Ogden resident experiences 600 percent increase in Questar gas bill

OGDEN — Logan Sattelmair says she’s living her own version of the American dream. Sattelmair, 25, purchased her first home, on Van Buren Avenue in Ogden, last summer and is employed full-time with Ogden city’s Animal Services division. She says as a young, single homeowner, money can be tight. But she keeps a budget, works hard and is proud that she can provide for own needs.   Nearly a year into taking the plunge, Sattelmair said a recent bill from Questar Gas threw a serious monkey wrench into her pattern, adding a small element of nightmare to the whole independent homeowner equation. On April 27, Sattelmair said she got a bill from Questar for $312. Sattelmair said her previous month’s gas bill for her two-bedroom home was $44. Throughout the winter months, her gas bills hovered around that number.

“When I saw that bill, I said, ’Holy crap, this is crazy,’” she said. “I instantly got up and turned the heat off. I had no idea what was going on. I thought maybe I had some kind of leak or something.”

After making a call to Questar, Sattlemair eventually found out her gas delivery system was working just fine. Her meter, on the other hand, was a different story.

“I was told by someone in customer service that they noticed my bill was lower than what the previous owner had been paying,” she said. “They said they sent someone over to check and the meter had been misreading my usage.”

Sattelmair was told she must backpay for the gas she used. Questar is allowing her to space the payment over six months, interest free, but she says even that will stretch her pocketbook thin.

“I am single, doing it all on my own,” she said. “This is going to be like having another $50 bill each month. I’m already living tight as it is.”

Questar spokesman Darren Shepherd said bad meter readings, while rare, can happen. He said the Utah natural gas tariff, which is regulated by the Utah Public Services Commission, allows Questar to make billing corrections regardless of the cause of error. (Details on the gas tariff can be found in a 142-page document available at Questar’s website.)

“It’s about paying for the gas you actually use,” Shepherd said, noting that sometimes billing errors occur on the opposite end of the spectrum and Questar overcharges customers, then must pay them back or credit their account.

For billing errors, Shepherd said customers are typically allowed to make payments without interest over a period equal to the time the account was misread.

Source: Ogden resident experiences 600 percent increase in Questar gas bill

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Author: Stephen G. Barr, Group Publisher

Author, Syndicated Columnist, Editor In-Chief and Group Publisher at SGB Media Group, a social media marketing firm specializing in digital media content production, publishing, affiliate marketing, public relations and advertising. Over 25 years experience in retailing, advertising, website & online forum development, niche social networking, affiliate marketing, search optimization, branding and identity, site location, non-profit fund raising. Event planning, promotion, production and MC/Host at public events. Author, Editor & Publisher of 35 syndicated, digital publications utilizing multiple digital distribution channels in conjunction with launching and administrating national advertising campaigns for major Fortune 500 advertisers in partnership with Google, Ning, Facebook, Myspace, Yahoo, DoubleClick, LinkShare, PepperJam and other industry leading third party affiliate networks. Product development team member from conception to launch on many websites, tangible goods and organizational structure for start ups. Specialties: Public relations, retailing, advertising, website & online forum development, niche social networking, blogging, email campaigns, affiliate/performance marketing, search optimization, branding and identity, site location, event production & promotion, non-profit fund raising and tasteful, responsible adult content publishing. An internationally recognized and read social media columnist & pundit on The Examiner, Associate Content, Vator.tv, X-Biz.net and Technorati and his own affiliated sites.