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Error increased man's power bill; DEMCO inspecting meters

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ZACHARY - While many have noticed higher utility bills in September and October since usage was estimated when meter readers could not access properties during the flood in August, one man in Zachary said an error caused his to increase by 30%.

Ty Meloncon told 2 On Your Side water rose around his elevated home.  The house did not food but his truck and other items low to the ground did - including his electrical meter.

He believes the flood had something to do with his unusually large bill.  

"It really threw me for a loop because I've never seen anything that high before," he said.

Meloncon said his most expensive bills in the last three years were all between $225 and $250. His bill due Oct. 11 came in at $372.74.

When WBRZ called power provider DEMCO, the utility service agreed to check on Meloncon's bill and said the irregularity appeared to be unique.  A possible meter replacement caused an "estimate that was not accurate due to human error only."

DEMCO amended the bill to $194.96. The company said it has service personnel inspecting meters daily to find meter issues.

Meloncon wondered if there are others with unnecessarily high bills like him.  "There needs to be some type of fix for these people that are getting outrageous bills," he said.

DEMCO believes Meloncon's case is isolated.

Last month, bills were higher for many across the region since utility companies estimated August usage then made any corrections to the September bill.  In addition, people working on their homes after the flood - running the air conditioning to dry out - also used more electricity.

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