Letters – Reader blasts city for high power bill


To the Editor:
Seriously?! What gives? Three years of living in a house in town now and I never cease to be amazed at the astronomically high electric bills we receive.

First – let me throw out the disclaimer that, yes, our house is all electric, so our bill would be higher then someone with gas, etc. Still, we moved from a 100-year-old farm house with no insul

ation that is about six miles from this house but (and this apparently makes all the difference in the world) we were not under the Lockhart city utilities. We never saw a bill over $250 in that house… ever.

We owned a 25-year-old house in Austin prior to that, and maybe saw a $250 electric bill three or four times over three years.

This current home, which was completely redone three years – with new everything – can”t seem to produce a bill under $250.

Two years ago, when we received a bill of $500, I called the city and asked them to come out and help me understand. Someone did come out, and they said there was nothing unusual with my meter or any of the appliances. I was just using too much electricity!

Even though we were out of town for 10 straight days during that billing period and never turned anything on or moved the “set well below normal” thermostat for those 10 days, we still managed to have a more-than-30-percent increase in one month!

I thought that was bad. Then sitting in the glow of my team”s Super Bowl win, one of our guests made a comment about having received a notice that their usage was extremely high this month and then when they finally got their bill, they were dumbfounded at how high it was.

I remembered getting that exact same notice and wondering why, since I know we had not adjusted anything crazy. That led me to ask others. Three of the seven people I asked had indeed gotten that notice.

When I went and looked at my bill laying unopened with our other household bills, I nearly had a heart attack. $650! That”s a mortgage payment! That”s an increase in a one month billing of more than 40 percent!

We used 40 percent more by not doing anything different?

My friends who live in Austin and Round Rock cannot believe we have ever gotten a bill over $300. They say that”s not possible. I don”t suppose there is a logical reason for this is there?

I can”t afford to pay $650 for one month of electric.

Really. And as much as I like the town of Lockhart – I don”t know that I can justify that kind of sacrifice. Not when I can live six miles away and save $400 a month by living the exact same way. Is there an explanation?
Randy Wachtel


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