Buggin' - Unapproved light - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Buggin' - Unapproved light

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A Dallas woman made an unusual discovery recently after failing to pay her electric bill. 

Now, she wants answers.

The breezeway light at Gushanna Gamble's is directly connected to her breaker box and electric meter. She made the discovery after her electricity was cut off in February.

"I was like, ‘OK, that's strange -- I know that's not supposed to happen,'" said Gamble. 

When her electricity was restored, the light came back on as well.    

Gamble has lived at the Park at Cliff Creek in the Red Bird area of Dallas since 2010.

Two years ago, her apartment installed lights in 13 breezeways of her complex.

"I appreciate the lighting, but I don't want to pay for it," she said.

Gamble says she went to the apartment manager and was offered a $40 credit to her account, which equated to $20 for every year the light was connected. That wasn't enough to Gamble.

"Twenty dollars may not seem a lot, but it is to me when you're on a low income budget and you're not working," said Gamble.

Gamble suspects she might not be alone. 

"There might be other tenants that might not know their light outside their door is connected to their apartment meter," she said.

The management company says it responded right away after Gamble complained.

FOX 4 was told the company consulted with an independent electrician, did the math and determined a 13-watt bulb running 24/7 uses roughly $1.68 a month.

At 18 cents a kilowatt hour, that amounts to $20 a year -- a generous offer, according to the management company.

Gamble pays about 7.5 cents per kilowatt an hour.

"It wouldn't be a problem if I can turn the light switch on and off, have some control over it, but I don't have control over it," she said. "It stays on 24/7."

The apartment complex says it is investigating how the lines were crossed.

FOX 4 was told there are lights in 12 other breezeways throughout the complex. What's not known is how many of those are also tied to residents' meters, but FOX 4 is told that an electrician is looking into it, and if it turns out they are, those residents will be reimbursed and the lights rewired.

Gamble's light is already being connected to its own meter.

If you have something that's bugging you, contact Saul at 214-468-7458.

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