Four contract meter readers were terminated after CPS Energy found they entered fraudulent meter data. The fake reads impacted the bills of several thousand customers, causing the vast majority to be over billed while others were under billed.
“We find this breach of ethics totally unacceptable and apologize to our customers for the resulting confusion in billing,” said Executive Vice President Jelynne LeBlanc Burley. “We immediately notified the contractor as soon as we were aware of the violation of our practices, and the contractor took immediate action. We’re pleased with that. We have put tighter checks in place to ensure all meter reading work is being reviewed with even greater scrutiny and more frequently.”
Customers impacted by the fake meter reads saw bills that may have been extremely low for one month or more, and then increased dramatically, or vice versa. The result will be bill credits for most of the affected customers. For those customers with higher than expected balances due to being under billed, CPS Energy is currently offering payment arrangements or payment extensions.
The inaccurate meter reads could have occurred anytime between the months of January through May of this year, which coincides with the employment dates of the former contract meter readers. The reads took place on routes scattered throughout Greater San Antonio but within Loop 1604.
“We are working to contact customers whose bills have not already been resolved. If you received corrected bills from us, then you were likely affected. If your bill is higher due to normal summer weather, there is no need to contact us. With temperatures in the nineties, many customers are using more air conditioning and their higher bills are not connected to this issue,” said LeBlanc Burley.
Customers with corrected bills will receive a series of bills for any month that was affected, including previous months, in the same envelope. Bills for previous months are included to allow the customer to see the corrections made and to provide them with accurate records. The bill for the most recent month is the most important and will include any remaining credits or balances.
Customers with unusual bills may call customer service at (210) 353-2222 if they need to set up special payment arrangements or extensions. Customer service representatives are available 7:30 a.m. until 8:30 p.m. Monday thru Friday and on Saturday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. for residential customers.