Electric bills can be high this time of year...but $37,000 high?

Unexpected high electric bill shocks customer
Published: Dec. 3, 2021 at 6:37 PM EST
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - It’s that time of year when electric bills are a little bit higher because of the heat running in the house or holiday lights, but one customer got a bill for $37,000!

Duke Energy said it switched the customer billing system recently to hopefully make things easier for customers when paying their bills, but that created an error and a whole lot of panic for a few hundred customers.

Since the error was spotted, Duke Energy said the problem should be resolved, and anyone who received an astronomically high bill should be receiving a new one for the correct amount within the next week.

“It was really just in the bill presentation and it’s something that we’re investigating to really try and figure out what happened here, but we do think it’s isolated and something we addressed quickly,” said Jeff Brooks with Duke Energy.

This error impacted a few hundred customers across the state but Brooks said that’s only a fraction of one percent of their customers.

Those who have their bill on auto-pay should have been charged the correct amount for the month, even if their bill reflects the incorrect amount.

Brooks said this should serve as a reminder to always check your bills if you have them on auto-pay to make sure that there aren’t any mistakes like this one.

“You should always take a look at your bill when you get it. Not just for the power company, but for any company and make sure everything looks normal on there. There’s always a possibility that there’s a charge you don’t recognize or might want to understand more about,” Brooks said.

If you have any issues you are encouraged to call Duke Energy.

“We’d be happy to review your account with you and explain why the charge is the way it is, or if there is an error, or we will certainly work to address it to make it right with a customer,” Brooks said.

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