Kristin Harriger of Abilene, TX was in for the shock of her life after she opened up her monthly electric bill only to discover it cost a staggering $1.3 million.
I work on a budget. I'm a single mom with an autistic child who tries to make ends meet, she told Business Insider. I get my bills and I pay them.
Harriger anticipated approximately a $100 bill, as she usually gets. When she first looked at the bill, she assumed it was a mistake or a joke. She took a picture of the bill and sent it to some friends, still in disbelief that her electric utility company, Potentia Energy.
I opened it. I read it. Then just went, 'Oh, my gosh. That's a lot of money,' Harriger said, reported the Abilene Reporter News. The billed totaled exactly $1,381,783.92, a far stretch from last month's bill of exactly $100.78.
Within approximately four minutes of speaking with the company, Harriger said that Potentia began apologizing for the bill, promising to find out what went wrong.
It was either computer error or human error, they said. They said they would look into it, and send me a new bill right away, she said.
The Public Utility Commission of Texas depicts that the current electricity rates in Abilene is approximately from 8.2 to 12.1 centers per kilowatt-hour. According to the Abilene Reporter News, based on Harriger's bill, she was being charged 100,000 centers or $1,000 per kilowatt hour.
I've been pretty calm about it, Harriger said. I mean, I've seen medical bills higher than that. I'm just glad I opened the bill and not my father, who has a heart condition.
Potentia Energy, however, found the problem. The company said that the bill was flagged by internal auditors to be held. IT was mistakenly sent by a third-party billing vendor. A new bill was reflecting the proper amount due was sent out to Harriger.