Hydro billing fiasco!

As those of you who read regularly know, we moved into our brand new home last June.  I love being a homeowner!  However, I don’t like the bills it brings.  Thanks to our budget, we can handle the bills quite nicely.

For the last 5 1/2 months we’ve been getting regular Hydro bills from the local hydro provider.  In July, our first bill, it was relatively low, but I didn’t worry about it because it was around $50.00.  In August, I got the bill and saw that it was only about $25.00 so I called the company.  I told them our bill was too low and she laughed because no one calls and tells them that.  I asked if she was sure that the reading was correct.  The woman at the other end of the line assured me that it was, indeed, correct and that I should be happy.  She also said that the bill for September would be higher and that it should all work out.

Fast forward to November and it’s still low.  I contemplated calling but life got busy and I forgot.  On Friday I opened up the mail and saw yet another low bill, $22.05, to be exact.  I couldn’t believe this was right.  So I put on my shoes and went out to the meter, with the bill, to compare the reading.

What did I find?  I found out that they had the WRONG METER on the bill.  It was off by one number.  So, I went to the house that is attached to ours, which is currently vacant.  Sure enough, the meter number on that house matched the meter number on our bill.  We’ve been paying for a vacant house’s hydro!

I called Hydro this morning and reported the issue.  Helen, the customer service manager, was quite helpful and apologetic.  Not so apologetic to give us a break on what we owe, of course.  She did say that they will give us time to pay the bill (4 –   6 months) and that they won’t charge us interest.  It was clearly their mistake.  She also gave me her extension and told me that if I had a month where we could only put $50.00 on what we owe, to call her immediately and she would make sure there were no charges added to the account.

After that, I had her total up the entire bill for the 5 months and it amounted to about $880, less what we have paid in those months, and we owe about $700.00.  It will be a little tight here and there, but I think it will be ok.  I was relieved and told her that I thought it was going to be upwards of $1500.00 because we have 10 people living here.  She was shocked!  Apparently, we are a very energy-efficient family and she would have guessed we were a family of 3 or possibly 4 based on the meter readings.  That was great to hear.  Better tell the kids to keep up the good work. 

Better yet, I think we’ll tell them we have to work harder!!

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7 responses to “Hydro billing fiasco!

  1. Holy heck! That’s a lot of money for one hydrobill. I can’t believe they bungled up that badly. On the upside though, if it makes you feel any better, we’re a family of 3 (sometimes 5 if my brother & wife are over), and our hydro bill averages $200/month.

  2. That’s a big hit to your budget. It’s a shame that they didn’t cut you some sort of deal since the mistake was theirs.

  3. That’s really quirky! A friend of mine was telling me just yesterday that her hydro bills (family of 7) are $40/month! Mine for a family of 5 are usually $150/month… kind of makes me wonder if something is wrong with her bill/meter too! Honestly, you can’t win even when you try – imagine… calling them up and telling them you think you should be paying more only to be assured the bill was right – THEN find out a half year later it WAS wrong all along. Really, they should have credited the used hydro and started billing on the correct meter. Anyway, I’m glad to hear that you’ll be able to manage the extra bills.

  4. *Rolling my eyes at the Hydro Reader*

    Well i’m glad you’re going to be able to swing the bill still! I’d be wondering what was going on too!! Glad you figured it out before it got REALLY high!! We have 6 here and we’re hovering right around our budget bill of $124/month… which I think is pretty good too as our ‘budget’ is based on a single widow living here before us!

  5. Please take this the right way – I mean nothing harsh – honest. BUT…how much have you budgeted? Honestly? 150 per month? 250 per month? and you had bills at roughly 25.00 per month roughly? So where is the remainder of the budgeted amount? Or did you lower your budgeted amount based on your bills? My hydro is billed bi-monthly (every 2 months -1800 sq foot home, 2 school aged kids and a husband that is home 100% as a WAHD) and I account for it on a monthly bases – the “extra” is held in a house account to be used up when the bill is slightly higher in any given month (winter months are slightly higher due to darker earlier – summer is less b/c of lighter for longer, etc). If you budgeted 150.00 per month for 6 months you would have had 900.00 but only paid 150.00 (based on 25.00 bills for 6 months)- there should be approx. 750.oo left to pay the outstanding bill. Am I missing something?

    • Not taking it the wrong way at all. We screwed up and budgeted based on the new totals because we were told the meter was correct back in August. It’s ok though, we’ll just cut back on what we’ll put into the emergency fund for a few months. Lesson learned on our end…if something is too good to be true, then it probably is, lol!

  6. Wow! That’s nuts that they were reading the wrong meter!

    Glad that you guys are ok though with covering what is owed. And congrats to you guys for being so energy efficient! One day you’ll have to share some tips with us 🙂

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