Electricity bill skyrockets for Dayton-area residents

DAYTON, TX (KTRK) -- Residents in several counties reporting higher-than-normal electric bills. Some residents seeing their electric bills almost double from the previous month.

"We've done nothing different," said Vada O'Brian. "There's nobody here but me and my husband. We don't run the heat or the air a whole lot because we have a fireplace and we keep it going a lot."

Yet O'Brian showed us her electric bill that just arrived. Her bill is nearly $1,000. Her bill reflects an increase in consumption from last month and during the same period last year. O'Brian disputes the increase in usage.

She took her frustration to Facebook, and found she was not alone when it came to increased bill. More than 100 people from surrounding cities serviced by Sam Houston Electric Cooperative shared a similar story.

"My jaw hit the floor," said Vada's daughter Christin.

The cost to power her single-wide trailer topped more than $400 for last month. She called SHECO for an explanation.

"He said that there is something going on at my house for my bill to be as high as it was," said O'Brian.

A representative at SHECO told us the same thing. The rep directed us to a statement on the coop's Facebook page. It states the rates have not changed since 2006. The representative blamed the high bills to high consumption in December then in November. The cooperative stated January consumption is set to top December.

"It's probably going to take us maybe two paychecks to pay it," said O'Brian.

O'Brien has no other choice but to pay the bill. She said with two children, she can't be in the dark.

If you have questions about your bill, you can call the Sam Houston Electric Cooperative directly at 1-800-458-0381.
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