I received my electric bill, the last in my 6 month cycle (I'm on budget billing). I pay $147/month for electric. My actual usage before now was $6.07 over what I had been billed, and my current month actual usage was for $140.xx. So I'm right at $147/month.
Imagine my surprise when I saw that starting next month, my new monthly total would be raised to $158.xx! That's an extra $121/yr!
So I called customer service and got the most unhelpful, I-can-only-read-the-script-they-give-me rep!
Me: Hi. I just received my latest bill and noticed that my monthly amount was increasing from $147 to $158. I'm not really sure why, considering that my actual usage was right around $147.
Her: Well, usage isn't the only determining factor. Gas prices normally increase in the winter.
Me: I'm not talking about gas, I only get my electric from you.
Her: Oh, yeah, electric prices usually go down in the winter and up in the summer.
Me: Well, have you announced new rate increases yet? Because an increase of $121/year seems like a lot to me.
Her: It's not for a whole year. We reset budget billing every 6 months, so this new rate is only for the next 6 months.
Me: Well, if it's only for the next 6 months, then I'd definitely expect it to go down now, while electric rates are decreasing, then maybe go up in 6 months, right before summer, when you expect them to increase.
Her: The 3 factors that go into budget billing are usage, rate increases, and expected temperature.
Me: (Smoke coming out of my ears about now) Right. So if my usage is stable, and electric rates are expected to decrease, then the only thing causing this increase is a change in expected temperature? Again, I can see this affecting gas bills alot more than electric.
Maybe I can speak to a supervisor to find out exactly what's driving this change?
Her: I'll have somebody take a look at it.
Me: Great. Can I have her name?
Her: Well, it's not really a person. The rates are figured out automatically by the computer. Somebody will have to review the account and see if it can be reset back to the $147.
Me: So who can I expect to hear back from.
Her: Me. My name is Christy.
Me: Well thanks, Christy. Looking forward to hearing from you.
(Hang up the phone...curse to myself for about 5 minutes, then decide to vent my frustration on this blog)
ETA: The rep called me back to say that she spoke with someone in Accounting, and they're going to keep it at $147. Makes me wonder how many people don't call and complain...
Electric Company Frustrations