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Lower Manhattan Residents Say Con Ed Billed Them For Periods Without Power

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TWC News: Lower Manhattan Residents Say Con Ed Billed Them For Periods Without Power
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Hundreds of buildings across the city are still without power after Hurricane Sandy, and some Lower Manhattan residents say despite having no power, they're still getting billed by Consolidated Edison. NY1's Arlene Borenstein filed the following report.

Anthony Wurman went more than a month without power after Sandy and was displaced from his TriBeCa home on Washington Street until this week.

Now, he's upset after getting a bill in the mail from Consolidated Edison, even though the lights were off and no one was home.

"Con Edison's explanation was that they're estimated bills, which everyone is used to that term, and I just kept on insisting, 'I understand, but you can't give me an estimate for a period of time when I shouldn't be charged anything. There's absolutely no wattage consumption of electricity whatsoever,'" Wurman said.

Con Ed confirmed the utility is sending estimated bills to customers following Sandy because meter reading was suspended after the storm. It said customers' accounts will be adjusted once meter readings are reported, either by Con Ed or residents themselves.

There will also be additional credits. In Manhattan, Con Ed says "typical residential customers" will get a credit of $3 towards their bill. Those in other boroughs will get a $6 credit. There are also credits for business customers.

Con Ed said the changes should be reflected by January 16. But that's only some comfort to those who live and work in the TriBeCa North Historic District, where prolonged power outages have shuttered businesses and displaced residents.

"It's just this broken-down community that just trying to survive, unlike Staten Island and other places, which are really suffering, but it's just this small block that's really hurting," said Cynthia Sexton, who works in TriBeCa.

The pain continues across Lower Manhattan, where Con Ed said about 35 buildings are still without power, a reality that some residents are trying to cope with.

"$280 for an electric bill, which is higher than my normal bill, in a time of disaster is insult to injury," Wurman said.

Con Ed said those credits are based on the average amount of power outages, depending on your borough. For more information, call 1-800-75-CONED.

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