Storm-Ravaged LIPA Customers Getting Hit With Regular Bills: “It’s simply criminal”

Posted by on Nov 24, 2012 at 1:05 pm

Honestly, what do people expect from a government-run utility? They should send their complaints to Governor Cuomo.

LIPA customers who spent weeks without power got zapped with their normal electric bills — as if the outages never happened.

The clueless utility charged Sandy-soaked Long Island residents an estimated rate that covered the entire billing cycle, and the statements made no mention of potential refunds to account for the prolonged blackouts.

Jonathan Saporta was slapped with a double whammy by the Long Island Power Authority — a $649 bill for the Long Beach home he left in October and a $281 bill for his new Great Neck pad.

He also is expecting a $1,700 bill for his storm-ravaged restaurant, Jake’s Wayback Burger, which is in hard-hit Long Beach and remains without power.

Those are normal sized bill for a month? Good Lord, no wonder these people hate LIPA.

“I can’t get LIPA to acknowledge my existence on earth to talk to me about anything,” he ranted. “But I guess they had power, so they could print my bills. Nice, right?”

Saporta, 33, moved to the Great Neck home on Oct. 1 and got the bill in the mail on Wednesday for a cycle covering 43 days — including the two weeks he spent in the dark following the Oct. 29 storm.

Even though he switched his account to the new address on Sept. 26, he still received an e-mail bill for the Long Beach house on Nov. 10 — and somehow it was $390 more than the previous month.

“I am not paying any of my bills, that much I promise,” said Saporta. “They can put me into collections, and I’ll fight them tooth-and-nail.

“It’s simply criminal.”

Just watch, though, as soon as he’s past due he can kiss his power goodbye.

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8 Responses to “Storm-Ravaged LIPA Customers Getting Hit With Regular Bills: “It’s simply criminal””

  1. Rick Caird on 24/24/12 at 2:34 pm

    LIPA does not have sovereign immunity. They may find their billing to end up being quite expensive to them.

  2. wagnert in atlanta on 24/24/12 at 7:13 pm

    Well, what do you expect? Their smart meters got all dumb after being without power for 24 hours. They had to do something.

  3. John on 24/24/12 at 8:14 pm

    I used to live on Long Island. LIPA is allowed to charge you for NOT using electricity.

    If the winter is warm and people use less energy for heat, they simply put a $150 “weather adjustment” on each bill. I called to ask about it and was told that they are entitled to charge me whether I use energy or not. So I would simply crank the heat and open the windows. If I’m paying for it, you can be darn sure I’ll use it.

  4. Aarradin on 25/25/12 at 3:08 pm

    Look, no one is billed a dime for electricity that they haven’t ALREADY CONSUMED.

    Its not like cable tv, where you pay a monthly fee in advance, and don’t get any consideration on the amount in the event of a service disruption. With electricity, you get billed AFTER you have consumed the product, based on what you actually consume.

    Those bills the people are receiving are for electricity they consumed prior to the storm. They are being billed NOTHING for the duration of any outages they experienced because, unlike flat fee services like cable tv, with electricity you only pay for what you use. So, if the power is out, your meter isn’t turning, right? If you aren’t consuming any electricity due to an outage, you don’t get charged anything.

    @John If that’s true, that’s pretty f’d up. Yet another reason I’m glad to be living in a state run by Republicans. I can assure you: nothing like that is legal in the Commonwealth of Virginia. I did see something in MD recently where they are trying to add a surcharge for storm cleanup to your electric bill (basically, if there’s a big storm, the company would calculate the cost, prorate it over several months, and add it to your bill). I’m not sure if that got passed or if its still in the works. Seems odd to me though: whenever there’s a big storm, you get the feds to declare it an “extreme storm” and FEMA (ie. federal taxpayers) pick up the tab for the whole thing.