ALBANY, GA (WALB) - As of the close of business Thursday night, about 4,300 Albany Utility customers had signed up for the $50 storm credit for people who were without power in January.
The credit was given to help soften the blow after some customers were surprised by bills that charged for full power use at a time when people were without power.
Albany's City Manager says the utility company leaders made the decision on day three following the January 2 storm to estimate the bills based on the past three months of usage.
Sharon Subadan says estimating bills is an industry standard during disasters. She went on to say she regrets not notifying customers immediately about the upcoming bill.
"Every 30 minutes there was another decision to be made about something. So, you make the decision you think is the best decision at the time. But we should have noticed people.
We should have noticed people. We should have gotten the word out, by the way, when you get your bill, don't be surprised," said Subadan.
Subadan says the charges will be trued up on the next bill. She says the $50 credit will not be absorbed by customers.
There is money in the budget for customer assistance, and that money will cover the credit costs.
Subadan also said the technology inside the utility company lags 10 to 15 years behind, and that is a major problem that prevents the company from knowing when and which customer has power or not.
Subadan says that they have been actively looking into updating the technology inside the company, even before the storm.