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First Energy customer receives bill more than double usual cost, company says cold blast to blame

Posted at 5:49 PM, Feb 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-21 17:50:17-05

When Jennifer Musick opened her more than $600 energy bill this month, her first thought was, "this must be a mistake."

"Did the payment not go through from last month? This is typically double, plus some what it would be," said Musick.

News 5 tracked down several other First Energy customers with the same problem - bills double any others they'd ever received.

Musick was further shocked, because she says she's gone above and beyond to make her home energy efficient.

"We don't run any businesses out of here, have the average appliances, I don't cook, so there's no electricity going around dinner time," said Musick.

To keep electricity costs low for her 2,700 square foot home, she bought a wood boiler for heat.

"Our furnaces run, the wood boiler is the source, we have the electricity that blows it," she said.

"It's based on the usage and the usage is higher, because it was much colder than its been the last couple years here in Ohio," said Mark Durbin a First Energy spokesperson.

Durbin says in addition to the freezing temperatures causing people to use more heat, sometimes it was too cold to even go out and read the meters, so the company had to take estimates.

"Maybe we estimated one month, didn't estimate maybe as high as we should have because it really was cold, so then we put the actual amount on there and that might represent a higher bill than somebody was expecting," he said.

Musick says she's still not buying it.

"It is double what it was last year, and I'm sure the winter is a little bit colder, but to be double is very concerning," she said.

First Energy is encouraging customers who have questions to contact the company at 1-800-589 3101.