ABILENE (KSNT) – The manager of the Sunflower Hotel in Abilene was shocked when he finally got his February heating bill of more than $35,000.
Normally the apartment complex’s bill is around $3,000.
“It was like a kick in the gut. At first I thought it was a mistake,” said Operating Manager Aaron Jacobsen.
He said many of the people living there are on a fixed income, so he can’t increase their rent. Instead, he is offering to pay the energy company Constellation $6,000 of the $35,000 bill. If that won’t cut it, Jacobsen said he will join others in lawsuits against the major gas companies.
“It’s impossible for me to do it because they can’t afford it. I can’t double or triple everybody’s rent,” Jacobsen said. “Like my bill was 10-fold so I can’t do that to these people.”
He said he understands Constellation, like many others, were forced to pay higher prices for electricity and gas during the extreme winter weather back in February that resulted in the rolling blackouts. That’s why he is willing to negotiate.
He said the company is allowing him to pay around $4,000 until the pricing issue is resolved. Jacobsen would rather pay $6,000 and be done because he is worried he will have to pay more when this is all done. He said so far he has not heard back from the company after reaching out recently.