A North Texas Customer Who Overpaid For Electricity Gets A Refund

NBC 5 answers a North Texas power customer who found out he was paying for his neighbor’s use. Find out how the customer got back thousands of dollars by reading on.

Uncovering A Service Mix-up

Chris Babb said that when he got home one day and found that his power was out, he called to report it. It looked like only his room was affected.

“A few hours later, I did get a text, and they said the problem was fixed. Do you still have power: yes or no? I replied, no, I don’t have power. I don’t know what’s going on,” Babb told NBC 5 Responds.

Babb said that a worker who took care of the apartments called an electrician.

“He confirms that there is voltage leaving the meter, going through the main breaker, but none arriving in my apartment,” Babb said. “He says we’ve got a switched meter.”

Babb was charged for his neighbor’s electricity use and vice versa because of a flipped meter or a mix-up with the electric service.

“Every time they did laundry, every time they cooked something, every time they did anything involving electricity,” said Babb.

A North Texas Customer Who Overpaid For Electricity Gets A Refund

Oncor told NBC 5 Responds that the meter had been crossed and that the problem happened because the apartment complex gave Oncor the wrong information about the meter for the flat. Oncor said that it does not know how often it happens. It says that during the investigation process with the retail electric source, it works with apartments and consumers. You can check Bee Cave Remains Texas Seventh Dark Sky Community.

TXU, which sells electricity to Babb, said that it doesn’t take care of the meters. The transmission and distribution company, like Oncor, gets information from the meters about how much electricity is used. The retail electric provider, like TXU, then sends customers bills based on this information. We called and emailed Babb’s apartment building to see if it could figure out why the meter was switched. No one has gotten back to us.

A Refund For Overpayment

Babb said that after the meter mix-up was fixed, TXU looked at his bills from 2019 again. It turned out that he had paid too much for usage, so he got a check for just over $2,100. You can read Texas House Authorizes Sweeping Local Regulation Limits In GOP Latest Swipe At Blue Cities.

Babb said that in 2016 he moved into his apartment. Oncor said that Babb’s meter used data went back four years and that he was paid back for what it could prove. What if it had gone the other way, and a customer found out that a meter mix-up caused them to pay too little? Could “make-up bills” be sent to the customer?

The Public Utility Commission of Texas tells NBC 5 Responds that the customer could be charged for up to 180 days. TXU said that back-billing a customer who owes money because the meter was switched is just one possible situation and that service would likely think about how it would affect the relationship with the customer.

How Does A Consumer Find Out If They Have A Switched Meter?

Tommy Parker is a master electrician and the boss of the operation at Fox Electric. He said that most of the time when a meter mix-up happens, it’s found when there’s a break in service.

“Somebody moves out, and all of a sudden, they either have no power or they’ve lost the air conditioner,” said Parker.

Parker said that if a customer is worried, they can check on the spot by going to the apartment’s breaker box.

“Turn off your air conditioner breaker within your unit. If your air conditioning is still running and you turn it off, then you know you’re fed from somebody else’s apartment,” Parker explained.

You look for a meter number on your electric bill and ask your apartment building to help you check the labeling on the meter outside.

“Have the maintenance guy come out with you and verify where your disconnect is at for your service. Make sure it’s labeled with your apartment number,” Parker said.

If something is wrong, a customer can ask the company to look into a “switched meter.” The Texas PUC also said customers should call their provider first if they think their meter has been switched or have any other billing problems. The Texas Public Utility Commission said it would work with both the customer and the service to make sure that the customer’s bills are correct.


About The Author

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top