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Richmond resident flabbergasted by excessive $1,000 utility bill

RICHMOND, Va. – Residents in Creighton Court want to know why they are paying “excessive utility bills.”

The Richmond Redevelopment Housing Authority said they are aware of the situation.

A bill is supposed to be based on a tenants' electric usage, but residents said the bill is wrong.

"I’m not understanding, why it is so high,” said Sharon Herman, who is on a fixed income. She said this astronomical electric is cutting into her budget.

"I think it's outrageous,” she said.


Herman is billed monthly for her rent and electric charges, and a separate bill includes additional electric charges. Herman said she noticed the amount going up.

She said it hit over $1,000 in September, and an even higher amount is expected for October’s bill.

She complained to management and said they advised her to pay what she can.

"It's kind of hard to hear don't worry about it,” Herman said. “And then, in all actuality, possibly liable for this amount."


RRHA said they are aware of “resident concerns regarding the excess electric surcharge.”

They issued a statement:

RRHA is required by regulation to establish allowances for RRHA furnished utilities. In December 2013, RRHA contracted with Residentlife utility allowances, a division of the Nelrod company, to perform a consumption survey and study. The study determined monthly consumption allowances for each of RRHA's developments that are individually metered for electricity. These allowances are based upon the reasonable consumption of an energy conservative family of modest circumstances and to provide for the basic essentials needed for a living environment that is safe, sanitary and healthful. Residents are assessed an excess utility surcharge only if the amount of kilowatts used exceeds the kilowatts allowed for their bedroom size. RRHA has agreed not to initiate any lease enforcement action for excess utility surcharges due to resident concerns.