How our electricity bills are calculated has always baffled me. I know there is a formula power companies use to determine about how much juice me and my family use every month but that formula can sometimes create anomalies that we, the power-consuming public just don't understand.

I believe a misunderstanding is to blame for recent confusion many SLEMCO users have reported concerning their latest power bills. Granted the weather has been unbelievably hot over the past month so an increase in the bill shouldn't be that unexpected. However, some SLEMCO users told KLFY that their bills had almost doubled from last month to this month.

There is a reason why and it harkens back to the formula many power companies, such as SLEMCO, use to calculate your bill.

When you compare what happened in Acadiana between this month and last month there is one big difference. Last month there was a hurricane. That meant the utilities such as SLEMCO had to focus their efforts on power restoration and not the reading of meters.

That's why many SLEMCO customers may have had a bill that was actually a bit lower than what their actual use would reflect. That's because the company created an estimated bill based on the power consumption of the previous three months.

Since the storm threat has passed meter readers have been able to actually go out and read the meters. Those readings likely determined that the power consumption was actually higher than what the billed estimate reflected. Hence, the jump in the power bill.

Perhaps the reality of the situation could be more accurately explained this way. Your most recent power bill wasn't a huge increase it's just that the bill before that one was estimated too low. Therefore the difference between the two bills seems to be abnormally large.

If you still have concerns call your power provider. I know the folks at places like SLEMCO love solving problems and improving their service to you. I especially appreciate that dedication to customer service when crews have put themselves in harm's way to get our power restored during a storm.

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