The Public Utility Commission gets hundreds of letters every year. This one struck me as interesting.
Mr. and Mrs. Reyes’s have been accused of tampering with their electric meter. They wrote a letter to the Commission saying they were improperly billed and the consumer protections were violated.
Here are the 8 points covered in the letter.
- Has CenterPoint Energy met its burden of proof that readings of Mr. and Mrs. Reyes’s meter were inaccurate due to Mr. and Mrs. Reyes’s actually doing the meter tampering? P.H.C. Subst. R. 25.I26 puts the burden of proof on CenterPoint to prove meter tampering and pursuant to P.U.C. Subst. R 25.128(d)(l) makes clear that CenterPoint must prove that it was the customer, Mr. and Mrs. Reyes who caused the meter to be tampered, with. As applied under the applicable prior rules.
- If Mr. and Mrs. Reyes are liable for under billed electric usage amount for the designated period, has CenterPoint correctly estimated has usage for the period in question.
- Has CenterPoint violated any substantive Rules or Tariffs in association with Mr. and Mrs. Reyes’s account.
- Did Reliant violate any Commission substantive rules with respect to Mr. and Mrs. Reyes’s account.
- Did CenterPoint correctly bill Reliant for the Reyes account.
- Did Reliant have a duty to ensure that the over billing was done in compliance with applicable rules..
- What is the proper amount that Mr. and Mrs. Reyes should have been billed.
- Is this case distinguishable from Sonya Pantoja vs. Centerpoint PUC Docket 35455 where it involves meter tampering under the pre 2010 P.U.RC. Subst. R. 25.480(e)(1).
Tampering with electricity meters is very dangerous and could cost thousands in fines. There have been stories about people buying a home then all the sudden are hit with fines from the utility company because of tampering. In some causes it was the previous owner who had tampered with the meter and it was not caught for months.
Determining who tampers with an electric meter is not easy as there has to be lines of evidence. If no one is talking and there are is no camera footage showing what occurred it can be difficult to get to the bottom of the matter.
Whether or not Mr. and Mrs. Reyes’s have tampered with the meter or not is yet to be seen. The process will take it’s course and the Public Utility Commission of Texas will get to the bottom of this.