Meter Reading Practices Under Scrutiny

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As we're headed into a new severe storm season, some West Virginians are still feeling the effects of the storms of last year.

Among them, many of the customers of Mon Power and it's sister utility, Potomac Edison.

The West Virginia Public Service Commission has recently had consumer complaints of high utility bills based on the way the utility estimates and reads individual customers' meters.

Much of that is an indirect result of Superstorm Sandy last fall, which knocked out service to thousands of the utility's customers.

"Customers are telling us they have received more than the usual number of estimated bills," says PSC Spokeswoman Susan Small, "and that the estimates are not very accurate. Many times, they're very low, so that, when the company comes through and reads the meter, they get a bill that's very high, sometimes in the thousands of dollars."

Mon Power Spokesman Todd Myers says the estimates took place in the period following Superstorm Sandy late last year, when those normally assigned to read meters were on storm duty.

Myers says meters are usually read one month, with an estimate taken the next month.

The PSC says customers who believe they have gotten inaccurate or unusually high estimated bills are encouraged to contact Mon Power at 1-800-686-0022.

If they are not satisfied with the company's response, they can contact the commission's consumer affair technicians at 1-800-642-8544.

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