Electric bill question…should I be concerned?

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Topic: Electric bill question…should I be concerned?

General Discussion January 30, 2012 at 2:39 pm

Electric bill question…should I be concerned?

I rent a studio and the landlady receives the Pepco bills.  I asked to get copies of them so that I can contrast/compare my electric usage and see where I can make changes.
She answered “no” and gave no explanation.  I’m not sure what to think???

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A little more info to clarify….I don’t have any reasont to distrust her and would ask her why directly but I really want to renew the lease and don’t want to jeopardize that by irking her.

I also never see my bills….I’m not sure how I feel about it, yet.

I’m the type of person who likes to keep track of things, so I would be annoyed by something like this. I wouldn’t have a problem with paying utilities to my landlord (rather than directly to Pepco, DCWater, etc.) but I would want to know how the amount is determined – is it fixed per month, is it a fixed percentage of the monthly bill, or what? What she’s doing may not be illegal (or maybe it is, I don’t know), but it certainly seems shady even if she’s being totally honest.


If you are paying her for electric, a set amount each month, then you should know whether you are paying more than your share.  If you are paying her just what she says you owe each month, then I hate to say it, but you are being foolish and should demand to see the bill you are paying.

You may have already done this but research if DC tentant’s rights reg say anything about this. I have no clue if it does but tentant’s have so many rights in DC I wouldn’t be surprised. Frankly, it’s you right to see your bills so you shouldn’t have to cite any piece of regulation but if it comes down to that at least you’d have the law on your side. I would definitely demand to see them. I know good places to live can be hard to come by but don’t be afraid of irking her… she’d be irking the hell out of me if she didn’t show me something as simple as an electric bill to which I’m paying or contributing, and I’d want a new landlord. Good luck!

I’m starting to think she is just on a power trip or a little loopy.  I called to clarify why I can’t get copies and she told me I could see them after I’ve lived here a year (it’s been 9mths.)  She’s been odd about things in the past and great about others.
I wouldn’t have even thought twice about it but to refuse when I asked to see documentation of something which I am obligated to pay for (and do so promptly, I might add) just tweaked a nerve and makes me a bit suspicious.   By the way, it’s not a fixed amount unfortunately which is why is why I asked her.
Definitely don’t want to pursue this in court though.  More hassle than it’s worth and unless it gets out of hand I hope to stay…it’s a GREAT place and a good deal.  For now, at least….

What does your lease say? Is it a fixed dollar amount? Then you have no right to see the bill. Is it a set percent? Ask to see the bill – and allow her to redact any personal information.
Before you do this ask yourself if it’s worth the potential discomfort to discuss this at all? Could savig $5, $10, $15 be worth it?
Also see if pepco can give you the average usage over the past year or so.

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