Duke Energypower bill is higher than expected

I have been a customer for over 30 years- It was called Duke Power when I first started service with them. I have a house and 2 rental properties with power through Duke Energy. I called costumer service in February 2017 to discuss why the Power Bill seemed to be so high. This has been the warmest winter we have had in the South (NC) this year. So you would think that the power bills would be lower than expected, but "NOT" true. Last 2 bills over $400. Which is double my average bill. Makes no sense to me. When I called in to discuss the situation I was told that my meter was changed out in 2004 . So I questioned that, not knowing that it had been changed out and I had lived at this Residents since 1999. I ask if the meter was changed out would I have received notice that it was changed. The answer was yes, I should have been made aware, which I wasn't. Another question I had was how they checked the meter and I was told they no longer read the meters by walking to the meter, they now just drive by and read them digitally. Then I ask wouldn't that mean that I needed a digital meter. The answer was yes, which I do not have. So I ask if they would come check my meter. I was then put on hold and when he returned I was told that they just didn't do that. We continued conversation about how this was a big concern and I wanted to know what we could do about this. I really felt that this was not a correct reading on my bill. Then the representative went back and looked at the previous months all the way back to December, January and February of 2016, a year ago. Last year the bill was between $300-$400, so the representative says so that is not really a big difference from last year. So I said so my bill this year is based on last years bill? The representative then said, no but when we compare they are close for that time of the year. Again, I explain that I don't have a digital meter which can be digitally read and the winter 2017 has been really warm, which would mean the Bill should be lower. Not to mention that I did not run heat pump on main floor at all. So then the rep says, well you may need to get your house inspected could be problems with wiring (this seems to be the popular
answer to all our problems in all of our houses cause this is what they tell everybody). So we all have wiring problems? I don't think so. I explained that we had house fire a little over 1 year ago and the house was rewired at that time. We had new windows put in. My house is not the problem. Again, I ask for someone to come and check meter and again I am told that they just don't do that. The person who drives by house would report problems with meter if there was an issue. I said how would the person reading the meter know there was a problem if he does not look at the meter. Then I am told that they pull in the driveway. We go back and forth about this issue and again I ask why someone can not just come check the meter and again I am told that they just don't do that. Apparently these reps are taught how handle customers and what to say to "Get us off their backs". At this point what do I do? They have me. If I don't pay this high bill I have no power. So I pay the Bill $400 plus. My next bill is also $400 plus. Due now. Unbelievable. On 3/10/2017 I get a notice stating that my meters at all of my residents will be changed out within the month. So now I feel like Duke Energy should now re-evaluate my bills from this winter, which I am sure they will not do, but I will be fighting for this. So my advice to anyone that is in the same situation to keep calling and asking questions. You what they say, "the squeaky wheels gets the answer or what she wants" Hope I can get a better solution to this problem. We will see.

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