‘Why am I being charged for it?:’ Gatesville residents find more hidden costs with expensive bills

Published: Aug. 24, 2022 at 10:06 PM CDT
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GATESVILLE, Texas (KWTX) - The search continues for Gatesville residents on why they’re paying upwards of over $1,000 on their electric bills. Now they’re finding even more costs.

Last week, we brought you the story of residents finding a $200 Texas New Mexico Power (TNMP) delivery charge on their bills. This comes after TNMP replaced the old 3G electric meters with 5G ones.

Resident Amanda Head is wanting answers after her electric bill showed an over 600% increase in electric usage from July to August.

“You ask them to do another smart meter test and they’re going to say they already did a meter test,” she said.

She’s asking TNMP to test her meter to make sure the readings are accurate. But TNMP is trying to charge her nearly $200 for the test, after they say she received a free one when the new meters were installed.

“If I never authorized them to do the meter test, why am I being charged for it?” she said.

KWTX News 10 reached out to the Public Utility Commission of Texas multiple times about the legality of all this and did not ever receive a response.

However, according to chapter 25 of the Electric Substantive Rules , each electric company must test the accuracy of the meter for no charge to residents within a four year period.

Gatesville resident Crystal Brewer is also wanting to make sure her reads are accurate. Over the past month, she’s called and emailed TNMP multiple times, struggling to get in contact with someone.

“I asked them if they would come out and recalibrate our meter,” she said. “After an hour and a half on the phone today they finally agreed to do it.”

KWTX News 10 reached out to TNMP for comment on both the communication issues and extra charges for meter tests. A spokesperson referred us to the company’s handbook.

A page there says tests will be free of charge if a test has not been requested and performed in the previous four years.

For Head, she’s going to continue to try and fight this new expense.

“It’s not fair,” Head said. “There was a complete lack of communication across the board.”