GATESVILLE, Texas — Many Texas New Mexico Power customers were shocked when they saw their latest electric bill.
"We have been getting a fair amount of complaints," Spokesperson Sarah Yingling told 25 News.
Many of those customers have the same story. Their meters were replaced, then their bills started to climb. Yingling says the problem may be something larger than just the meters.
"There is not a direct correlation with the new meters," she said. "There might be some incidences where the meters have played a role in the higher bills, but this is actually a statewide issue."
Yingling said the meters had to be replaced after AT&T upgraded from 3g to 5g.
"During the meter change out process, the meters were obviously not communicating," she said. "That forced us to estimate consumption usage for two to three months when we were seeing unseasonably high temperatures."
"They should be ashamed of themselves letting something like this happen," customer Richard Paulson said.
Paulson has lived in the same home in Gatesville for 14 years. His bill this month has almost tripled.
"I thought it definitely was a mistake because the kilowatt hours I normally use is in between 1,000 and 1,300," he told 25 News. "Then this bill not even a full month and it was 3,100 kilowatt hours but I did the same thing I do every month."
When Paulson called the company to question it, he was told they had underestimated his usage for the last few months.
"It was low is what they told me is what they're telling me so they tacked on this month everything from the last three months that was low," Paulson said.
Yingling said customers with exceptionally high bills also had low bills when meters didn't work. She also said there are other issues contributing to the high bills.
"We are seeing higher prices from our reps, our retail electric providers, who are now charging what appears to be double what they were charging last year," Yingling said. "That's one thing that's come into consideration as well as the unseasonably high temperatures."
She said the meters work now and the company isn't guessing what customers used any longer.