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.
BEFORE YOU GO…
… we’d like to ask for your support. More people are reading the Mississippi Business Journal than ever before, but advertising revenues for all conventional media are falling fast. Unlike many, we do not use a pay wall, because we want to continue providing Mississippi’s most comprehensive business news each and every day. But that takes time, money and hard work. We do it because it is important to us … and equally important to you, if you value the flow of trustworthy news and information which have always kept America strong and free for more than 200 years.
If those who read our content will help fund it, we can continue to bring you the very best in news and information. Please consider joining us as a valued member, or if you prefer, make a one-time contribution.Click for more info