Entergy customers concerned about high January bills after meter switch

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DENHAM SPRINGS - An Entergy customer in Denham Springs says her electric bill was the highest it's ever been this month and she wants to know why.

When DeAnna Charlett opened her January bill she saw that she owed $344. The large number came as quite a shock, especially since her December bill was for $158. Charlett went back to look through her 2020 bills and found that the highest it ever got was about $200 in September. She started asking her neighbors in Fairlane Farms if they had seen a sharp increase too.

"I noticed talking to people in the subdivision via Facebook groups and other things like that that everything has jumped for this month," she said.

Charlett says there are about 200 homes in her subdivision and the majority of people living there have reported that their bill wattage doubled in the last month.

"Another person's jumped from $80 to $252, another one from $116 to $187, and another one from about $75 to $365," said Charlett.

Earlier in January, Charlett says Entergy went around replacing the meters. They're called smart meters or advanced meters, and Entergy started installing them in Louisiana in 2018. The meters allow users to monitor their electric usage by the day and they can be read remotely.

Over the last week, 2 On Your Side has heard from a few people who have concerns about their latest Entergy bills. Entergy's Vice President of Customer Service Melonie Stewart says people being home more and the cold weather might attribute to the higher cost.

"The meters that we have are very accurate, our readings are very accurate and what we're really seeing more of is high usage," said Stewart.

But Charlett is learning that the system isn't perfect. She contacted Entergy and her case was investigated. Entergy found that the issue was with her old meter, not the new one.

"They said that the previous meter was faulty or something like that," said Charlett.

Entergy found that during the meter switch part of Charlett's bill had been estimated and it was estimated too high. Human error attributed to her high bill and it has since been adjusted to $237.

Charlett says it's still too high, but better than it was. She says she will be taking a closer look at her bills from now on.

Entergy could not comment on whether all customers in Fairlane Farms are experiencing the same issue but encourages customers with concerns to give them a call at 1-800-ENTERGY.