Buggin' - Wrong energy bills - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Buggin' - Wrong energy bills

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A Dallas man is bugged by his electric bills -- not because they're too high, but because he says he shouldn't be getting them at all. 

He turned to FOX4's Saul Garza for help proving his case.

On Dec. 19, a huge fire consumed two condos on Park Lane in Dallas. Ron Holley and his wife lived in one of them.

"When I came out, the garage door had already melted and flames were coming out," said Holley.

They weren't hurt, but the couple lost almost all of their belongings.

What didn't burn sustained heavy water or smoke damage, and the couple is currently living in a hotel.

Holley says getting his cable and other services cancelled was no problem -- all except for his electricity.

Holley was enrolled in the Power To Go plan with Direct Energy. He paid ahead of time every month, and his average usage was about $2 a day.

But after the fire, "The Power To Go has been charging us $10 to $8 a day for electricity," he said.

It was an estimated reading, he was told.

Those new charges came daily via text to his cell phone, even though his condo had no meter.

Calls to Direct Energy got him nowhere, he says.

"They said that they would put a note in the account and they would disconnect it," said Holley.

But the texts continued.

Holley quickly went through his $60 credit and racked up an additional $80.

That's when he gave FOX4 a call.

On the day FOX4 contacted Direct Energy, Holley got another text – this time, informing him the $80 fee had been removed and his $60 dollars had been credited to his account.

How energy billing works is Oncor reads the meter then sends that information to electric providers. They then send customers the bill. In this case, for some reason, even though there was no meter, Oncor continued to send an estimated reading to direct energy. That's why direct energy kept sending a bill.

Direct Energy says it contacted Oncor for meter verification, but says Oncor never got back with them.

Oncor admits it messed up. When the meter was removed after the fire, the account was coded incorrectly.

That's why Oncor kept sending estimated readings to Direct Energy.

Oncor says it should have taken additional steps.

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