LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Yolanda Fierro’s DWP bill that is more than double the amount she was charged two months ago.

The usage graph shows she used more than twice the amount of water and electricity on her September bill compared to July.

“It shocked me, how am I going to pay this?” Fierro said. “And I was really shocked that I received a bill that was $503 and change and I’m the only one in this house.”

Fierro lives in the house she grew up in. She lived with her mother who passed away recently and now she lives alone. She says she has never seen a bill this high.

So she called the DWP to find out why.

They told her it’s based on an estimate and if they can’t get to your yard they just estimate it. Fierro says the customer service agent told her the DWP couldn’t get access to her meter, so her bills were estimated. And once her meter was read, it showed the estimated bills were too low, so she will have to make up the difference.

“I’m surviving on a limited budget as it is and trying to do the best I can by paying my bills.”

Fierro showed us where her meter is located and CBS2’s Randy Paige found by simply peeking over the driveway fence the meter could easily be seen, raising the question, why wasn’t her meter read all along?

Sharon Grove, the assistant general manager of customer service at DWP, says meters are supposed to be read every two months before each bill is sent out.

“We never want to make it difficult for a customer,” Grove said.

Grove says the DWP will investigate.

“I think we need to investigate that, if it’s an easy to read meter but it shows on the bill that its been estimated, that’s exactly what we want to dive into that’s not something that we want a customer to be uncomfortable about.”

  1. My DWP bill went from $419 which is normal to $875.40. We had made no change to our lifestyle and are very careful using the A/C. I complained to DWP and they told me it was the A/C or that my appliances were too old and not economical. We asked for a review but were denied. The most recent bill was over $600 and we did not use the A/C even one day in that time. And these statements are not marked as estimates.

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