Customer service issues can be difficult for large companies to put the fire out and that is especially the case with electric companies.
Expectations are set that the price will be certain, determined, unchangeable but when that ends up not being the case the electric company gets blamed. Many times the energy provider becomes the target and rightfully so.
With this complaint I will admit $951.63 home electric bill when no one was residing in the house and the air conditioner was set to 78 seems unreasonably high.
I’m going to make it clear that Texas electric rates at this time were at historical highs and it was the hottest part of the summer.
A Higher Running A/C Can Drastically Add to Your Electric Bill
If the air conditioner was running inefficiently this could contribute to using more energy than was necessary. Each summer you have to have your air conditioner serviced to allow it to properly keep up in this Texas heat.
If a couple of summers go by and the air conditioner was not serviced this can be enough to cause your electric usage to go up quite a bit to attempt to get your air conditioner to cool your house when it is dirty, low on coolant, and hasn’t been serviced.
We don’t know if the air conditioner was or was not serviced so we can’t blame the air conditioner for sure.
Historical Jump in Electric Rates Contributed
Electric rates at this time could be contracted at for about 23 cents per kWh for a 12 month contract and this was where the market was at.
If the energy was not hedged and the contract rolled over to a variable month to month price off of a fixed contract the rate could have been at 30 cents per kWh.
At 30 cents per kWh using 1000 kilowatt hours of usage you would have a $300 electric bill and demand charges past through by the poles and wires company could raise that another $75. So lets say $375 should be the most she would have to pay if we are reasonable about this.
However, if her house was using 2,000 kilowatt hours of energy because the A/C was not running efficiently than that number would be at least double at $750.
In the hottest part of the summer my house has used 2,500 kilowatt hours of usage before.
At 2,500 kilowatt hours of usage this would put her at $750. Any energy demand charges past through by the poles and wires company could push this up to about $950.
I am not trying to blame the customer or blame Constellation New Energy but trying to get to the bottom of this complaint and what factors contributed to the customer not being satisfied.
Variable Prices Coming Off Contract are a Punch in the Nose
The customer had her expectations set that the price would be fixed or at least reasonable. I would say a lot of Texans have similar expectations so when those are dashed because of not realizing how dramatically an electric bill invoice can rise in total amount owed this makes it hard not to point the finger at the electric company.
We come to trust the brand we do business with. When they seemingly touch a vulnerable area such as our bank account we get angry, defensive, and we might rant on the internet. I get it. I would be tempted to do the same and at the very least be perplexed as to why I wasn’t at least warned sufficiently that something like this could happen.
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Donny has been writing about the deregulated energy markets since early 2007. His knowledge has helped consumers lower their electricity cost.