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Customers say Entergy overcharged on 'estimated' bills

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BATON ROUGE - A Two On Your Side story earlier this week got many viewers talking. WBRZ highlighted an issue about people reporting their seemingly "high" electric bills. Tuesday, we found one man was overcharged by DEMCO.

Thursday, another situation about a man being over-charged after Entergy estimated his usage when meter-readers couldn't get to homes following the flood.

Doug Prewitt's home is without windows, doors and walls. It's stripped to the studs, after seven feet of water sat in his home for about a week.

"If you saw my house, you'd know that I wasn't living in it," he said.

Prewitt says he got his electric bill in the mail he knew something wasn't right. He said it wasn't about the money.

"I don't feel like I need to pay for something I didn't use," he said.

His bill from Entergy was $296.55. Prewitt says he hasn't been using air-conditioning, only been running a few fans here and there. Entergy told him they estimated his bill by taking the amount of energy used during the same month last year. That didn't sit right with Prewitt, who contacted WBRZ for more information.

Entergy says it overestimated his bill and corrected it, dropping the cost to $32.21, a difference of more than $260 dollars.

"Said it was just an error," he said.

Entergy says it had to replace meters that went under water, including Prewitts.

"If a meter is damaged, we have no other way to bill a customer other than using prior years," said Entergy senior manager of customer service Greg Guilbeau.

Entergy couldn't say how many meters were replaced after the flood, but did reference the some 100,000 homes affected by flood damage. Guilbeau says there could be others with over-estimated bills, but did their best after the storm to ensure that all the meters that were flooded were replaced.

"We ask that they call in and we will do our best to make sure we make it right," said Guilbeau.

Prewitt worries there are others out there who went through the same thing.

"If they did it to me, I'm sure they did it to others," he tells Two On Your Side.

If you suspect there's something wrong with your bill, call your provider. Both DEMCO and Entergy says if you are running multiple motors, especially if you do not have insulation in your home, it can significantly affect your bill.



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