Charlottesville adjusting invoices of some gas utility customers for inflated charges
A billing error impacted approximately 4,000 Charlottesville Gas customers resulting in inflated gas bills.
The bills were issued in January to customers in the neighborhoods around the University, the southwest section of the City, and the Ivy Road/Highway 250 West area in Albemarle County.
The Utility Billing Office has corrected the bills and new bills and a letter of explanation will be sent via mail by this Friday, Jan. 29.
Impacted neighborhoods include some or all areas of:
- Fry’s Spring
- Ivy Road/Highway 250 West area
- Jefferson Park Avenue
- Lewis Mountain
- North Downtown
Corrected amounts are currently available over the phone and online. For customers who have already paid their inflated bills, they will be issued a credit on their account or can request the difference be returned to them via check.
Customers enrolled in the Easy Pay Plan with a recurring online payment have not been charged the inflated amount and their transactions will occur with only the corrected amounts.
The due date for impacted bills has been extended from Feb. 12 to Feb. 19.
The inflated bills were not the result of any meter malfunction or meter reading issue (i.e. the amount of gas a customer used). The human error related to the entry of what is known as a “thermal factor” in the billing system.
This is the heating value of the gas which changes every billing cycle based on the composition of the gas (descriptions of the factors on a customer’s gas bill can be found at www.charlottesville.gov/640/Factors-on-Your-Gas-Bill).
In general, customers will see higher gas bills this month due to colder temperatures based on increased consumption. A higher bill is not the sole indicator that a customer’s account was impacted by this error.
Customers with questions can check their account online or contact the Utility Billing Office at (434) 970-3211.