GREENSBURG, Ind. (May 4,2015)-- Vectren Energy Delivery of Indiana (Vectren) apologized to customers who recently received abnormally high bills.
"We take full responsibility and again extend our sincere apologies for everyone impacted," said Mike Roeder, president of Vectren Energy Delivery North.
During Monday's Greensburg City-Council meeting, Roeder addressed a room full of frustrated customers. Some even had their utility bills in hand.
"We came to Greensburg to apologize in person," said Roeder.
Roeder says a contracted meter-reader falsified readings in the winter months to speed up his work day. It's a practice known as "curbing." As a result, Vectren customers received abnormally low bills.
Vectren didn't realize the problem until January, Roeder says. Recently, customers were billed for an accurate reading during the winter months. In other words, customers were billed for the amount they weren't charge during the period of erroneous meter-readings. However, some customers received bills that were hundreds more than they typically pay for.
"I've lived here 21 years and I've never received a bill like this," said Linda Vires, a Vectren customer.
Vires says she doesn't think Greensburg residents should be punished for a mistake they didn't make.
"As the old saying goes, don't do the crime if you can't do the time," said Vires.
"It was a big blow to the community,"said Eula Roszell, a Vectren customer.
"It's one of those things they should be taking care of the problem and not just apologize but they should have taken care of the problem," said Joe Rust, owner of Crafts and Occasions.
Over 4,000 customers were affected by the meter-reader's mistake. A handful of them met individually with Vectren staff members following Monday's city council meeting.
"I'm not making excuses but we've got to make sure the audit process that's always existed is tighter," said Roeder
"He kept saying 'I'm sorry' and apologizing, but most of what he said didn't mean anything to most of us in there. Sorry doesn't fix it,"said Roszell.
The same misreadings occurred in Columbus. Roeder says the meter-reader accused of "curbing" in Columbus, Ind. is related to the Greensburg meter-reader. Both have been terminated from the contracted company.
Leaders with Vectren will make a similar presentation in Columbus later this week.