Is Your Tri-Cities Utility Bill Suddenly Triple? This is Why
Tri-Cities Utility Customers Realize Huge Increase in Bill
Do you live in Tri-Cities Washington and notice that your utility bill was suddenly 3 times the regular amount? You are not alone and the problem has been identified.
The problem is with the new meters the city is using causing problems with their current system.
City of Richland Alerts Customers of Problem
Even though most customers probably reached out on their own, the City of Richland released a statement about the problem and how it is impacting the amount on current bills.
They say "The City of Richland is currently transitioning to a new Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) system and is aware of difficulties impacting some of our customer's utility bills."
Basically, the new meter system is not working with the old billing system correctly, causing overbilling.
Just How Big is This Bill Problem?
The city says that "we have identified challenges and solutions which we believe are isolated and only impact a small percentage of our customers. We want to immediately address these challenges and attempt to make direct contact with those affected customers."
The city says the problem is isolated but people online are showing that the problem could be much larger than a few people.
"My Bill Quadrupled, Now I Know Why"
In Facebook conversations about the issue, one person wrote "I know one person whose bill QUADRUPLED in price."
Another wrote "my bill quadrupled, now I know why. I knew there was no way I used over $600 for one month when I use gas to heat my home."
There were many people on a private Facebook post that had the same issue saying "me too" making this seem like a much larger problem.
Almost all the examples of bill amounts on the post were all between 3 and 4 times the regular amount. "My bill is usually around $300 to $350. My bill I just got is $548."
The City of Richland's Plan
The City of Richland says that they are now pausing the installation of more meters for "approximately two weeks while we work quickly to identify solutions to mitigate these issues."
They also released both a phone number and email to customers that feel they are impacted by the current meter problem.
You can reach them by email at email@example.com or by phone at 509-942-1104.
It sounds like this is more than a few customers with a statement near the bottom saying "customers may experience wait times due to high call volumes or email requests."
Are Kennewick or Pasco Affected by Bill Meter Mixup?
Right now neither city is also having these issues but it is something to be aware of if they are switching to new meters. I will be watching my bills closely for large changes for sure over the next couple of months.
The city of Richland says "we will make this right and apologize for the inconvenience to our customers." I hope they do and do it quickly. You can read the entire statement from the City of Richland by clicking here.