CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Customers of two power companies here in West Virginia believe they’ve been overcharged. Now is the chance to speak out. Gaylene Miller with AARP West Virginia said the first of four public hearings on the meter reading/billing controversy happens Wednesday.
“If [customers] are concerned about their electric bill from Mon Power or Potomac Edison, now is the opportunity to let those state regulators know,” Miller said.
The bills in question were mailed out last summer and fall after two big storms, the June derecho and Super Storm Sandy in October. Many customers went without service for days on end after both natural disasters. Mon Power and Potomac Edison crews were backed up trying to restore service, so a lot of meters went unread and instead the companies estimated their bills.
Miller said she’s heard from a lot of senior citizens who believe they were overcharged. The estimated bills didn’t come close to their average metered bills.
Back in June the PSC decided to investigate those claims and the public hearings are another step towards finding out if customers ended up paying more than they actually owed.
The hearings, two each at Shepherd University and West Chester Village in Fairmont, are the time for concerned customers to ask questions and get answers.
“Folks can attend the hearings if they are in their area or they can always go on line to the Pubic Service Commission’s website [www.psc.state.wv.us] and provide comment there or they can take pen to paper and mail something into the Public Service Commission,” explained Miller.
She believes it’s important for customers, especially senior citizens, to get the answers they need at a time when household budgets are getting tighter and tighter.
“It’s stretching the limited dollars that older West Virginians have really to the maximum that they can afford,” said Miller.
Not only will the PSC be on hand for those public hearings but also representatives from Mon Power and Potomac Edison. They’ll be there to talk one-on-one with concerned customers.
The hearings at Shepherd University take place on October 23 at 5:30 p.m. and October 24 at 9:30 a.m. the pubic hearings in Fairmont are set for October 24 at 5:30 p.m. and October 25 at 9:30 a.m.