3 On Your Side

Are you on the right utility plan?

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(3 ON YOUR SIDE) -

The Valley is just coming out of some intense summer heat so your utility bill should start dropping. That's what a Surprise woman thought, but it was higher than she's ever had before because she was on the wrong utility plan.

Kristen Brogdon and her dogs moved into their Surprise home, and being energy-conscious, Brogdon says she makes careful decisions inside her home.

For instance, she says she immediately added a new thermostat and she installed LED lights. So, she was little confused and surprised when she got her electric bill indicating she owed a lot more than she thought.

"It doesn't make sense like why the bill hiked so much."

Things like her air conditioner, electric stove and TV use plenty of electricity and Brogdon says she knows that. So, as frugal as she is when it comes to using energy, Brogdon thought her APS bill was just "wrong."

"Usually we pay in the range between $200-$280 at the most and the bill was almost $500."

Alarmed, Brogdon turned to social media and joined a Facebook group where other APS customers were also complaining about recent spikes in their bills.

"I contacted APS and they just stated to me it was because of usage."

Turns out, before Brogdon moved into her home, she was using an APS program called Equalizer Billing. That's when your annual electric bills are averaged out during 12 months so you have an affordable and equal monthly payment. It helps you to pay a less in the summer when usage is high but you're paying more during the winter when electric usage is lower.

However, Brogdon found out from APS that she wasn't on the Equalizer Plan when she moved into her Surprise home.

"When we moved here I was under the impression that everything just transfers over with you. She informed me that is not the case but the rep when I was setting up services here didn't ask me if I wanted to do that."

As a result, APS put Brogdon back on the Equalizer Payment Plan. Brogdon says that's awesome, because her financial situation is tight.

"It's extremely difficult, I'm a student, I'm not working, I go to school, I mean my fiancé is the sole provider here so for us just to fork out that much money, on top of buying a new home is extremely challenging."

APS did resolve Ms. Brogdon's Budget Billing concerns, they sent 3 On Your Side a statement that can be read below:

"To help smooth out Ms. Brogdon’s current charges for higher summer usage, we temporarily reimbursed her the difference from what she would’ve paid had she been on the Budget Billing program, which was $283.24. At her request, we enrolled her in Budget Billing to even out the highs and lows of her monthly bill so she can easily predict and budget her monthly payment."

If you're interested in learning more about this equalizer plan, APS has some information and SRP has a similar plan as well.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


Gary HarperGary Harper is the senior consumer and investigative reporter for 3 On Your Side at KTVK-TV.

Click to learn more about Gary.

Gary Harper
3 On Your Side

With more than 20 years of television experience, Gary has established himself as a leader in the industry when it comes to assisting viewers and resolving their consumer-related issues. His passion and enthusiasm have helped him earn an Emmy for Best Consumer Reporter from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He’s also garnered several Emmy nominations

He has negotiated resolutions with companies of all sizes, including some of the biggest corporations in the nation.

Gary has successfully recouped more than $1 million for viewers around the state, making 3 On Your Side one of the most popular segments on KTVK and the station's Web site.

He's best known for investigating and confronting unscrupulous contractors. In fact, many of his news reports have led to police investigations and jail time for those who were caught. Viewers, as well as the companies and people he investigates, regard him as consistently being thorough and fair.

Gary has been with KTVK-TV since 1997. Prior to his arrival in Phoenix, he worked for WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was as an anchor and reporter.

Gary is from Chicago, but launched his television career in Lubbock, Texas, after earning a broadcast journalism degree from Texas Tech University. Following his graduation, he was quickly hired by KLBK-TV in Lubbock, where he enterprised and broke numerous exclusive reports. His aggressive reporting in Texas helped garner him Best Reporter by the Associated Press.

Gary has been married since 1994 and is the proud father of two sons. When he's not helping viewers, Gary is busy catching up on his favorite college and professional football teams as well as cheering on his beloved Texas Tech Red Raiders.

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