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'My jaw just dropped': Colorado man mistakenly billed more than $10,000 by energy company

Alex Bradley had only been in his two-bedroom apartment for two weeks before his first energy bill was delivered to his email.

NORTHGLENN, Colo. — A glitch in Xcel Energy's system that tracks meter readings nearly cost a man living in Northglenn more than $10,000.

Alex Bradley moved to the Keystone Apartments in Northglenn on July 15. He'd only been in his two-bedroom apartment for two weeks before his first energy bill was delivered to his email.

"I go into the portal and I type in my information and it says $10,800," Bradley said. "I know that can't be right."

Xcel Energy billed Bradley $10,815.53 for 9998 ccf (hundred cubic feet) of gas.

"I was sitting at lunch with friends at the time, and they were like whoa, what's wrong, my jaw just dropped," said Bradley.

Bradley is a Ph.D. student who is studying with the Environmental Atmospheric Division at CU Boulder. He knows a thing or two about energy and caught the error on his bill which may have led to the mistake.

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"I've estimated that this amount of gas that they said I used would have powered about 250 homes for a month," Bradley said. "I didn't do that."

Bradley called Xcel Energy and a manager explained what happened in the billing error.

"They estimated a little bit too much for the month before I got here, and then the actual read was less than that. So they thought that the meter had gone all the way around," Bradley said.

Bradley's newly revised energy total was a much more manageable price of $8.67.

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"Definitely check the bills as they come in," he said. "I'm really glad I didn't have this on autopay."

"Xcel Energy has a process in place where it flags irregular bills that are inconsistent on a month-to-month basis or extremely high for one-time monthly use," the company said in a statement. "The meter reading on 7/28 did conflict with our system and was flagged for review before being sent to the customer. In this particular case and despite our team’s final review, an incorrect bill total was sent to the customer. This was an isolated incident and we have apologized to the customer for the inconvenience and immediately took action to resolve this issue."

Xcel says these billing issues are very rare and they take extra care to make sure customers receive accurate information.

The company encourages all customers to reach out to their Customer Care team at 1-800-895-4999 with any billing questions they may have.



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