Customers want audit of Fayetteville’s Public Works Commission after high bills

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) – A group is calling for an audit of a Fayetteville’s Public Works Commission after they say the company has been over charging customers.

Clarence Briggs says the numbers just didn’t add up.

“We were getting billed for 109 percent, 112 percent of a bill, which is impossible,” said Briggs.

And he says he never got any real reason why.

“It’s very frustrating because it’s hard to get a straight answer,” said Briggs.

Frustrated, he took to social media.

And he got an answer, from thousands of PWC customers still in sticker shock.

“I just paid this month. This month’s bill is $551,” said Fayetteville resident Angela Mizell

Now, they want an audit and are calling for an investigation into PWC’s pricing.

PWC’s explanation is based on the weather.

“We’ve had unusually cold weather,” said PWC Spokeswoman Carolyn Justice-Hynson.

She wouldn’t talk about customer’s request for an audit or investigation, but Justice-Hynson says the price to stay warm hasn’t changed for residents.

She says it stays at about 10 cents per kilowatt hour no matter what time of day or what time of year it is.

She says what you use is behind the price hike.

“During the month of January, our customers usage increased by 24 percent, we actually purchase our power from Duke Energy and we increased almost 24 percent during the month for just PWC that was $3 million more that we paid for the electricity usage,” said Justice-Hynson.

But some customers say they’re still not buying it.

Customers CBS North Carolina talked to say they’re planning to go straight to city council on Monday to try and push for an audit of PWC.

But it’s not just PWC, power companies across the area had a much higher demand last month, too.

According to Duke Energy, it’s the highest usage on record that’s behind the high bills.

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