All consumers must be able to rely on the availability of safe, affordable, and high-quality utility and communications services, including high-speed home and mobile Internet, phone services, cable television, electricity, heating, water, and sewer services. AARP’s utilities principles, delineated below, build upon the consumer principles from Chapter 11, which apply to all products and services, including utilities. The principles below ensure affordable access to high-quality utility services, including for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged consumers.
Ensure service affordability for all—utility rates should reflect prudent use of ratepayer money and fairly distribute costs and savings among consumers, while taking into account households with lower incomes.
Secure and expand service access for all—all consumers, regardless of factors such as geography, race, and income, should have access to telecommunications, energy, and other utility services.
Improve quality—consumers should be able to rely on high-quality telecommunications, energy, and other utility services.
Enhance accountability—the process for utility service, policy, and rate changes should be open and transparent, including providing a wide range of opportunities for input from the public and independent groups.