider a bill next session which would deregulate the electric industry statewide. That would mean everyone could shop around for the best deal and purchase their electricity at a competitive price.