Families hit with large Er­gon es­ti­mate bills

Whitsunday Times - - NEWS -

ER­GON En­ergy has been praised for its mam­moth ef­forts to re­store power across the re­gion af­ter Trop­i­cal Cy­clone Deb­bie but that ap­pre­ci­a­tion is wear­ing thin in some com­mu­ni­ties, as families have re­turned home to find mas­sive elec­tric­ity bills.

From Bowen to Sa­rina, the com­pany has is­sued state­ments with charges hun­dreds of dol­lars more than usual.

Con­fused at what could’ve caused such large us­age, a few con­tacted Er­gon En­ergy only to dis­cover they had been dealt an ‘es­ti­mate’ af­ter meter read­ing ser­vices had been stopped be­cause of flood­wa­ter.

There was no meter read­ing in im­pacted ar­eas, in­clud­ing from Mackay to Ayr. “In these ar­eas, cus­tomers who were due to be billed will re­ceive es­ti­mated bills and these will be based on the ac­tual premise read­ings from the same time last year or pre­vi­ous reads,” Er­gon said.

Oth­ers also ques­tioned the $11.50 meter ser­vice charge - con­sid­er­ing the bills were es­ti­mated.

In spe­cial cir­cum­stances, Er­gon En­ergy does al­low house­holds to “self meter read”, but said they would “al­ways con­tact cus­tomers in these sit­u­a­tions”.

An Er­gon spokesper­son said “bills will be ad­justed af­ter the next ac­tual meter read is recorded”.

PHOTO: CAMERON LAIRD

HIGH COSTS: Er­gon En­ergy crews work­ing on power lines at Strathdickie in the af­ter­math of TC Deb­bie.

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