Duke sends electric bill to home with no power

Barbara's meter.

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA)—When Duke Energy turned on the power at Barbara Deavers’ home in Palm Harbor, the line to the house caught fire and the meter blew up.

“It happened October 3,” said Ms. Deavers. “I didn’t move until October 27 and they never notified me about it.”

Despite having no wire, no meter and no electricity, Barbara received a $65 power bill.

“I didn’t have electricity then, why should I have to pay for it?” Barbara asked.

And what about the concrete pile Duke left at her home when they had to replace the electric line?

“And every time I’d call I’d get a different story from a different person,” Barbara said.  “I’m not happy about it, I mean this is kind of my ‘Welcome to Florida’ was you know moving in, no electricity and then dealing with Duke,” added Barbara.

When I reached out to Duke, their spokesperson Ana Gibbs explained that since there wasn’t a meter reading, the company’s computer’s automatically estimated what Barbara owed based on her average monthly usage.

This is not new.  In September, the company suspended meter readings when Hurricane Irma hit Florida. At the time, it’s estimated bills ignited a firestorm. Linda Curry tells us her bill jumped to three times its normal cost.

“I’m very upset with Duke right now,” Linda said.

Duke Energy supplies electricity to nearly 7.5 million customers each day.

The company wasn’t exactly customer friendly in February when it refused to bury a high voltage power line it laid through Sunny Acres, a mobile home park in Pinellas County.

“It’s dangerous you know, dangerous,” said homeowner Francis Dorsey.

In March, Duke quibbled with two other mobile home parks about paying for line work. But when we started asking questions, Duke became a bit more consumer-friendly.

When we told them about Barbara, Duke responded quickly. It will adjust Barbara’s November bill and clean up the mess it made by next week.

If you have a problem that you think should be investigated, call our Target 8 Helpline at 1-800-338-0808.

Follow Steve Andrews on Facebook



WFLA.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s