Power Outrage Meeting to be Held in Lufkin - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

04/11/07 - East Texas

Power Outrage Meeting to be Held in Lufkin

by Ramonica R. Jones

Some TXU electric customers in East Texas are upset about what they consider to be unusually high electric bills. TXU switched over to automated meters last October. Soon after, many residents started complaining about an increase in their bills.

Back in January, a small group of customers in Zavalla gathered to discuss their billing concerns. Then, in March, an organized meeting was held in Zavalla. Tonight, an even larger meeting is being held at the Pitser-Garrison Civic Center in Lufkin.

During last month's public meeting in Zavalla, many TXU customers thought the new digital meters were to blame.

One resident said, "I have a minimum charge of $8.92 a month and after they put in my new meter, I have a charge of $31.09 without touching it. This is a well pump, it's not used - it sits four miles out in the country."

But after TXU removed some of the meters and had an independent study done, they discovered the meters were working properly and not to blame for the high electric bills.

Susan Sowards said, "They feel like there is some transmission through the wire that is off and causing it to almost do a surge they're being charged for, when they only should be charged for a normal currency."

Susan Sowards is the district manager for State Representative Jim McReynolds' office. She said TXU officials have come up with a different reason for the high bills.

"If you would ask TXU - the bills that they brought in showed that it was in a very cold month, these are in of course a much milder month and the number's are different. The constituents certainly feel like there's another reason [for the high electric bills]."

Regardless of the reason, Angelina County residents want their bills to stop going up. They're hoping to see some changes in their next bill after tonight's Power Outrage forum.

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