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TROUBLESHOOTERS: Answers for renter whose power bill soared

READ MORE: TROUBLESHOOTERS: Answers for renter whose power bill soared
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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Power bills tend to go up during winter, but one Wilmington man cannot understand why his bill has tripled when he has essentially turned off his power.

Louis Williams has lived in an apartment at a Wilmington home since May. Until recently, his electric bill has been low, but in January, it was more than $200. In February, it skyrocketed to more than $300, and that's after he took steps to cut costs.

"Each time it goes up I try to cut back on electrical use, but it's like the more I decrease my electrical use, the higher my bill goes," Williams said.

Williams called Progress Energy to find out if there's a problem with his meter, but there's a roadblock. The bill is not in his name. His landlord receives the bill for his unit and shows Williams what he owes. He tried to get the account information, but he says she would not give it to him.

"It's hard for me to take ownership of the problem and try to deal with it myself when I'm not getting any kind of help from her," Williams said.

We called his landlord, Johnny Mae Pridgen, to try and get answers. Turns out, the power bill is in her grandfather's name, but he died 26 years ago.

We then contacted Progress Energy. The company is investigating, because an account cannot be in the name of someone who died. Because of that, Pridgen is going to put the account in her name, because Williams is moving in May. But she will give Williams the account information so he can go to Progress Energy's website and use its free online Home Energy Audit, which will give him a breakdown of his home energy usage to help determine whether something is wrong.

If you think your power bill is higher than it should be, you can check out Progress Energy's online tool as well.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

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Utility bill

My utility bill in Southport runs well over $500 a month and I simply don't make enough money to pay it. Every month is a struggle because I have to decide whether to eat or keep my utilities on. Since I am not earning enough to pay the full amount when it's due, I get fees for being late, disconnect fees, and now one for tampering because I turned my water on and off to repair the broken pipe under my sink!! Despite having receipts for the supplies I bought to repair the major pipe fail, the City Manager, refuses to take the charge off. That means that my utilities are going to be turned off tomorrow because I surely don't have $845 dollars. Last month it was almost $1000 to keep the utilities on.

I'm a college graduate with a BA in Elementary Education and the majority of my time is spent looking for a job in the education field, while in the meantime working in retail. I taught for eleven years before opting to stay at home to raise my son.

Southport was my hometown. I was born and raised here and never imagined wanting to leave. The true Southport is no more. For me it's all because of my utility costs and the way that I am treated whenever I have to deal with the Southport Finance Office.

Some don't

I believe Osprey Landing Apartments near Greenfield Lake have one meter for about 6 apartments and the bill is divided up between the 6 residents. It is a step towards socialism where you can pay for what electricity you and your neighbors use.

So what do you do when there are 14 illegals...

...living in one apartment next door to a single person in this situation? The 14 illegals use 14x as much power AND water AND sewer, but pay the same as the single guy?

Bend over or move.

Bend over or move.

Progress Energy

Don't call them with a problem, they have the WORST customer service on the planet. Every time I call with a problem or a question, I have to keep hanging up until someone that sounds educated and helpful picks up...

Each apartment should be metered separately.

If she has true "apartments, they should have their own unique circuitry along with their own unique meter. That meter should be transferred to the tenants name upon rental of the property.
Otherwise, there is no possible way to tell how much power each tenant is using. She must have "community" power and is dividing the bill to suit herself. Not a good way to do a rental business and it may even be illegal.

seems to me, that somehow,

seems to me, that somehow, someone is using power that is charged to his meter.