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Woman says Ameren erroneously billed her for streetlights for years
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Woman says Ameren erroneously billed her for streetlights for years

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ELLSWORTH — An Ellsworth woman is fighting Ameren Illinois over utility charges for a streetlight that stands outside her property and a second that doesn’t exist.

Jackie Galloway wants a full refund for payments made since 2009, when she moved into her home. Beth Bosch, spokeswoman for the Illinois Commerce Commission, confirmed the agency received an initial complaint from Galloway and that the agency sent paperwork to Galloway.

“That’s a lot of money,” Galloway said. “It would go a long way in my retirement account.”

The Pantagraph could not determine a specific total, although several of the bills showed a charge of about $20.

Ameren spokeswoman Stacey Shangraw said the company cannot discuss Galloway’s account unless she gives written permission, which she has declined.

The incident started last month, when Galloway checked her bill and noticed a separate lighting charge for $18.88. “I thought, ‘What is that?’” she said.

The charges include one for a 100-watt night light installed outside her property in the late 1990s by a previous homeowner. A fee for a second light had been mistakenly charged since 2007, which Ameren admitted after field supervisors inspected her property last week, Galloway said.

Night lights generally are installed at a customer’s request, said Shangraw. When a customer moves, the night light service is shut down and the new tenant or owner is notified of all charges before service is reinstated.

Galloway moved into her home in 2009 and she contends Ameren failed to notify her of the lighting charges. She transferred her account electronically from a rental unit to the house, and never spoke to an Ameren representative, she said.

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