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Tuesday, December 6, 2022

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WRAL.com – Brospar Daily News

– A Raleigh man was on paid leave trying to correct an incorrect Duke energy bill, but the problem was not corrected until WRAL 5 On Your Side intervened.

Less than a year ago, Prejesh Singh moved into a new apartment complex in downtown Raleigh. According to Duke Energy, he told WRAL 5 on Your Side that his electric bill never goes over $100 during the fall and winter months, which are usually the most expensive months. This spring, however, he received a notice from Duke Energy that he was underpaid.

“Duke Energy basically said I had $2,200 to $2,300 in unpaid bills and I was paying less each month,” Singer said. “They told me I really should be paying $400 to $500 a month.”

Singer called Duke Energy customer service and spoke with several representatives over the course of several weeks.

“I was on the phone with them for about 18 hours,” he said.

A month later, the two sides were at an impasse, with Singh refusing to pay the outstanding bills.

“They said they would cut me off at some point,” Singh said.

In desperation, Singh started googling alternative solutions and came across WRAL 5 on Your Side.

WRAL 5 On Your Side reached out to Duke Energy’s media team and explained that it didn’t make sense to spend $500 a month on electricity for a one-bedroom apartment in a relatively new building.

Duke Energy investigated further and eventually found the problem: improperly calibrated smart meters that were distorting Singh’s usage. The company adjusted its bill by $2,800.

Duke Energy spokesman Jeff Brooks released the following statement regarding Singer’s situation:

“The issue was caused by a data entry error that occurred while setting up the account and replacing the meter there. We first investigated the meter as the cause of the error in billing, but multiple tests proved the meter to be accurate, not the cause.

“The data entry errors that caused billing issues were not easy for the investigation team to identify, which took longer than usual to investigate and resolve the issues. We apologize for the inconvenience, but we are glad we were able to identify the error and correct the customer’s invoice.

Anyone who thinks they’ve been overcharged for an incorrect utility bill is encouraged to do the same as Singh by recording the time you spend on the phone. Duke Energy may investigate claims and meters.

Anyone who feels that their concerns have not been addressed may File a Complaint with the North Carolina Public Utilities Commission.

Customers should also consider opting out of autopay so that they are better informed of billing changes. Make sure you pay your bills on time.

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