- Texas man arrested for powder-letter hoax
- Islamic State opens ‘marriage bureau’ for single jihadists
- Drone almost blocks California firefighting planes
- Tornado rips off roofs, downs trees near Boston
- GOP: Environmental rules keeping agents from accessing border
- John Kerry: Millions displaced by religious fighting in 2013
- Federal appeals court rules against Virginia’s gay marriage ban
- White House says Russia ‘losing’ war in Ukraine
- Hamas turns to North Korea for weapons deal, Iran for money
- Syrian casualties surge as jihadis consolidate
Michigan storm victims will see smaller power bills — later
Question of the Day
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Thousands of Michigan residents who lost power during last month's ice storm are getting jolted by their electricity bills.
Utility customers such as Jennifer Earls received estimated bills because the storm interfered with meter readings.
"It feels as if we are kicked as we are already down," said the 36-year-old Lansing resident who went days without power.
Earl told the Lansing State Journal her $161 bill from the Lansing Board of Water & Light is too high.
BWL and Consumers Energy officials said they are using estimated readings for many bills because the ice storm disrupted the utilities' ability to get the accurate meter readings typically used to calculate monthly bills. When they can't get those readings, the utilities in some cases rely on estimates that largely are based on usage for the same month the previous year.
Lower bills should be on the way, though, in the coming weeks. Crews have resumed meter readings, and the utilities expect to issue more accurate bills in the next cycle that will reflect reduced charges for those who went without power.
"We are receiving a number of inquiries, and we are attempting to respond to them from our customer service and Facebook," said Lansing Board of Water & Light spokesman Steve Serkaian. "Customers ... will have a more accurate bill in the next bill and any appropriate cost reduction."
Nearly 77,000 people lost power in the Lansing region — some for up to 11 days — following the Dec. 21-22 ice storm.
On both BWL's and Consumers Energy's bills, it states whether the bill amount is actual or estimated.
Information from: Lansing State Journal, http://www.lansingstatejournal.com
TWT Video Picks
By David Keene
Allowing states to innovate could reduce dependency on bureaucracy
- D.C. seeks to stay judge's order allowing gun owners to carry in public
- Hillary Clinton: Forget Obama, George W. Bush made her 'proud to be an American'
- Illegal immigrants demand representation in White House meetings
- Iraqi Christians rally at White House: 'Obama, Obama, where are you?'
- Tennessee Gov. Haslam slams White House for secret dump of illegals in his state
- White House defends Kerry failure to broker Middle East cease-fire
- Border surge puts Obama legacy on immigration at stake
- Report: 40% of weapons sent to Afghanistan are unaccounted for
- Babson College, BYU win top spots in Money magazine's college rankings
- White House says Russia 'losing' war in Ukraine
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq