About 4,000 customers of Charlottesville natural gas were overbilled in January and will be receiving a new bill.
In a news release, the city said it was a human error related to the entry of a “thermal factor” in the billing system, which is the heating value of the gas that changes every billing cycle based on the composition of the gas.
According to the city, the utility billing office has corrected the bills, and new bills and a letter of explanation will be mailed out by Friday. Corrected amounts are currently available over the phone and online.
The due date for affected bills has been extended from Feb. 12 to Feb. 19.
The city said some or all of the Barracks/Rugby, Fry’s Spring, Ivy Road/U.S. 250 West, Jefferson Park Avenue, Lewis Mountain, North Downtown and Venable neighborhoods were affected.
Customers who already have paid their inflated bills will be issued a credit on their account or they can request the difference be returned to them via check, the city said. Customers enrolled in the city’s Easy Pay Plan with a recurring online payment have not been charged the inflated amount, the city said, and their transactions will occur with only the corrected amounts. According to the city, customers generally will see higher gas bills this month due to colder temperatures based on increased consumption and a higher bill is “not the sole indicator that a customer’s account was impacted by this error.”
Customers with questions can check their account through the links on charlottesville.gov/622/Bill-Pay or call the utility billing office at (434) 970-3211.