Sugarloaf Conservancy noticed and took assertive action regarding the same scam that we have all been experiencing for the past year. For brevity, I will call it The Disappearing Meter Reader Scam.
In Potomac Edison's Disappearing Meter Reader Scam, the company fails to read your electric meter for months on end, sending you an "estimated" bill instead of one based on your actual usage. Potomac Edison has plenty of excuses for not performing a scheduled reading. Two I have personally heard are: 1) There was a snowstorm and the meter readers were pulled from their duties to perform other work; and 2) The meter reader "probably" called in sick that day. So, instead of reading your meter at least every other month, as required by Maryland law, Potomac Edison sends you an estimated bill that may be much higher than your actual use.
Personally, I'd like to see staffing levels for meter readers before the FirstEnergy/Allegheny Energy merger compared to current levels, along with an analysis of necessary staffing levels to to accomplish bi-monthly readings. I'm betting that Potomac Edison comes up short.
When consumers receive higher bills than normal and notice that their meter has not been read, what do you suppose they do? Why, they go read their meter, and compare it to the bill, don't they? Potomac Edison will reward them with a credit for the over billing if they call in their own reading. And then the next month, that same consumer isn't going to trust Potomac Edison's estimate, are they? No, of course not, they're going to start calling in regular meter readings every month, making the meter reader's regular visits unnecessary in the future. Oh sure, they'd probably check it once a year to make sure you're not lying to them, or perhaps sooner if your usage drops significantly, but they can probably accomplish that with a skeleton staff, can't they? Meanwhile, Potomac Edison is charging you for staff and expense to read your meter at least every other month, but you are doing all the work! It's nothing but pure profit for Potomac Edison, and it's a great big scam.
Word is that this same scam is also taking place in other FirstEnergy subsidiaries in other states.
Oh behalf of Potomac Edison customers in two states, thank you, Sugarloaf Conservancy, for taking action!