SAN ANTONIO -We're still getting emails from some of you who've received CPS Energy bills that are double, or triple what you are used to seeing. We investigated this for you last week, but now we have more information on what caused that expensive spike in your power bills. News 4 Trouble Shooter Jaie Avila has an update.
Imagine you go to the grocery store and buy $100 worth of food, but they only charge you $50 for it.
On the next shopping trip, they realize the mistake, and charge you $50 extra on that bill. CPS Energy says that's what happened to some customers because of miscalculated energy usage in December.
“That's exactly what they led me to believe, that I was undercharged the month before and to make up the losses that's why I got such a huge bill,” said Brad Radick, a CPS Energy customer. Radick had a slightly lower than usual bill in December, then the very next month, a shocker.
“It went from $66 up to $177,” Radick said.
Like other customers who received huge January bills, Radick had to pay extra that month because the December bill was too low. But why did that happen to so many people?
CPS Energy now tells us that back in November it had a contract dispute with its meter readers. The contract was terminated and those meter readers were off the job, so they had a manpower shortage, and couldn't read as many meters as they usually do. More customers had their energy consumption estimated based on previous months' usage.
CPS Energy claims whenever it has to estimate usage, it tends to underestimate consumption so as to not overcharge the customer. In December they underestimated by so much, the January adjustments resulted in bills that were double or triple the usual amount.
CPS told us some of those January bills might even include charges from November as well.
However, some of the customers who complained to us didn't have estimated bills. The meter was just read incorrectly. CPS Energy is correcting those bad readings for customers who call.
CPS Energy says it reached agreement with its meter readers on Friday. So it doesn't expect anymore wild fluctuations with the February bills.