Customers up in arms over billing errors


Bob Allessio,
President & CEO,
New Britain, CT, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — February 18, 2008 – Customers of the Connecticut Natural Gas Corporation (CNG) have voiced their concern over billing errors which, according to the utility, were caused by three of its meter readers filing incorrect readings in November and December last year.

Close to 3,000 customers were under-billed as a consequence, and the CNG is trying to recover the money. Initially customers were asked to pay in the difference in a single month’s bill, causing some consumers financial hardship. Now the utility is suggesting that payment can take place over nine months, rather than in a single month. It estimates the total figure to be around $750,000.

The state Department of Public Utility Control is presently conducting an investigation into the situation, but has said it will soon make a preliminary decision about whether the CNG will be allowed to recover the money, and if yes how this should be achieved.

Last year the CMG announced plans to invest $10 million to automate its meter reading system in the Greater Hartford area, which will mean it can avoid such problems in the future. "The technology is an extremely efficient way to read our customers’ meters and will virtually eliminate estimated bills," Bob Allessio, President and Chief Executive Officer, said at the time of the announcement. "The project not only adds precision and convenience to the meter reading process, but also reinforces our company’s commitment to environmental stewardship."

CNG expects to begin reading meters electronically by July 2008.