Sask. woman issued $1,500 bill after error by SaskPower
Candace Caisse couldn’t believe she got a $1,500 charge on her power bill last month.
“My jaw dropped,” she said. “I was quite surprised of the amount of the bill.”
The bill was more than six times higher than what she’s normally charged by SaskPower at her home in Air Ronge. Instead of paying, she got on the phone with the company to discuss the charge.
“I said, ‘This is impossible. My bill has never been this high and I’ve lived here for over 30 years,” Caisse said in an interview on Monday.
When she phoned SaskPower, she says she was first asked whether it could have resulted from an appliance or power source in her home. She was then asked to go and check her power meter outside. After reading the numbers and sending them into SaskPower, the company found they had made a mistake and adjusted her bill.
Caisse posted what happened on Facebook and the post was shared hundreds of times.
“All of the sudden, all these comments and likes and shares.”
SaskPower says they conduct roughly 1.7 million meter reads each year. They say mistakes are rare but can happen.
“One thing we do see from time to time is an issue where the data entered was not accurate. There might be an issue with it of some sort,” explained Jordan Jackle from SaskPower’s media relations and issues management section.
SaskPower will flag bills that are unusually high and credit customers if they are overbilled.
Jackle says customers can take their own monthly meter readings to monitor usage and ensure accuracy. If there’s still a dispute over a bill, the meter can be tested.
New technology will also reduce errors.
“Future meters and smart meters down the road are able to be transmitting that data at more regular intervals, so we’re not relying on estimates based on quarterly meter readings. We’re relying on actual power usage.”