Linda Swidecki has lived in her home near Stockdale Highway for 32 years, and says she has never received a bill this outrageous. She wishes PG&E would just take out her SmartMeter, since she never had a problem before it was installed.
Swidecki says a normal PG&E bill would run about 100 dollars. That's a lot different from the bill she just received for March.
"Two thousand, four hundred eleven dollars, and sixty five cents." And with a bill like that, she feels she could pay for more than just her 1200 square foot home. "With this $2,400 bill that I could probably pay for everybody on this whole block as far as that goes."
Swidecki says her bill averages between 100 and 250 dollars, with 250 being in the summer. But her last bill, in January, was only 55 dollars, after she and her son decided to use less energy. "This winter we decided we wouldn't turn on the heater, and just sort of brave it, you know because we both work odd hours."
She took the $2400 bill to PG&E and says they admit the bill was out of the ordinary. But she says they can't have someone look at her SmartMeter until after the Easter holiday. Denny Boyles of PG&E says the company is looking into her complaint to see what might have gone wrong. "What we'll do is look at everything with the account. Her billing history, her usage history, and most importantly we'll talk to the customer and see if we can figure out what's going on."
For her part, Swidecki doesn't feel PG&E intentionally went after her. "I don't feel like I'm targeted, but I just feel like I'm part of the flow of the people, you know that have had this problem that doesn't make sense. They need to do something about these SmartMeters."
Swidecki says she wants people to be aware of how a SmartMeter may not always work. The California Public Utilities Commission announced that a third party evaluator would be looking into PG&E SmartMeters over the next several weeks.