Smart meter, dumb mistake: electrician switches boxes - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Smart meter, dumb mistake: electrician switches boxes

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - A mix-up by an electrician almost ended up costing a La Mesa man a lot of money after his home's smart meter was hooked up to a bigger house next door.

It's a mistake CBS 8 employee Joel Matis says cost him hundreds of dollars over the past several months for energy he never used.

"Generally, it was about $40 to $60 month. Last month, it was at $230," he said.

To pinpoint the problem, Joel first called San Diego Gas and Electric. The person he spoke with questioned him about everything from his refrigerator to the wiring in his house. So Joel tried a different approach.

He turned off the power when he went to work, then checked online the next day and saw a chart showing how much electricity he was supposedly using when he wasn't even home.

"I was continually using power. Something was wrong," Joel said.

That's when SDG&E sent a technician out to take a look.

"The field technician found out it had been somehow switched," Joel said.

Turns out, he was paying for a house four times the size.

"I'm gonna guess it's 2,400 square feet. Mine is one bedroom, one bath," he said.

The meters have been switched back. Joel says he has no hard feelings. He just wants other customers to be aware, and he wants the money he's owed.

"That's kind of disturbing. You trust the utility company. They send a bill and you pay them," he said.

SDG&E has offered to credit Joel's account $500.

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