A La Mesa man’s electricity was shut off after a fire nearly burned his house down in October but that didn’t stop electricity bills from piling up in his mailbox.
“So this is apparently where the fire started, this line coming out of the circuit breaker,” Glenn Simpson said.
When Glenn smelled smoke in his home last October, he said he had no idea where it was coming from.
“All of a sudden my ADT alarm starts screaming,” he said. “I go up with a mag light and I start looking around and sure enough there’s smoke billowing out of the insulation the blown in insulation in the attic.”
Glenn said he started pulling up insulation and found hot spots along attic wires that were smoking. Within minutes, he said fire crews arrived and got to work.
Smoke started to fill his home but the fire was put out. He said fire crews blamed his home’s 67-year-old wiring for the fire.
“The box failed, the circuit breaker failed and the wires that they tested loaded have failed,” Glenn said.
Early that morning Glenn said San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) came to his home, shut off his electricity and removed his electric Smart Meter.
“No more power to the house, it has to get fixed and it has to get inspected before we return electrical energy back to the house,” Glenn said the company told him.
While Glenn was without power, he was still receiving electricity bills each month. The bills totaled more than $80 a month and showed the amount of electricity he was supposedly using.
Glenn said he explained the problem to SDG&E over the phone but, according to him, they told said when they don’t get a signal from a Smart Meter, they estimate the usage from past bills.
“You’ve pulled my meter, there’s no electricity,” he said. “How is it possible that I’m getting charged for electricity I’m not using?”
Glenn said he continued calling SDG&E but the bills kept coming. After three months with no results, he turned to NBC 7 Responds for help.
NBC 7 Responds spoke to employees at SDG&E and they agreed to review Glenn’s account. A week later, the company acknowledged the problem and wiped out the charges. Glenn doesn’t owe a thing for the electricity bills.
In an email, Amber Albrecht, a representative for SDG&E said, “At SDG&E we strive to provide exceptional service to our customers every day. We apologize to Mr. Simpson because we should have resolved his concern sooner. We appreciate you [NBC 7] raising this issue and identifying an opportunity to improve our process so that we can better serve all of our customers.”