It’s adding insult to injury for many Fort McMurray residents. They’re shocked by the big numbers on their latest utility bills. Months worth of charges since the wildfire evacuation in May have been lumped together on a single bill. In some case, the charges total more than $1,000.
Christine Unruh is frustrated by her $1,100 dollar bill. “This is the first time we’ve had issues with Direct Energy or their billing process. But we’re definitely exploring other options.”
Martha Boyko says the timing of the whopping bills is bad after reductions at the oilsands company where her husband works. “A few weeks ago, they cut everybody’s pay. Not only is he getting way less work days, he’s also getting less pay. Then you get a bill for $700.” Boyko says she doesn’t want the stress of fighting with Direct Energy so she’s paying the bill and moving on.
Direct Energy credited customers for the evacuation period and has put an explanation for the bill on its web site. An official for the company says she can see how the bills might be confusing and encourages residents to call to work out payment plans.