Under-billing of factory costs utility $350K

GREENWOOD — Greenwood Utilities has taken a $350,000 hit after under-billing a local furniture factory for 15 years before the mistake was caught.

The Greenwood Commonwealth reports it received the details of under-billing after filing a public records request.

The newspaper said the city-owned facility last March notified the John-Richard furniture factory that its account had been set up incorrectly in July 1996.

Greenwood Utilities said the factory owed $475,077 in under-billed usage. The utility and John-Richard eventually settled for $121,495, which covered the under-billed usage over the previous three years.

Greenwood Utilities said the error was caused by an incorrect multiplier during the meter installation in 1996.

Industry leaders said meters are not equipped to read the large amounts of power used by industries. To account for that, engineers calculate a multiplier that is applied to the amount the meter reads to determine how much power was used.

Greenwood Utilities said its resolution with John-Richard was consistent with settlements of similar problems by other utilities.

“While the circumstances that gave rise to this error are rare, they have occurred with most electric utilities,” the utility said in a statement. “In response, Greenwood Utilities has reviewed and updated all policies and set in place an improved system of account checks and audits, which should prevent this type of problem from recurring.”

The utility has also started using an independent contractor to verify commercial accounts on a periodic basis.

Greenwood Utilities said there are no other current instances of similar problems on other accounts.

[RSS Feed] [del.icio.us]



To sign up for Mississippi Business Daily Updates, click here.

POST A COMMENT

 

Twang & Tourism: The Country Music Trail

Our annual "Come See Us" magazine offers ideas for spots in Mississippi ranging from golf to culture to history to food. Click the photo for ideas, stories and access to the digital edition of this year's magazine.

FOLLOW THE MBJ ON TWITTER

Top Posts & Pages

%d bloggers like this: