“I have reason to believe that my park is overcharging me for utilities. Of course, I can’t really prove it, because I’m not there when they bill me. For peace of mind, is there any way that I can confirm that my bills are accurate?”
-Tom V. 43, resident, Redding, CA
Yes, there are a few ways residents can cross-check their energy bills if they suspect that they’re being overcharged.
Most parks use “master-meters,” which own, operate, and maintain the electric, gas and water systems within the park. State Public Utilities Code requires parks to charge no more than the master-meter readings indicate, including any low-income rebates or discounts.
Residents can call their county’s Weights and Measures (W&M) department to examine their meters and assure that they have been correctly calibrated. In some cases, W&M offices will accept individual billing complaints, such as failure to provide proper billings or post rates. However, most of the time W&M only checks meter accuracy.
In addition, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is required to take informal complaints, (1-800-649-7570), from residents in master-meter parks. The CPUC often refers these complaints to the serving utility to review with the park management.
Furthermore. if a third party billing agent manages utilities in your park, the management must disclose the contact information of the billing agent on your bill, according to California Mobilehome Residency Law. (Civil Code §798.40(b))
- Most parks use master-meters from a third party to gauge your utility usage.
- You can contact your county Weights and Measures department to check your meter’s accuracy.
- The California Public Utilities Commission is required to take informal complaints: 1-800-649-7570.
- Contact information for your billing agent should be disclosed on your utility bill.