Utility customers complain about apparent overbilling

Customers with the Snohomish County Public Utility District are upset over utility bills they say seem way too high. Snohomish public utility customers are complaining they are being charged for energy they haven’t actually used. “It went basically from around $50 a month, to over $72 for their new single monthly bill,” Chris Appel said. Appel was surprised to see his bill go up when he had taken steps to reduce his energy consumption. “My problem is they are collecting extra money from me and doing what they want with it for electricity that I haven’t even used,” Appel said. The problems started this fall when the PUD switched from a bi-monthly billing schedule to a monthly billing schedule. The district didn’t also increase the frequency of meter readings used to the determine the bill, forcing the district to base bills every other month on estimated usage. Appel complains those estimates are too high. “When I had a conflict with the bill I came out and looked at the actual meter reading,” Appel said. “You know, eight days after the billing cycle, I still hadn’t reached the 82,000 KWH they had estimated.” The Snohomish PUD said the switch to monthly billing was part of a system upgrade and added that switching to monthly meter readings as well would have been too expensive. The PUD said the estimated bills may be slightly incorrect but added that the bill will balance out the next month when the meter is read.

Source: Utility customers complain about apparent overbilling

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