Richmond residents paying for meter reading mistake

RICHMOND, Ky. (WKYT) - Officials with Richmond Utilities say some people living in the Barnes Mill Road area have higher-than-normal bills after gas meters were read inaccurately low during the winter.

Even though the utility service says the mistake is their fault, their customers will still have to pay the difference.

Richmond Utilities crews manually read water and gas usage for about 4,000 customers. But during this past winter, some gas meter readings came in inaccurately low, meaning people were paying for less gas than they actually used.

"I did have one customer that brought it to my attention," said Richmond Utilities general manager Scott Althauser on Wednesday. "They thought their bills were low during the cold period, so that's when we got investigating, and found the issues."

They're taking full responsibility, and say they're genuinely sorry. But the difference still needs to be paid.

"We're not here to over charge anybody, we are only here to charge them what they used," said Althauser.

The company is now working to convert both water and gas meters to an automatic system to avoid another situation like this from happening again.

In the meantime, customers along two to four different routes throughout the city will have to pay for winter gas they thought they already covered.

"We only charge for what is used, and to be fair we try to provide the services at the most efficient, economical level," said Althauser. "We're not a private business."

Richmond Utilities administrators say they will work with people who need more time to pay these surprise amounts from the winter.

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