As below, the GPTA letter to management:
To Gateway Management:
As you know from the many calls your office receives, the issue of high electric bills is a serious and ongoing tenant concern. The GPTA, as well, has been inundated with tenant complaints, and recently sent out a query to tenants asking them about their energy costs, which are exacerbated by the condition of the windows, window frames, and efficiency of heating units.
While some tenants receive “normal” bills that are more or less consistent with past seasons—many others are receiving inexplicably high bills, that do not conform to their real usage or past history of use. Notwithstanding the fluctuation in usage rates and the weather, many of these bills remain inordinately high.
One extreme example was referenced Tenant #1, who apparently received an erroneous bill for $800, whereupon the office drastically reduced it, calling it a “mistake.” Another tenant, referenced tenant #2, just received the attached bill and reported that, again, the management said it was “a mistake” and that she could pay $100.00. The question becomes how often is your meter and computer system issuing such mistakes (some of which may be less extreme but nonetheless inaccurate.)?
As you will see from a sampling of tenant letters, as below, many of them who ordinarily receive bills during the winter in the $150-$200 range are getting bills for $350-$450—this for a one bedroom apartment. They report to us that they aren’t even home during the day and only run the machine in one room at a time.
This leads us to conclude that your computer billing system combined with your meter system are not working accurately for all tenants and that it is, at times, inconsistent and erratic. As your recent audit report concludes “tenants are continually calling the office to complain about their electric bills,” including the unpleasant task of negotiating bills down, which should not be necessary.
As you know, the recent audit report erroneously concluded that the average electric bills is $80, a statement that caused a public outcry at our February energy forum due to it inaccuracy.
In sum, the issue of energy costs is obviously a serious problem and needs to be resolved. In addition management needs to provide tenants with an explanation and a commitment to a timetable to replace all meters. Before further involving public officials and city agencies, we urge you to address and rectify this problem. Thank you.