Heat Wave Brings Electric Bill Sticker Shock To Many In Green Country

Thursday, August 25th 2011, 10:18 pm
By: News On 6

Emily Baucum, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma – Many of us cranked the AC for some relief from the historic heat wave. Now, we're paying the price.

Viewers reached out on our Facebook page to say their bills are hundreds of dollars more than they were expecting.

They all had the same question -- how are we going to afford it?

Even our power grids sweat from the workload as Green Country set records for utility usage.

"Usually in the summer the highest has been about $350," said Georgene Dwyer, Homeowner:

Dwyer says she expected this month's bill to be a little higher, but she wasn't prepared for a $600 bill. She did a double-take as she read the bill.

"I was just shocked. I was amazed and shocked. I thought, surely this is a mistake," she said.

Public Service of Oklahoma says make no mistake -- that's really what she owes. Dwyer learned that's because last month's bill was just an estimate.

"So then they put that rest of what was supposed to be last month onto this month," Dwyer said.

As thousands of homeowners also struggle with staggering utility bills. PSO expects many customers will ask to be put on a payment plan.

"It's not unusual to spread payments out over about three months to see if we can get people back on track in that amount of time," said PSO Spokesperson Stan Whiteford.

But if the bill will really break your budget PSO has another option.

"If your current bill is more than you can bear, you can consider getting on the average monthly payment program and they can make that happen this month," Whiteford said.

That's what Dwyer's doing -- knocking this month's bill from $638 to a more manageable $190. She's also paying more attention to the thermostat.

"I did kick it up a couple degrees when I'm gone," Dwyer said.

A small change in habit that will add up to big savings when next month's bill arrives in her mailbox.

PSO says if you know now you'll have problems paying this month's bill -- don't put it off. Give them a call and see what you can work out -- because the deals are only good for customers in good standing.