Glitch causes High Point utility bills to snowball

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HIGH POINT, N.C. — Louise Thompson and her husband, Morris, need a predictable monthly budget, so they signed up for the Equal Payment Plan through the city of High Point’s Electric Utilities Department, the News & Record reported.

It was a perfect fit for their Social Security income. The city predicted their annual electricity and water use and created a monthly average. If the Thompsons used less than predicted, they’d get a check at the end of the year. If they used more, the city would increase the average payment the next year to cover the previous year’s difference.

So for a couple of years they’ve paid about $205 a month for utilities.

That allowed them to sail through the expensive cold winters and hot summers that play havoc on a fixed income.

But despite that careful planning, havoc came their way in April.

Without explanation, they received a utility bill for $835.47.

“When I saw that $835 I went up the ceiling,” Louise said. “That’s something that would shock you to see. Where am I going to get that much?”

READ MORE: News & Record