• Report: #803876

Complaint Review: PPL Electric

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  • Submitted: Thu, December 01, 2011
  • Updated: Wed, February 05, 2014

  • Reported By: Anonymous — Tannersville Pennsylvania United States of America
PPL Electric
Internet United States of America

PPL Electric I believe I am being completely overcharged for my electric. Internet, Internet

*Consumer Comment: PPL Electric DOES read meters remotely.

*Consumer Comment: Here's a link to the PPL website....

*Consumer Comment: A little further thing you should do...

*Consumer Comment: If you decided your meter was NOT sending data...

*Author of original report: It just gets better

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We live in a modest home here in the Poconos. We've lived in the same house for the past seven years. Every year our electric bill has creeped higher and higher. When PPL's cap was lifted, we were told by them our electric bill would increase 35-40%. And it has. We applied for their WRAP program, where they come out and check out your house, even do energy saving repairs. They sealed cracks in our tounge and groove ceilings, they sprayed insulation in our attic and even changed out our hot water heater. And our bills continue to go up. We live in about 1700 square feet of the house. We just received a $499 electric bill for one month. ONE MONTH! When we called them in the past and asked them to come check on our meter, we were told it was working fine and that we have a SMART METER, which reports our electric use through the phone line. Well it must be really smart because we don't have a landline here - just two cellphones. We pay about $5000 a year in electric. I take home $550 a week from my job and now my electric bill accounts for almost an entire week's salary. I cannot believe we use that much electricity. Last year we replaced all of our old electric baseboards with brand new high energy efficient ones. Our bill went up. We replaced all of our lightbulbs with the squiggly ones. Our bill went up. We got rid of an extra fridge in the basement. Our bill went up. We never have our heat set higher than 67 or 68 degrees. Our bill went up. Our bill just keeps going up higher and higher. It's so stressful. We have two children to feed and support. None of our neighbors get bills higher than $150 or $175 a month, yet ours is now $499. We were on the 'budget' plan and paying $320 a month year round until the cap came off. Now every month it's more and more. I feel like we are being ripped off and it's really starting to affect our quality of life. Someone please suggest what we should do. I feel like we are being held hostage by PPL.


This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 12/01/2011 05:31 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/PPL-Electric/internet/PPL-Electric-I-believe-I-am-being-completely-overcharged-for-my-electric-Internet-Inter-803876. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
1Author 4Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

PPL Electric DOES read meters remotely.

AUTHOR: spektyr - (United States of America)

I am also a PPL customer and last year I had similar suspicions about my analog meter having remote read capability. I purchased an Efergy e2 inductive power monitor and installed it on the mains going into my breaker box. This unit gives me an almost real time indication (updates every 10 seconds) of my current power usage. It also has a USB data connection and power management software I use to map my hourly/daily/monthly power usage. Being it works inductively and doesnt adjust to voltage variations on the mains it is not completely accurate put it is close enough to confirm that the readings I see on the PPL web site for my account correspond with my actual usage. This proves that PPL is getting the readings remotely from my meter. If you look closely at the side of your meter you will see an electronic circuit board just behind the cover plate below the armature disk. This is what I believe to be the remote reading module.

I do identify with what you are going through. I too have a house with electric everything in the Poconos, which makes winter the most expensive month of the year. Fortunately for me I live alone and only heat rooms that I frequently use, keeping them at about 60 degrees and dressing warmly to compensate. Ive also discovered that the addition of ceiling fans to rooms with electric baseboard heaters helps spread the heat faster and keep them consistently warm. The use of programmable thermostats programmed to cut down the heat overnight, the coldest period of the day, in unoccupied rooms actually helps bring my electric bill down a bit. This past winter was warmer than 2011 but I was able to keep my electric bills at or below $200, as opposed to winter 2011, just after I moved here from NYC and didn't know what I was doing, when I was paying upwards of $400.

I hope this helps. If not . . . sorry!
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#2 Consumer Comment

Here's a link to the PPL website....

AUTHOR: Ken - (USA)

It says, among other things, that PPL implemented smart meter technology for all of its 1.4 million customers in 2002.  Your meter DOES send data to them.

http://www.pplelectric.com/NR/rdonlyres/29EB70A4-3D44-465D-BAA1-E50D2B7F89C0/0/SmartMeterPlan.PDF
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#3 Consumer Comment

A little further thing you should do...

AUTHOR: Ken - (USA)

Record your meter readings and see if they agree with PPL's.

Your bill should show previous and current readings and when they were posted.  You may want to check PPL's website and see if it's possible to check your readings there too. 

Revenue grade meters are almost NEVER off by much more than plus or minus 1/2%. That is the grade your provider MUST use. 

I don't think you'll find any problems, but at least you'll know what you need to know.

Peace.
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#4 Consumer Comment

If you decided your meter was NOT sending data...

AUTHOR: Ken - (USA)

because the dial is analog.....that's odd because my gas meter is analog and it DOES send data by cell service.  I can check my gas usage online on a daily basis...really neat.

I also have rooftop solar panels and the meter associated with it also sends data by cell service to the company I lease it from. 

Rates continue their rapid rise, and with your larger house and electric heat, your bill will continue to rise. Can you lower the heat in lesser used rooms?

There really is no magic bullet to save a significant amount by changing.  A fixed wattage input to your baseboard heaters gives a fixed amount of heat.  There isn't a great deal of difference in energy used.

The nameplate on the heaters shows the amount of power used and I would bet your new "high efficiency" units aren't much different from your older ones.

"None of our neighbors get bills higher than $150 or $175 a month, yet ours is now $499."

How many neighbors did you ask and do they have similar size and construction houses and use electric heat? 

I would bet you're not being "singled out" for higher bills or overcharged for energy you're not using.

Your earnings or the number of children you have to feed and support have anything to do with this.

You've done a number of right things to help control your costs, but the sad fact of life is, energy costs just keep going up.  Government regulations on emissions contribute heavily to this.

We put in an 8kw solar system and have really cut our monthly bill, but the system was very costly.

I'm not criticizing you, just trying to tell it like it is.
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#5 Author of original report

It just gets better

AUTHOR: Kim Markou - (United States of America)

Also - adding to my original complaint. My husband and I have been calling PPL for years and asking them to come check out our meter. We were told over the phone the meter is fine. We have also asked repeatedly how they get an 'actual' reading when no one has ever, in seven years, stepped foot on our property to 'read' our meter. We were told we have a 'smart meter', as I mentioned previously. I did a little research after I wrote my original complaint, and learned our meter is, in fact, an analog meter. It is not digital. It is not a smart meter at all. So for the past seven years, our 'actual' readings are not from a smart meter and no one is reading our meter. So is PPL just guessing at how much electricity we are using? I plan on calling them to find out exactly how they have determined how, after we replaced every single baseboard heater, the hot water heater, added new insulation and switched out all the light bulbs, we are using more electricity.
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