Featured Article

CNG at Odds with Attorney General
Article Audio

1:21 minutes (0.65 MB)
Download this Article
Share this Content

Connecticut Natural Gas is sparring with the Attorney General over billing errors that left customers owing hundreds of dollars to the utility. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

Connecticut Natural Gas says three of its meter readers made errors in November and December – mistakes that led to customers being undercharged. The three have since been fired, but questions remain about whether and how the utility should recoup the money. CEO Robert Allessio spoke at a hearing held by the Department of Public Utility Control:

"Approximately 1.7% of our accounts, or 2,600customers received bills in November and December which were lower than their usage, followed by bills in January and February that accurately reflected the customer usage over the affected billing cycles."

And it’s those extra charges to make up the shortfall that are at issue. Attorney General Richard Blumenthal contends that CNG should be forced to absorb the expense, estimated at three quarters of a million dollars, because it attempted to make customers repay the cash in one month.

In the annals of overbilling this incident is in a league of its own because the company continues to deny that it broke the law.

The utility now says it will allow customers who haven’t paid nine months to settle the extra bills. The Department of Public Utility Control meanwhile, say CNG was at fault because it knew about the error by January 7th, but failed to inform regulators until the end of that month. The DPUC says it will rule soon on if and how CNG will be allowed to collect the extra cash.