When it comes to understanding the charges on your electric bill, don\’t get left in the dark like Grace Edwards of Cheshire, Conn.
A utilities company recently reimbursed her for $10,491, after she unwittingly paid to illuminate two streetlights for 25 years.
The company, Connecticut Light & Power, has expressed regret in this multi-decade error. \”Mrs. Edwards received service that is below our standards and we have apologized to her for the error and the inconvenience,\” said Mitch Gross, a CL&P spokesperson.
CL&P also sent Grace Edwards of Cheshire, Conn., an apology on Friday, after two-and-a-half decades of charging her an extra $20 each month. The additional $20 went to 9500 Lumen HP Sodium and 6300 Lumen HP Sodium, which – to Edwards – were indistinguishable from the other esoteric charges on the monthly bills.
Over the years, Edwards has called the utility company as well as the state agency to find out why her electricity bills were so high. While perusing her payment history, no one from either organization told her that she was paying for two street lights.
While arranging documents to show potential home buyers, Edwards requested her past statements from the company. She identified a discrepancy between her actual charges and the supposed charges.
This time she called CL&P with a direct question. Why are these numbers different? That\’s when the employee told her that she was powering two streetlights outside. It was the first time she heard that she was lighting an area near the end of her street.
The home\’s previous occupant apparently agreed to pay the streetlight cost but nobody ever informed Edwards that she would bear the financial burden.
At first, CL&P took the lights off future bills but declined to repay her. They allegedly said that it was Edwards\’ responsibility to inform the company of any surplus charges and mistakes. \”How could I inform you of something I didn\’t know about?\” she claimed to have asked CL&P.
But Edwards wasn\’t content to watch her $10,000 slip away. She contacted Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, who she claims treated her poorly. Then she contacted the Office of Consumer Counsel, which set off a series of professional phone calls that reportedly urged CL&P to discuss the unwarranted charges.
After further examining the case, CL&P admitted that charging Edwards was not merited and that the organization was at fault, not Edwards.
\”We have reimbursed her in the amount that she was incorrectly billed plus interest,\” said Gross, \”and will be using this case as a learning experience to identify process and customer service improvements to be sure this doesn\’t happen again in the future.\”
Source: NY Daily News