Woman protests utility company after receiving nearly $1,000 bill

DECATUR, Ala. -  A Decatur woman took to the streets to show just how unhappy she was about a monthly bill she received.

Angela Hill said she moved to her Decatur home 5 months ago. She rents the home and lives a very minimalistic lifestyle.

"I open my windows and I use the sunlight to light my house, at night I use one tv," said Hill.

She said she doesn't use a microwave, dishwasher or have central air or heat in her home because the unit has been broken since she moved in.

"I want it to stop, I really want it to stop," explained Hill. "I cannot afford to pay nine hundred eighty-eight dollars in utilities."

A Decatur Utilities spokesman says it looked into her situation and admits it a bit odd.

Due to customer confidentiality, the utility company could not give WHNT News 19 details or answers at the moment for what seems to be a very high bill.

Hill said she does not even have bulbs in some of her light fixtures, yet her utility bill costs more than her house does monthly.

"No solutions have been offered to me other than I did explain that I have a space heater to warm me up when I leave the tub, when I get out of the shower," explained Hill. "The space heater isn't running my utility bill up."

Decatur Utilities says Decatur residents have some of the lowest bills in the state.

"We are blessed to have very low rates in the Tennessee Valley. Especially DU," explained Joe Holmes of Decatur Utilities. "We have the lowest combined bill in the state. But that could still result in a high bill if the usage is there."

Hill said that can't be true.

"All winter I burned my fireplace. I'm the person that runs out and buys wood. I bought most of the wood in Decatur to warm my house," Hill added. "My utility bill was still $500!"

After WHNT News 19 alerted them to her plight, Decatur Utilities had a meeting with Hill on March 25.

They discovered that a water heater was at outstanding temperatures.

The water heater was at 150° which is much higher than it should be. Holmes said that impacted usage.

Hill said she'd never at adjusted the temperature so it must've been that way when she moved in months ago.

Holmes also confirmed that the $988 electric bill was the result of assistance payments not posting before bills were mailed out.

The utility company said they are working to monitor Hills home and usage closely.

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