Woman’s energy bill quadrupled after Xcel installed new meter
DENVER — People around the Denver metro area are talking about new meters being installed by Xcel Energy in homes and saying they seem to be anything but smart.
However, Xcel says these new meters are not “smart meters,” even though many customers believe they are. The company has asked regulators for permission to start installing those types of meters starting next year.
One customer, Patsy Smith, lives in a 700-square-foot home and said she is conscientious about her energy use by unplugging things when they are not in use.
But with the new meter, her bill jumped from an average of $50 a month to $180. She has called Xcel several times, but it said there is nothing that can be done about her bill.
After sharing Smith’s story, the FOX31 Problem Solvers heard from many other Xcel customers who saw bills go up after new meters were installed.
The Problem Solvers have reached out to Xcel and we’ll be talking with them Tuesday to get answers about what could be going on. We’ll share those details in this story and on FOX31 Denver News at 5:00.
This month, Xcel said Smith used more than 1,100 kilowatts of electricity, up from her average of 300. According to Xcel’s website, that’s more than a small commercial business uses in an average month.
“That’s impossible,” she said.
It’s also about four times more electricity use than her highest month.
“I thought it was a mistake,” she said.
Smith said she has called Xcel three times and time she was told that it was normal.
“I will have to work my hours just to pay my electric bill and I’m working quite a few right now,” she said.