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NY1 For You: Far Rockaway Tenants Say LIPA Billed Dark Days Following Sandy

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After all the negative attention the Long Island Power Authority received for its poor response in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, some Far Rockaway residents are outraged because they say the utility is charging them for the time they were without power. NY1's Susan Jhun filed the following NY1 For You report.

After being without power for 20 days following Hurricane Sandy, Long Island Power Authority customer Michael Van Boom of the Far Rockaway section of Queens says his electric bill was no different from any other month.

"They said I consumed 140 kilowatts, which is usually my monthly consumption, in 10 days," says Van Boom.

He questioned LIPA about his November bill and says he was told it was based on a meter reading and was accurate.

Van Boom's next door neighbor, Allan Barnett, is a LIPA customer as well but on a budget plan, where every month his payment is the same. Barnett also had no break in his November bill, even though he had no power for the majority of the month.

"I never used any electricity for the whole of that month, so how could you pay for something you never use?" Barnett says.

NY1 asked LIPA the same question and a spokesman said LIPA issued credits to all customers on the basic service charge for 14 days. He went on to say customers were billed before the credits were processed on their accounts, so the credits will appear on their February bills.

In addition, the spokesman said customers who endured longer outages are encouraged to call LIPA's customer service center to request an extended credit.

Van Boom and Barnett have already tried that, to no avail. As they wait anxiously for their February bills, they refuse to pay their November bills until the confusion is cleared up.

"It's absolutely the money and it's the principle," Van Boom says.

NY1 For You will continue to follow this story.

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