California customers billed for power during shutoff

EL DORADO COUNTY, Calif. (KMAX, KOVR, CNN) – Why should customers pay for something they don’t use? That’s a question many Californians are asking right now.

These people are being billed for power during a shutoff, and they’re less-than-pleased.

PG&E customer Shawna Turner lost power for more than a week in October. She checked the bill for each day she was in the dark and was surprised to find charges for estimated usage on those days.

She said, “Estimated, estimated, estimated and then down and we use the same amount of power. I want to know why I’m getting billed. I had no power.”

People all over the El Dorado County area have taken to social media, saying they had the same problem.

When PG&E was asked why people have estimated charges on days, there was no power? They said, “This should not be happening.”

Some people noticed a message on their online account saying online usage data may temporarily reflect estimated, not actual usage.

In the meantime, Turner is telling others to keep a close eye on their next bill. “Check your bill guys, PG&E is charging us.”

The confusion over billing comes less than a month after the most recent power shutoff during which local businesses suffered big losses and people scrambled to charge medical equipment.

To help alleviate struggles during these shutoffs, PG&E has offered homeowners a $100 credit if they went more than 48 hours without power.

As of Wednesday evening, many people said they have yet to see that credit.

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