Independence neighbors call for independent audit of IPL billing

Posted at 10:30 PM, Aug 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-03 23:31:00-04

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — After complaints from residents in Independence, the city has launched an internal audit of utility bills from Independence Power and Light. 

In a news release, city manager Zach Walker said the city has reviewed and identified "two of the three major areas of concerns for [the city's] utility customers." 

Some of those concerns include payments not immediately being applied to an account when paid online and addresses not being updated in the system. 

However, Walker said, "so far, no billing errors have been identified due to a malfunction in the new billing system or miscalculation."

Some residents are not convinced.

Those who are not satisfied with an internal audit have submitted an official application to request a petition form from the Office of the Missouri State Auditor. Their goal is to have the state conduct an independent audit.

"The amount due for a single due period may be different, dependent upon means of access. A mailed statement will show a different amount than the website," the application said. 

"IPL has failed to explain how they arrive at bill amounts, we question the accuracy of the charges and IPL's billing practices in general," the application further read. 

Independence residents, like Jacquelyn Gibbs and her boyfriend are even considering leaving the city. 

Their July bill was about $100 more than her highest bill last summer. 

"I've unplugged any appliances that are not absolutely necessary. We turn off power strips during the day after our phones are finished charging," she told 41 Action News. "I should be seeing a difference the other way. I thought I would see [my utility bill] decrease just a little bit."