CPS Energy customers question estimated, missing, multiple bills

New digital meters also raise health concerns for customers

Author: Brian Mylar, Reporter, bmylar@ksat.com
Published On: Apr 30 2013 06:50:25 PM CDT   Updated On: Apr 30 2013 09:50:11 PM CDT
SAN ANTONIO -

CPS Energy customer complaints about estimated bills, missing bills and multiple bills are being attributed to fallout from when the company did not have enough meter readers.

Veronica Agostadero complained to the KSAT 12 Defenders after her CPS Energy bill was three weeks late.

"It's never happened to me before, so I'm surprised," Agostadero said. "I actually decided to go ahead and pay about $50 just to have that credit there."

She did that after witnessing what her mother went through with her CPS Energy bill.

"She didn't receive a February bill,” Agostadero said. “Toward the end of March, she received double. And it came out to over $400."

She said her mother had to borrow money to pay the bill.

CPS Energy Spokeswoman Lisa Lewis said these problems started earlier this year when CPS Energy didn't have enough meter readers.

She said many customers' bills were estimated and some were so badly estimated they were flagged for review.

"We had an unusually high number of estimated reads and so, yes, that has caught up to the back office now and they're trying to help customers clear through the backlog," Lewis said.

But she said more meter readers are on the job now and that the installation of digital meters is making their job easier.

"It allows the meter reader to drive through and gather quickly as opposed to having to hand-enter every single number," Lewis said.

But some customers worry the radio frequency waves emitted by those meters are dangerous.

Nikki Kuhns had her digital meter removed. "It's very concerning,” Kuhns said back in March. “I mean, who's watching out for me?"

CPS Energy said the digital meter sends out a signal only when it is being read and it is not dangerous.

"They're very, very low level radio frequency," Lewis said.

She said the digital meters now being installed are just the precursor to what's to come: the Smart meter, which some homes already have.

She also said customers with questions about their CPS Energy bill can call the company's customer service line at 210-353-2222.

She said customers’ patience is appreciated.

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