If you don’t have power for a week, should you have to pay for the electricity you may have theoretically used during that time? Baltimore Gas and Electric has outraged its customers by announcing that they may be charged for more power than they actually consumed. Hurricane Irene left 750,000 BGE customers in the dark for a full week, and in order to speed the recovery process, the company pulled its meter readers from their usual duties in order to help with repairs. As a result, they didn’t collect usage levels for 150,000 customers and the company decided to send those households estimated bills. BGE says they will base the estimated bills on historical data from the household in question.
Customers are incredulous. “How can you estimate a bill when we didn’t have anything for seven days?” BGE customer Rebecca Snowden asks. “If I get a service, I pay for it at the time of service. If i don’t get it, I don’t pay for it.”
BGE has now promised to send crews to every household in order to take a physical reading and will adjust the bills accordingly.