Dear CenterPoint

If you’ve missed our series on “Your Electric Bill,” you really should check out the stories:

The response we’ve received from consumers like you has been overwhelming… but one e-mail I received yesterday made me laugh. I asked Tom Carlson if I could share it with you.

“For over 20 years HL&P, Reliant and Centerpoint have been able to read our meter even though the back yard was enclosed with a 6′ wooden fence and for 12 of those years we had a Rottweiler who was sometimes outside.

Suddenly over the last few months they have been estimating our bill at nearly double the actual usage. I called Reliant and asked for an actual reading and on the last couple of occasions Centerpoint claims they can’t get in the back yard because the gate was locked. There has never been a lock on this gate and in fact I moved the latch to the outside of the gate around a month ago to improve access.

We just spoke to Reliant again today and they seem to be getting frustrated with Centerpoint and called while my wife was on the phone. The reply was that the gate was locked and there had been problems there before.

I am attaching a picture of the latch to show how simple it is but to make it easier for them I left it unlatched and attached the note advising them that if they can’t pull the handle (my 5’2″ wife can open it) then I will be happy to prop it open (and fight it out with the homeowners association).


Since you seem to have trouble opening the gate I have left it unlatched for you. Please grab the handle at the right ——————–} (That way) and pull. If you still have a problem please call and I will be glad to prop the gate open and line the route to the meter with roses.

BTW – why have you been able to read the meter for over 20 years and suddenly are incapable??

My feelings are that if they want to get rid of the meter readers and reduce labor costs, then they should provide the transmitters and insure that they are accurate. BTW – we were also told that we are no longer allowed to read our meters. I will be writing letters to the PUC and the Governors office and hope they are flooded with protests. Keep up the good work – we need the support. Take care.”

Keep your e-mails coming and we’ll keep asking CenterPoint and the PUC the questions that need to be answered.


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