Meter snafu leads to astronomical electric bills for Putuo woman

Wu Ruofan
For more than a year, a woman in Putuo District has been paying for significantly more electricity than she's used because of a meter mismatch with her neighbor.
Wu Ruofan

For more than a year, a woman in Putuo District has been paying for significantly more electricity than she's used because of a meter mismatch with her neighbor.

A resident of Ganquan Road Subdistrict surnamed Hang said her electric bill increased from about 70 yuan (US$10) per month to almost 1,000 every month after all the meters in her complex were changed last year.

Hang said she reported the discrepancy to the power company at least four times since September, but each time repairmen couldn't find any problems with her electricity meter or circuits.

The caper was finally solved earlier this week after an electrician from her company checked her meter. He discovered it had been measuring the electricity consumption of the neighboring apartment, which is rented to multiple tenants sharing three bedrooms and a living room.

The power company confirmed the mismatch Tuesday and promised to fix the problem and repay Hang.

Since 2017, electricity meter changes in the city have been based on sample tests and mathematical models.

Most meters use electronic impulse technology, which records power consumption more precisely than traditional mechanical meters.

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