FOX59 takes action for man with excessively high electric bills

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By Aishah Hasnie

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Sept. 23, 2013) – An Indianapolis man says he has been paying excessively high electric bills for years due to a faulty meter and now he wants his electric company to pay up.

Don Long moved to his three bedroom mobile home on the City's southwest side in 2010. He said it was then that he noticed his electric meter spinning faster than he liked.

"I was like something's not right."

He called IPL and said a technician told him his meter was working fine. Long, however, didn't buy it when his bills continued to seem too high.

He showed FOX59 some of his past bills and usage statements.

"When you get a monthly bill and it says $761, you pretty much freak out," said Long. "It's saying that I used 9,424 kilowatts, which was 98% more than my neighbors."

This year, Long said, another technician came out after a surge went through his house. He said he was told the meter was reading very high usage.

"He's like 'I believe you're pulling enough power to power up four or five of these trailers'," Long recalled the conversation. He said the technician had a new meter installed and immediately, Long noticed a difference.

"It's a drastic change. (The usage is) less than half."

FOX59 contacted IPL to find out what was going on. Spokeswoman Brandi Davis-Handy told us they were looking into Long's complaints.

"I can verify that Mr. Long has historically had high winter heating bills," she wrote. "If customers believe they have malfunctioning equipment we will conduct a meter test for accuracy.  We have indeed conducted two tests on his meters.   I’m waiting on the results from the most recent investigation.  If we find it is not a meter issue, which is common in most of these situations, we will refer him to contact his own electrician and/or HVAV/appliance source(s) to review his internal components.

I have been advised that a customer service rep will be reaching out to Mr. Long to discuss the next steps and any remaining concerns he has related to his electric consumption and/or billing and payment amounts."

Long said he's not looking for every penny he thinks he was overcharged; just enough to help him get back on his feet.

"If they could take care of my light bill for me, that would give me a chance to get out of debt everywhere else that I've let slide just so I could take care of them."

FOX59 will keep you posted as this story develops.