Back-billing a concern for customers and regulators


US DollarsBellevue, WA, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — September 25, 2006 – Puget Sound Energy, a utility in Washington State with 1.4 million gas and electric customers, has recently sent out bills to customers who have been undercharged – or in some cases not charged at all – for their gas consumption.

The utility said that the problem had been caused by defective meters. The 32 complaints received this year represent only a small proportion of its 700,000 gas customers, but regulators say they are concerned – particularly in light of the fact that PSE had had back-billing problems two years ago.

State law stipulates that an energy utility must not allow more than two consecutive months to go by without sending a bill to a residential consumer. Some of the bills complained about cover several years of service and amount to thousands of dollars.