CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The state Public Service Commission has ordered Mon Power and Potomac Edison power companies to eliminate estimated meter readings and do the actual monthly meter readings for its customers.
The PSC issued its final order Wednesday in connection with a general investigation it began a year ago following numerous complaints about the companies’ estimated readings and billing practices. Mon Power and Potomac Edison, subsidiaries of FirstEnergy, got behind in meter readings following the 2012 Derecho and Superstorm Sandy. It used its meter readers to perform other duties.
Mon Power spokesman Todd Meyers told MetroNews Wednesday evening the companies would take the necessary steps to comply with the PSC’s order.
“We want to make things right for our customers and we do understand that when you do have a number of consecutive back-to-back missed readings, many times due to inclement weather, it can lead to a hardship,” Meyers said.
The companies are currently fully staffed with meter readers. Meyers said it’s likely other personnel would have to be hired to complete actual readings every month for all 520,000 customers the two companies have in 37 counties. The PSC has ordered the companies hire rovers and backfill absences to get the readings done.
The PSC wants the actual readings and billing to take place “as quickly as possible, but no later than July 1, 2015.”
The complaints began to roll-in against Mon Power and Potomac Edison in the months after those major 2012 storms. Meyers said unfortunately many customers had their bills underestimated and when actual readings took place the bills were way more than the customers were used to paying.
“That’s what caused a lot of the consternation was having these large true-up bills. But at the end of the day it’s important to remember that people only are billed for the amount of electricity they’ve consumed,” he said.
The PSC also ordered the companies to submit monthly statistical metrics to the commission through Dec. 31, 2015.