Local residents concerned over electric bills following winter storm

Some residents who use Navasota Valley Electric Coop say a payment calculator based on usage puts their bill over $70,000 for the month.
Published: Feb. 22, 2021 at 4:07 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 22, 2021 at 10:55 PM CST
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - Some Brazos Valley residents who use the electric service provider Navasota Valley Electric Cooperative say they were shocked when they calculated their bill from this last week, coming out to over $70,000.

Multiple people sent KBTX screenshots of calculations based on the wattage usage from their meters. Linda Fonville says she first heard about these bill estimates after her niece mentioned hers was up to more than $8,000.

“So I go outside and read my meter, go back inside and bring up Navasota Valley and go to where they can calculate your bill,” said Fonville. “I put in my numbers and it was $77,000. My property isn’t worth $77,000.”

Fonville says she couldn’t believe it and took a photo of the meter to make sure she got it right when she input it into the bill calculator. Typically, Fonville says her bill comes out to about $200 a month.

“We can’t afford this. If they jacked my bill that much, I will pay to go solar before I will pay an outrageous bill,” said Fonville.

On top of being without electricity, Fonville says that like many other residents she was without water, under a boil notice, and had to throw out pounds of food that spoiled after not having electricity for days.

“We’ve had to repair pipes. We have water damage in our house so we are having to spend money on that. We’re having to spend money rebuying food. I mean, what do they expect out of us?” said Fonville.

Sunday, as photos of these calculations were circling social media, Navasota Valley Electric took to Facebook to issue a statement.

Reports regarding potential bill spikes are circulating on social media. Additionally, there is an image of our ‘Bill...

Posted by Navasota Valley Electric Cooperative, Inc. on Saturday, February 20, 2021

“We do not yet know the full financial impact of the winter storm,” said the Facebook post. “When we have a better understanding of the financial effects of this event, we will work with the NVEC Board of Directors for necessary recommendations to reduce the impact of this emergency on our members.”

As of Monday night, the bill calculator feature on the website is no longer there.

Fonville says despite the electric company ensuring that the bill calculations were incorrect, she says she will believe it when she sees it.

“You can say whatever you want to but the proof is in the payment,” said Fonville.

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