You were without power for days but your utility bill isn't any lower than last month's.
That's what many customers of Springfield City Utilities are finding as their latest CU bills appear in the mail this week.
The bills cover the period of the ice storm and are causing many to wonder why the bill doesn't reflect a discount.
Linda Henson of Springfield was shocked when she opened her December bill. She had no power for two weeks.
"I wasn't here for 13 days. There was nothing on for 13 days."
But Henson's bill showed an increase from last month. The gas portion alone was more than $200 even though her home is all electric except for the hot water tank. "And to find out that they estimated it on last year's bill instead of last month, was a big shock," she says.
Henson says in the last year, she has made some major improvements to make her home more energy efficient, winterizing windows with caulking and getting rid of a gas circulator. "They don't know who's winterized their houses or who's changed or who's done anything. So to me, it seems a little unfair," Henson stresses.
City Utilities says 50% of it's customers are getting estimated bills this month. Meter readers couldn't get out to read the meters during the ice storm because of safety concerns. They were also helping with power restoration during that time, says CU spokesman Mark Viguet.
"The end result of this is not going to be that they pay for electricity that they do not use because the bills will true up next month when we get a meter read and that is compared to their estimated read," said Viguet. "It will true up so no customers are going to pay anything that they do not owe.
Viguet says it will take another monthly billing cycle to make adjustments for everyone. But for now, you owe the amount on your bill. If you have special circumstances like Henson or any questions about your bill, Viguet says to call CU immediately.
Henson did call CU and was told she could pay 75% of the bill now and the remainder next month. Viguet says if you make special arrangements with CU, the 10% late charge will be waived. If your bill is estimated, it will say so on your statement.