Man’s bill doubles after Westar Energy installs new meter

(KSN file photo)
(KSN file photo)

JUNCTION CITY, Kan. (KSNT) – It all started when Alfonso Pagan says Westar Energy replaced his old mechanical meter with a digital meter. After that, he received a bill saying he owed $338. But before the digital meter was installed he says his bill was averaging about $170 a month.

“There’s a struggle paying this bill,” Pagan said.

It came as quite a shock. A Westar Energy worker came to Pagan’s home and told him everything looked fine and that his bill was higher because the new meters are more accurate.

“More accurate I would consider it to be a small difference,” Pagan said. “It wouldn’t be that much.”

Pagan called us after struggling to get answers. He called the energy company countless times and never got any help.

“Our goal is to always provide that answer and that great customer service each time a customer calls,” Westar Energy’s Media Relations Manager, Gina Penzig said. “In this case, we could have done better.”

We asked the electric company why his bill is so high.

“With anything that is mechanical, sometimes it slows down over time,” Penzig said. “And so it might have been not recording full use.”

But, Pagan’s not taking that for an answer. After we got involved, workers came to his home to install an amp meter and voltage meter to measure Pagan’s actual energy usage.

Now he’s left to wait to see if the new meter’s bad or he really is using more energy.

Pagan says workers estimated his bill this month to be about $150 after measuring the amount of energy he’s been using so far. He says workers will be at his home on Thursday to take the amp meter which will allow workers to see what other factors in his house could be raising his energy bill.

KSNT News will continue looking into this issue and let you know if the energy company finds any problems. Westar Energy says they’re scheduled to have all home meters upgraded by the end of 2018. Currently about 55% of customers have the new digital meters.

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