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'Cleveland Public Power, you need to do better': Customers share horror stories over shut-off protocol

Posted at 8:47 AM, Oct 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-18 08:47:12-04

CLEVELAND — Emotions ran high Thursday night at a public hearing about Cleveland Public Power shut offs.

"What is going on in Cleveland that's not happening with other electric companies or in other cities," said CPP customer Mildred Dixon.

Customers packed St. Paul's Community Church on Franklin Boulevard and told their horror stories about their electricity being cut off, some residents said they have disabilities and others need to keep things like oxygen tanks running.

"I received workers compensation, because I got injured at my job, I'm trying to apply for social security now, its not like I didn't work, it's not like you guys didn't go to work, it's not like you don't deserve better," said CPP customer Trenell Garrison.

They also complained about what they say are sky high energy bills and the power being out for hours and even days after a storm when other providers get their customers back up and running quicker.

"Thank you for sharing your story, and each of your stories was real to you and I heard them and we heard them sincerely," said CPP representative Joy Perry.

Perry says there's a big misconception that CPP does not accept vouchers from assistance programs like HEAP, but they do.

"You we're so emotional that we don't have HEAP, I want to know who is saying we don't have HEAP?" she said.

Perry added only a little more than 4,000 of their 70,000 customers are getting HEAP assistance.

She says Cleveland does not generate energy, so it buys it elsewhere and it tries to keep costs down as much as possible.

"Today, everything is plugged in, so the demand on the grid is different," said Perry.

Residents say they want to see more action.

"Cleveland Public Power, you need to do better," said Garrison.

The End Poverty Now Coalition, the organization responsible for the hearing, says they plan to do this again soon and get even more customers to share their concerns.