I got my electric bill and it was over $1M dollars...
She knew her electricity bills typically went up in the summer months, but Kristin Harriger didn't think things really would get expensive until August.
But when she opened her bill from Dallas-based Potentia Energy last week, she was, for want of a better word, shocked.
Total amount due: $1,381,783.92.
"I opened it. I read it. Then just went, 'Oh, my gosh. That's a lot of money,'" Harriger said.
Her modest home on South Mockingbird Lane isn't exactly the latest in energy efficiency, she said. But her previous bill was just $100.78.
She said she snapped a photograph of the bill with her phone and immediately called her service provider. Within four minutes, Harriger said, they had someone from billing on the line, apologizing profusely and promising to get to the bottom of the situation.
"It was either computer error or human error, they said. They said they would look into it, and send me a new bill right away," she said.
The Public Utility Commission of Texas website powertochoose.org shows current electric
ity rate offers in Abilene ranging from 8.2 to 12.1 cents per kilowatt-hour. Harriger's bill said she was being charged 100,000 cents, or $1,000, per kwh.
She said the company told her that if they didn't have the issue resolved by the due date on the bill, Harriger wouldn't be held responsible for the amount — or the $66,000 late fee.
"I've been pretty calm about it," Harriger said. "I mean, I've seen medical bills higher than that. I'm just glad I opened the bill and not my father, who has a heart condition."
Potentia Energy could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
UPDATE: Sehr Charania, Potentia Energy's senior manager for external affairs, said Wednesday that the super-size bill had been caught by internal auditors, and was flagged to be held. The bill was mistakenly sent by a third-party billing vendor. A new bill reflecting the proper charges should have been sent out already, Charania said, which Harriger should receive this week.
Tags: bizarre, electric, phone bill