Duplex residents shocked by heating bills higher than monthly rent

COLUMBUS (WCMH) – When a Columbus woman received her first winter heating bill, she was shocked to find it was for more than her monthly rent.

Christina Shampton recently moved into a duplex on Carpenter Street. She says she enjoys a neighborhood in transition.

Her neighbors on the other side of the wall, Alex and Nathan Lattimer feel the same way.

All of their feelings turned cold when the fall heating bills rolled in. Their heating bills were more than what they paid in rent each month.

“My rent is 705, that’s incredible. So for my heat bill to be more than my heat, I can’t afford that,” Shampton said.

Alex and her family experienced the same thing.

“I called AEP to find out, make sure that it wasn’t double billing for a month and they said, no Christina, and when we look at the history of that residence, the past couple of winter months the average was around $800 a month, I about choked,” Shampton said.

Shampton hired a local heating and cooling company to do an assessment, and they determined the furnace was way too big for the space. “It actually could heat both of our duplexes its twice as big as what it needs to be. So, therefore it’s pulling too many amps making our bills more expensive and the ducts had not been cleaned out.”

Pictures showed dirt, door knobs and even a dead animal blocking the air flow.

After cleaning out the caked-on dirt and slowing the air flow, the monthly bill went down to $545.

The Lattimers recently received a new furnace and two months ago, Shampton was told she would get a new furnace as well.

Before you move into a new home, ask about the age of the appliances and ask to see a maintenance schedule. The power company can also give you a billing history.

If you never get a response from a landlord about an ongoing issue, consider placing your rent in escrow.

If you have an issue in your community, Better Call Jackson wants to hear about it. All you have to do is call 1-855-JAXON (1-855-445-1966) or send an email here.

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