Gatesville residents pay hundreds more on electric bills after meters change

Published: Aug. 18, 2022 at 9:32 PM CDT
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GATESVILLE, Texas (KWTX) - A complete shock for Gatesville resident Paige Burkham came in the mail.

She received her electric bill, alerting her that she owes over $600 for her one bedroom one bath home. Her last bill was just $94.

“Like our bill says we use like 4,000 kWh there’s just no way,” Burkham said.

On her bill is a nearly $200 charge for a “Texas New Mexico Power delivery charge” and she’s not the only one with the mysterious charge.

“There’s unexplained kilowatt usage and then an extreme dollar amount,” Gatesville resident Lee Jaynes said.

Jaynes, Burkham and resident Shirley Mullins all believe the new meters are to blame. Back in June, Texas New Mexico Power (TNMP) replaced most of the old 3G meters in Gatesville with new 5G ones.

KWTX News 10 reached out to a TNMP spokesperson for comment and they referred us to their website. A post there says TNMP may be charging people for usage two or three months after the switch of the meters.

The company says these reads are from earlier in the summer when Texas saw especially high temperatures.

“All I know is my light bill went up real quick and it’s like this ain’t right,” Mullins said.

Mullins saw her usage jump from 2,000 kWh in June to around 2,500 in July and August, after her meter were replaced.

“There’s elderly people and low income and it’s really just hitting them hard,” she said. “Some of them it’s a thousand dollars. There’s one lady I know that has a $1700 bill. That’s ridiculous.”

All three residents have already talked with their electric companies about their concerns, but they’re still just searching for answers.

“I think the attorney general needs to investigate,” Mullins said. “I think the utility company needs to investigate and I think our Governor Abbott needs to investigate what’s really going on around here.”