CL&P Bills Don’t Make Sense

August 15, 2010
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The following is one of several recent complaints I have had about bills from Connecticut Light & Power, including about unusually high bills from vacant homes people moved from. I forwarded them to the Attorney General and to CL&P.

-Matthew & Colleen Harrak

We just received our August electric bill and was shocked to find that it totaled $543.32. We recently moved into our new home at our current address in Torrington  from Waterbury, CT.

While we lived there for 3 years and had to set up a Budget Pay account because of how much energy we seemed to be using. We had them come out and test the meters, test the breakers and even switched to a new provider without any luck. CL&P insist everything is correct even though we only lived in a 1,180 sq foot apartment.

On May 20th, we were contacted by CL&P to pay double our budget payments in order to “settle up” our account. We paid $329.67 on 6/21 with the understanding that our account was now caught up.

A few days ago we received our final bill from our old address noting that not only that the budget plan had been removed but also over $500 in charges for an apartment that was unoccupied as we have moved into our new address. Our bill for usage from 5/19/2010 through 6/18/2010 was $265.93, then from 6/18/2010 through 7/20/2010 was $416.45. Our final charges from 7/20/2010 through 7/26/2010 was $29.94. This is a total of $712.32 we posted a payment for $169.00 on 7/19/2010 which brings you to a balance of $543.32. This current bill is impossible for us to pay in full and utterly confusing on how an unoccupied apartment could use that much energy.

We’ve been trying to contact everyone we can in order to figure out how this could be possible and what we can do as we’ve run out of options. And with a new mortage and a baby on the way, it feels like we’re just throwing away money.

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8 Responses to CL&P Bills Don’t Make Sense

  1. Jamie on August 16, 2010 at 6:21 am

    Tell your reader they should contact CL&P through twitter at http://www.twitter.com/CTLightandPower and see if they can get something resolved through that communication means.

  2. Carole Richards on August 16, 2010 at 6:11 pm

    I too have had my light bill more than double. Today I called CL&P and explained that my bill has gone up more than double from last year. Nothing new has been added and if not for nothing, I used air conditioning and had my pool running more LAST year than this year and yet the bill went up. My husband and I are retired and live on a very small income and these bills have really but a strain on us. I guess they want us to move out of the state to another state that I know for a fact has cheaper electric. No wonder there are so many snowbirds.

  3. Carole Richards on August 16, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    CL&P wasn’t going to do anything about this so I asked them to check the meter which they are reluctant to do but finally said they would.

  4. joe on August 20, 2010 at 11:22 am

    this is what happens when these services get deemed “public utilities” by the almighty government… if you really think about how the “public utility” industry would have evolved had the government NOT over-regulated them, and had the government NOT made it a quasi-monopolistic system within each state, there would be so much competition and new and more innovative energy companies would have popped up and they would be competing for your business… they would maybe have come up with different and more unique ways to deliver the energy to your home, maybe new and different ways of calculating the usage and the costs…. prices would continually have downward pressure due to widespread competition… but instead, the population, like a herd of sheep, just accept that they are “public utilities” and that there are only a handful of energy suppliers in each state and if you wanted to enter the market as a new provider, it is all but impossible….. we need to stop accepting that the government can control and regulate everything “for our own good.” If we let competition reign, we would be in much better shape than we are now… i live in a one BR condo and my bills are extraordinarily high… during the month of July, i was gone one week on business and gone another week on vacation (actually 10 days), so i was at home for a total of 13 days during the month of July, and 10 of those 13 days I was at work for 10+ hours a day, and STILL my electric bill was $280…. its unbelievable…. its SICK… but you cant turn to “the competition” because they are all pretty much in collusion with each other by a matter of STATE LAW….

  5. Lou Martino on August 20, 2010 at 6:11 pm

    A reply to Matthew, the apartment might have been vacant but in many cases if the electricity was not shut off, the landlords will use the power to clean, paint or whatever else needs to be done. Was the service disconnected before you moved out. If you requested a disconnection of service, did you verify with CL&P that they had access to the meter to shut it off?

    • Chistine on August 26, 2010 at 9:18 pm

      All should remember that in July, both CL&P and UI raise their transmission and delivery charges. Although we can choose an alternate supplier for generation services (about 60% of the bill), the Government has control over the approximately remaining 40% of our electric bills, namely the transmission and distribution. In addition, most alternate gneration companies also raised their rates this month dues to the heat wave (supply and demand).
      However, having said aforementioned, it still does not solve our frustration when we are ‘away with everything turned off” and I share the frustration. I have spent couontless hours trying to analyze.
      Answers I received:
      – Whether condo or rental, there are ‘outdoor lights’ that are the association or landlord’s responsibility, including wells and outdoor spickets.
      As was also mentioned previously;
      – unless you completely turn off all thermostats, UNPLUG all lights, cell phone chargers, power strips, TV’s, DVD players, timers for lights, etc., the meter keeps running.
      The ONLY way to STOP any kilowatts from being accured is by cancelling service. The second most efficient way is by unplgging everything, even then you HAVE to follow up with the utility companies as the variables are limitless:
      – # of days in a cycle
      – prorated cycles in July and Dec when transmission and delivery rates increase
      – estimatd bll vs actual bill – your meter is NOT actually read every month, sometimes it is estimated and adjusted when actually read
      – budget plans..you MUST keep track yourself as the systems are HORRIBLE

      Having said the above, I will tell you that I was WITHOUT power for 8 days during the storm this past winter, lost all food, had no heat etc. I was charged a more than I had been for the past four months. Upon calling CL&P (90 min conversation) they said their records showed an outage in my area of only ONE day and that no one had called to tell them anything to the contrary, so they had no way of knowing…”they’re kidding right?” Well, no they weren’t, even though they sent a crew out for two days to repair the service, after service had been out for 6 days while crews removed the trees. OH and as an FYI, MANY of us KEPT calling! You don’t want to hear the rest of my conversation with them as it almost pushed me over the prevebial edge and I am WORK for an energy company! Suffice it to say, I was refunded 8 days, however, I then had to repeat the process for the cable bill! Most of my neighbors were NOT refunded as they did not want the hassle ofo calling.

      Lastly, once again, look at the amount of days in your cycle, especially mid year and year end. Both CL&P & UI do not have consitent cyckle dates as other creditors(.ie July 15-August 14.). Sometimes your bill reflects 28 days, 32 days 15 days etc. You can COUNT on this in June and July and Dec and Jan, as both CL&P and UI are on ‘calander years’, so even if you bill cycle begins ec 20th, you will then get an invoice for 13 days at year end and another for possibly 20 days in January. Then upon getting Feb invoice which could be for 39 days!
      It appears that will all our technology, utilities have a long way to go!

  6. kevin on October 7, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    I’ve had it with these guys. Last month I had to pay 430 dolars, plus I put a deposit in. this month they want 570 and they want it in full or ill get shut off. I checked and I only used 40 but they added a ton of “csr” service fees. Honestly I don’t see how this is legal

  7. Charles Mumford on September 2, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    I own a small business in ct I’ve been opening an hour and a1/2 later for the past 3 months so how is it my cl&p bill jump from $630 a month to $895 I haven’t even been using the ac this year it just doesn’t make sense at all I should just get out of this state like everyone else

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