Almost a month ago, we talked to John Anderson about his $245.00 gas bill. At 8 AM, the day after our interview, John had some visitors from CenterPoint.
"They showed up at 8 o'clock the next morning, and left a note hanging on the door to show that they actually physically were here and read the meter," says John Anderson, an 18 year CenterPoint Energy customer.
A reading that was like night and day from one the last month, this one showing John barely used any gas at all.
"This reading, which then showed up on the next bill, showed that I only used 7 CCF's and as you recall the previous bill showed that I used 239 CFF's. Now you tell me and I don't have any way of logically understanding how I can do from 239 to 7. So my $245 bill dropped to 15 dollars this month," says John.
For January's bill, John was charged for a gas adjustment of 239 CCF's at a rate of about 57 cents. In February the adjustment was only 7 CCF's at 34 cents.
"The thing that I'm concerned about. They used the highest consumption month to use the highest gas adjustment," says John.
But CenterPoint officials say customer's gas usage is causing the high bills not their rates.
"A persons's individual usage is something have no idea about and no control over. We don't even try to understand how someone used their gas at their homes 24 hours a day," says Fred Carl, CenterPoint District Manager.
Still customers wonder how their usage could vary so much from month to month.
"I have talked, because of the interview, to dozens of people who have said exactly the same thing, that they got hammered by the high bill," says John.
"We still contend totally that our rates are correct, our processes are correct, and our billing is correct, and have been as they have been forever," says Fred.