Denver woman shocked after getting $800 electric bill for small apartment

Posted at 7:27 PM, Oct 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-24 22:04:16-04

ENVER -- Katie Jarrett isn't living large. The 23-year-old is hardly home, and when she is away, she tries to be energy efficient. 

That's why she is puzzled by her latest Xcel Energy bill showing she owes $800 for electricity-usage for her small, one-bedroom apartment.

Her problems started when she moved into her current apartment three months ago. Her first bill was just a little over $300, which she thought was a little high. So she called Xcel, and a representative told her that her meter might be malfunctioning and the company would look into the issue.

The next month, her bill once again jumped, this time it showed she owed $380. Then in September, she received a bill from Xcel for $400, and she says her meter was still not examined as promised.

Even more puzzling to Jarrett, her Xcel bills were showing she was using four times as much electricity as her neighbors. 

“It's really frustrating that I have to call over and over again and explain the story to so many different reps and hear the same thing. But nothing has been done,” said Jarrett. 

Denver 7 reached out to Xcel to see if previous tenants of Jarrett's unit saw similar issues. And indeed they were. A spokesperson for the company said the wild swings Jarrett is reporting was considered the normal electricity-usage for the unit in question until January 2017, but it was never reported until now.

Xcel said they are making efforts to get an expert to Jarrett's unit in the next day or two to troubleshoot and determine what might be the cause for the high bill. 

If Xcel finds Jarrett has been wrongfully billed, she will be refunded, the company said. In the meantime, Xcel has placed a hold on her bill and will continue to provide her services.