Petition: Stop Shut-offs, Support PIPP! Affordable & Sustainable Utilities for Rhode Island.
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Sign the petition to demand affordable and sustainable utilities in Rhode Island!
Let decision-makers know our priorities for utility policy:
*Stop shut-offs, make the basic need of utility service affordable to all in our state.

*Support PIPP (Percentage Income Payment Plan) for low-income Rhode Islanders.

*No more enormous rate hikes for a multi-national corporation (National Grid) that makes billions in profit, while thousands of Rhode Islanders are shut off from utility service due to unaffordable bills.

*As we move toward renewables, consider the benefit of future utility systems that are community-based, sustainable for both people and planet.

Stay in touch with the George Wiley Center to be involved in these efforts, and to continue organizing for social and economic justice in Rhode Island. /

Why should I support PIPP?
PIPP stands for Percentage of Income Payment Plan. Recognizing that utility service is a basic need and an essential element of adequate housing, PIPP programs help make sure all have access to affordable utility service. Under a PIPP, low-income households pay a fixed percentage of their income for utility bills. This percentage depends on the Federal Poverty Level of that household— those with the highest Federal Poverty Level pay the smallest percentage of their income for utility bills.

Right now, Rhode Islanders living under the Federal Poverty line routinely spend 44 percent of their income on utilities. While storm-related temporary power outages make the news, each year over 20,000 RI households are put through the trauma of utility termination due to unaffordable bills. Many go weeks or months without access to basic needs. A PIPP plan would allow people with the lowest incomes to pay a more manageable amount for their utilities and help stop the shut-off crisis in Rhode Island.  
Has PIPP worked before?
Yes! Rhode Island was one of the first states in the country to implement a PIPP in the late 1980's. It lasted successfully for several years before being phased out due to cuts in federal LIHEAP funding. Currently, over a dozen states such as Ohio, New Jersey, and Maine have successful PIPP programs. In Illinois, for example, a PIPP lowered 90% of elderly customers' heating bills— more than any other utility assistance plan did.

Sign the petition and share your input! (THANK YOU)
First Name *
Last Name *
Street Address
Town of Residence *
State of Residence *
Zip Code
Email Address *
Phone Number
Organization / School / Congregation
Have you ever had your utilities shut off due to unaffordable bills?
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How long did you live without utility service? How did it affect your day to day life?
Were you aware of the shut-off crisis, that approximately 20,000 utility terminations are imposed on Rhode Island households each year? (In 2016, there were over 27,000 electric and gas shut-offs on households behind on utility bills.)
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Do you think access to utility service is a basic need of modern life? (providing: heat, cooling, fans, light, drinking water, hot water, sanitation, refrigeration, food preparation, electricity, communication, medical equipment, etc.)
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Do you support the George Wiley Center's push for a P.I.P.P. (Percentage Income Payment Plan) policy in Rhode Island? This would help stop shut-offs and provide affordable access to utility service for low-income households. (see below for more information)
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Please share your personal story, including struggles to pay bills, comments, research, or opinion regarding utility rate hikes and what you want to see for the future of utility systems and policy in our state. This will be shared with the PUC (Public Utilities Commission), legislators, and other decision-makers. (Please specify if you'd like to remain anonymous)
How would you like to be involved with the George Wiley Center and ongoing organizing around these issues?
Any other thoughts or skills you'd like to offer in this grassroots organizing effort for utility justice?
Thank you for caring about this important issue of social and economic justice!
What else can I do?
  • Please share this petition widely with your community so that many and diverse voices can be heard!
  • Educate others about PIPP
  • Contact your decision-makers! 
  • Volunteer to be a part of our grassroots effort pushing toward Utility Justice!
  • Donate to support grassroots organizing in Rhode Island!
As this picture shows, this crisis has been going on far too long; pass PIPP now!
Contact the George Wiley Center
Get in touch if you are facing utility shut-off or would like to be involved in organizing for utility justice in Rhode Island.

George Wiley Center  |  32 East Ave, Pawtucket RI 02860  |  office: 401-728-5555  |  
 -- organizing for social and economic justice --
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