LCUB customers upset about fuel surcharge on bills

By MONA NAIR 6 News Reporter

LENOIR CITY (WATE) - Several customers of the Lenoir City Utilities Board asked 6 News to look into a fuel surcharge on their bills. The amount is about 30-40% of the base charge of the utility bill.

Hobart Lumpkin says he's been watching what he plugs in. "I'd like to know what Lenoir City is doing to add so much to the bill," he said.

Lumpkin showed us his last utility bill. It was $100.91 with a $39.54 fuel charge added on.

Shannon Littleton, with LCUB, says it's not a higher bill, but a new billing system that's causing the confusion.

"The numbers have always been there. The numbers have always been part of the fuel bill. Now it's a separate line item that LCUB chose to do," Littleton explained.

Customers like Lumpkin still say that doesn't sound right.

But LCUB insists it's not a price hike, it's a 30-40% charge that has always been in bills.

"That number has not gone up, but for reasons like wanting to be more transparent we left the fuel cost as a separate line item. For most customers, it's the same number. I know it does not sound right, but if you look at this same month last year you will see the total is similar," Littleton said.

He also doesn't foresee LCUB costs dropping anytime soon.

Lumpkin says he's done the math and the explanation makes no sense to him. He says he has several neighbors who agree with him. They plan to file a petition.