The Sideshow

Texas woman hit with $1.3 million-plus electric bill

Kristin Harriger knew her electricity bills went up in summer months, but was shocked to discover she owed $1.3 …
We all dread opening an electric bill, especially when air-conditioning drives up costs and maxes out a family budget.

But Kristin Harriger's recent electric bill was beyond shocking. Rather than a bill for $100 or so that the single mom from Abilene, Texas, was expecting, she was billed for $1,381,783.92, according to the Business Insider.

"I opened it. I read it. Then just went, 'Oh, my gosh. That's a lot of money," Harriger told the Abilene Reporter News.

She thought it was a joke at first, and even shared photos of the bill with her friends.

After contacting her utility company, Potentia Energy, she discovered it wasn't a joke, but a computing error. Rather than charging her the normal 9 cents per-kilowatt-hour rate, the utility charged her $1,000 per kilowatt hour.

The $1,000 per-kilowatt-hour rate is far above the best offer available to her. The Public Utility Commission of Texas website PowerToChoose.org shows that Abilene residents can get 8.2 to 12.1 cents per kilowatt hour, notes the Abilene newspaper.

"I'm glad I didn't have autopayments," Harriger told the Business Insider.

The utility company acknowledged the mistake and has told Harriger that a corrected bill would be sent to her.

In the meantime, she has set aside $150 to pay the bill when it comes.

"I work on a budget," she told the Business Insider. "I'm a single mom with an autistic child who tries to make ends meet. … I get my bills and I pay them."

Just not ones for over $1.3 million.

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