QCA customers question high power bills

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CLINTON, Iowa (KWQC) – Dakota Mitchell got a shock when he opened his July 18 Alliant Energy bill.

“Previous bill was $300 and this month it’s $449,” Mitchell said. “And we never did or ran anything different.”

Mitchell and other Alliant Energy customers in the Clinton, Iowa area are upset over higher bills, and some suspect that recently installed smart meters are to blame.

So many have complained to Iowa State Rep. Mary Wolfe, D-Clinton, that Wolfe is formally seeking answers from Alliant.

Wolfe says she has received more than a hundred comments to a Facebook post that reads, “If you’ve experienced a big jump in your Alliant bill following the installation of a new “smart” meter that you sincerely believe is not attributable to seasonal increased usage (e.g., more AC usage due to heat) please respond below.”

Wolfe tells KWQC she does not necessarily suspect anything is amiss but plans to take the comments to Alliant to inquire about individual customer increases and statistics from other cities.

Responding to KWQC, Alliant Energy spokesperson Mike Wagner said, “All smart meters are tested by the manufacturer and sample batches are tested by Alliant Energy before they are installed. The meters are registering {each} customer’s use accurately.”

Wagner said natural factors may be responsible for sudden increases, such as, he said, Iowa's weather being 15 percent warmer than normal in both May and June.

“When that happens, a customer can expect their bill to go up.”

Some customers like Mitchell, while waiting to learn more from Wolfe and Alliant, are now struggling to pay their bills.

Mitchell said he has a balance of $630.66 because he can only afford to make partial payments.

“Just think how someone on a fixed income feels,” Mitchell said.