I won’t need any electricity this month, thanks.

At one time or another, all of us have experienced a problem with our electrical power company. Some of us have had these unfortunate experiences on more than one occasion. If you live on the East Coast, for example, you know you’re going to have at least one problem pretty much every year.

Usually, the issue is a power outage due to the weakness of the electrical grid. When the grid is taxed by high winds, storms, high air conditioning usage during a drought or any of a variety of things, its vulnerability becomes painfully apparent. Of course, there’s also the problem of ridiculously high rates, and some homeowners have become tired enough of these costs that they’ve started generating their own power with solar panels and wind turbines.  

But of all the things I’ve heard of regarding problems with utility companies, I think this one takes the cake. Some families in Queens, New York, who had their homes completely destroyed by Hurricane Sandy were still being billed by the power company for seven months after their home was gone.

Queens resident Kiernan Burke was charged $1,600 for gas and electricity usage over a seven-month period – AFTER his home burned to the ground. Some are saying that the homes in Burke’s neighborhood burned to the ground because the utility company failed to turn off the power before the storm struck. Even if that’s not true, how could a power company continue to bill residents when their houses did not even exist?

In this AOL News article “$1,600 Utility Bill for Home Leveled During Hurricane Sandy.”  this is exactly what happened.  The company eventually told Burke he wasn’t responsible for the bill, but now he’s concerned about how this experience has negatively affected his credit rating. 

How often have you experienced a power outage in your current home? How long does it usually last? What other experiences have you had with your power company – good or bad? Do you have faith in your power company, or has it proved to be unreliable? I hope to hear from you about this.

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