Kyle Ford of Midwest City just moved into a one-bedroom apartment in Midwest City. His first bill was less than $40, and his second was $530.
“As soon as I opened it up and I looked at it, I was screaming,” Ford said.
The utility company, OG&E, did not explain the more-than 1,300% increase when he called, Ford said.
“They continue to tell me that I had to pay it, that my meter was accurate, and that there was nothing they could do. And the best they could do was put me on a payment plan.”
Ford said he normally plugs in fewer than 10 devices into power when he’s home, including his appliances.
“My (Nintendo) Switch, my phone, and my TV- that’s it. That’s what runs every day,” he said. “I don't understand how 500 dollars’ worth of electricity comes out of that.”
After News 9 requested a comment from the utility company, Ford said he received a call from OG&E asking if his appliances were working properly.
In a statement, OG&E spokesperson Gayle Maxwell said, “We are working with Mr. Ford to more fully examine his bill. We encourage customers to contact customer service (800-272-9741) if they have any questions or concerns about their bill.”
“This time of year, it is not uncommon for customers to see higher bills due to increased usage of electricity as summer temperatures heat up,” Maxwell said.
“They said it might be the air conditioning. I don’t believe that either,” Ford said.
Maxwell said the increase was not caused by added costs from the February winter storm, which strained utility companies and raised energy prices. In March, OG&E estimated it spent $1 billion in additional costs during that event, which will ultimately be passed along to customers.
Matt Skinner with the Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC) said a plan to disperse those added costs to utility customers is still pending.
With no answer as to why his bill jumped, Ford said he plans to file a complaint with the OCC.
“I’m worried that it’s going to be a monthly problem, that it’s just going to pile up and I won’t be able to handle it,” Ford said.