MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - "I got one of the in home displays for the smart meter that you see there and it read an absurdly high projected bill last night after business hours at MLGW" said customer Stephen Tapp.
It was, in fact, a more than $50,000 projected bill. Stephen Tapp then checked his MLGW bill online to see if the in home display projection matched, but thankfully it didn't.
"It seemed to be in line with what my true bills have been and I hope that's true because no one is stealing power from me" Tapp said.
In-home displays are designed to allow customers to see meter data on a daily basis so they can monitor utilities without a surprise at the end of a billing period. They are currently being tested for smart meters.
Just this month the homes in Tapp's midtown neighborhood average out to about $114 a month, so it must have been a shocker to read his display at $50,000.
An MLGW Representative says there have been some on-going issues with some of the in home displays.
"Sometimes that programming - which is separate from the smart meters - sometimes that program gets a little wacky and we've worked with a vendor on what causes that and occasionally it just changes, just like you have operational bugs and things," said MLGW Spokesperson Becky Williamson.
She says the glitch does not mean that Tapp's MLGW bill is actually $50,000 nor that he used that much consumption.
"I've gotten my use out of it; they can have it back and enjoy the experiment with another customer," said Tapp.
The in-home displays are a secondary technology as part of a smart group demonstration and MLGW does not plan to include them with future smart meter deployments.