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Disputing an Electric Bill

Has anyone ever dispute an electric bill? I've been disputing my electric bill for the last 6-7 weeks. My electric bill was reasonable in November - about $110, but then quadrupled to $440 in December. I should mention that we don't heat with electric, and we didn't have Christmas lights going. There are only two of us in the house and we are very energy efficient and frugal with the electric.


I keep detailed records of everything, and it wasn't the rates that increased either, it was the kilowatt hours. All of the bills were based on actual readings, NOT estimated. So anyway, they are saying that they must have under-read the meter in November, so the December bill was making up the difference. So, if they made a mistake, do I have to pay the entire amount? I am going to file a complaint with the Public Service Commission, but was wondering if anyone has had this experience or has any advice.

Laure from North East, MD

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By harry (Guest Post)
February 25, 20090 found this helpful

Sometimes the meter reader can not read my meter because of a snow storm on the days he was to read the meter. When that happens I get an estimated bill which is always lower that the previous months bill. Then when the meter is read the following month the bill is always much higher.


When I complain about the bill the electric comany suggests I go to an average cost plan based on the entire years usage. I decline. The other point is if you believe the meter is defective they will come out and test or replace the meter.

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February 25, 20090 found this helpful

Yes, we made the electric company check the meter and put a trace,(they have a machine they put on your meter that tells exactly where the electricty is going. 1. our meter was bad and their line had a surge in in. We didn't pay the whole bill they reduced it to the regular bill. In you electric company there is a man whose job it is to check this out keep calling till you find them.

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September 27, 20170 found this helpful

I'm in florida and even with the power outages (5 days) my bill was $50 more. They are stating I used extra the 25 days I had power.


No way. There only 2 of us and we used less not more. I appreciate all these informational comments and I am calling to get my meter tested. I think Irma messed it up.

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February 26, 20090 found this helpful

This hasn't happened to me, but this sounds fishy! Expecially if they are getting actual readings! Is there a way someone could plug into your system? Stealing your power? I know people have done that with phone lines. If you dont use electric heat or portable heaters, there is no reason for such an increase. There must be a state number to call. Search engine? Best of luck!

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February 27, 20090 found this helpful

I also have had a faulty electric meter and the company had to replace it free of charge! I believe it is a law that they must check for that if you request it but it might also be a good idea to call a couple of electricians and ask them if there is a way for you to double check it yourself for free or for a low fee if the electric company says it's not the meter!


Another time my water bill jumped from $100.00 a quarter to $600.00 a quarter :-o Water usage habits had not changed (same amount for four years) and there were no leaks (verified by a plumber) but I had to push the issue with a half dozen calls and a refusal to pay before the city came out to check on it. Ended up not having to pay any of the bill to offset the plumber's charge (lucked out there by demanding it to a supervisor).

I am embarrassed to have to say that my brother once did jail time for 'stealing utilities' but I am sharing that info so you know that it is indeed possible that someone might have tapped in to your power source :-(

Oh! One more thing. Even if you don't use electric for heat, your thermostat does and blowing system might in order to run so that might be part of the problem especially if it's an older thermostat/system?

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February 27, 20090 found this helpful

I just wanted to leave an update. I just filed a formal complaint with the Public Service Commission - we'll see what happens. Thanks for all the feedback. I guess it is possible someone could tap into my electric, but this month the usage seems normal again.


As I mentioned before, we heat with propane, and I do realize that a small amount of electricity is needed to run the fan, but the system is only about 5 years old and we have it checked every year or so by a friend of ours that does HVAC work for a living. I'll post again to let you know the final outcome - I have my fingers crossed.

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February 28, 20090 found this helpful

I'm thinking that even $110 sounds awfully high for just two people.
in our 1300 sq ft home and just two of us, our regular bill these past couple of monts has been around $52. Since we have converted to all fluorescent "penny pincher" light bulbs, I would contest even that much, if hubby would let me pursue it, because last winter, our bill was $39/month.
I agree with the others who suggest badgering the electric company until they check for a faulty meter. Sounds to me as if that might be the case, if no one's tapping into your line.

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February 28, 20090 found this helpful

I hear the new dtvs are energy hogs. People have had normal electric bills and then the new tv comes in and more than triples the bill.

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February 20, 20100 found this helpful

I live in pa and my electric bill is out of control;. I have talked to a few friends who have bigger homes than us and their bill is not half the amount as ours. I called the electric company to see if someone will come out to check the meter. I think someone may have tapped into our electrical system. Its been high for a while but this month it was outrages. Is it possible that some one is tapping into our system? I believe it may have been going on for a while.


Please help.

Who should I call and what do we need to have them look out for. we use a wood burner in the winter and keep the thermostats on low. There are only two of us in the house as my son is away at school the guy from the electric company said he looked at the meter from the office and the meter was fine. what we need to do is get an electrician in. I think this is a load of crap and plan on having someone come out anyway. again and tips or advice will be greatly appreciated.

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April 1, 20110 found this helpful

Those average cost plans are not what they are cracked up to be. It doesn't allow you to watch your own electrical usage so you can be conservative, and if there is a problem with the meter you will never know it.

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September 20, 20180 found this helpful

I am a appliance refrigeration hvac technician with over 48 yrs of experience
here's what they're doing after i checked it out :
instead of 1000 watts used for one hour they are charging by my meter or 250 watts per hour. because i recently moved here a kilowatt hour or a 1000 watts or 10 amps running for one hour is 1 kilowatt hour. so if nothing major is running i mean 220 volt items ; i used a amp probe on my wire coming into the breaker ; my amp probe is a amp probe ; a professional amp meter it says i used over night approx 2 amps per hour for 10 hours would be 2o00 watts or 2 watt hours. Dominion after replacing my meter told me the meter was calibrated but they lied . overnight with the 10 hrs at 2000 watts their meter says i used 15 kilowatt hours , impossible. Now they say without breaking into uncontrollable laughter , that i am using 55 watt hours a day. and thats normal. that kind of amperage would of burned down my house. that would be 55,000 watts used in one day. All my appliances and heating and air and everything else if i was to leave them on 24/7 days a week the most i could plan on using is 24 kilowatt hours a day. which is high so 55,000 kilowatt hours you could run dodger stadium for 2 nights 2 games. Dominion is stealing watt hours from the public and the public does not know. Dominion will say oh a watt hour is cheap ; but they will not say once the number of watt hours is up then we can charge more on distribution service , electric supply service includes generation transmission and fuel . Notice Dominion charging for distribution , then transmission which is the same thing , then we actually have bills where the electricity is cheaper then all other charges which usually exceeds the actual electricity supply.

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