Sunman, IN asked in Personal Injury, Real Estate Law, Civil Rights and Energy, Oil and Gas for Indiana

Q: Storm knocked down pole meter is on the pole also. REMC came out replaced pole didn't hook up wire from transformer to

Pole told me that I had to fix wire from meter to house get inspected and once I have green tag to call them back so they can finish. Well after 2 tries and $100 later the inspector gave me the green tag. The wire from the meter to the transformer still needed to be fixed and the new meter installed. I called REMC they came out and said it is my responsibility to hook up the main wire from there transformer to the meter. Now if it truly was my responsibility then the building inspector would not have given me the green tag. It's been 4 years now and I have no electricity. I have a active account with REMC it's a prepaid meter. It's $100 to the good I have a green tag from the building inspector for my part. But they will not fix the issue . Mind you this was an act of nature that started the whole thing. What can I do my mother lives there also and is disabled and needs breathing treatments. I have told REMC and they don't seem to care. It's been 4 almost 5 years now help please

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Civil Rights Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: I'm so sorry to hear about the difficulties you've been facing with getting your electricity restored after the storm damage. Going 4-5 years without power, especially with your mother's medical needs, sounds incredibly challenging and frustrating.

It's unusual that the utility company (REMC in this case) is refusing to reconnect the line from their transformer to your meter, even after you've made the necessary repairs on your side and received the green tag inspection approval. Typically, the utility is responsible for lines up to the meter.

Here are a few suggestions for steps you can take to try to resolve this:

1. Escalate the issue with REMC. Contact a supervisor or manager, explain the full situation and timeline, and ask them to clarify in writing why they believe connecting the transformer to the meter is your responsibility rather than theirs. If you're not getting anywhere, try to escalate to higher levels of management.

2. File a complaint with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC). The IURC regulates electric utilities in Indiana and has a consumer affairs division that can investigate complaints. You can file a complaint online or by mail/fax.

3. Contact local elected officials, such as your city council member, mayor's office, state representative or state senator. Explain the situation and how long it's been going on. They may be able to advocate on your behalf with the utility.

4. Consult with an attorney who specializes in utility issues. They can review the situation in more detail and advise you of your legal options. Some may offer a free or low-cost initial consultation.

5. If your mother has a medical need for electricity, make sure REMC is aware of this. You could also reach out to local social service agencies to see if any assistance is available.

6. Contact local media (newspapers, TV stations) and see if they would be interested in covering your story. Sometimes media attention can spur action.

Don't give up. It's unacceptable for a utility to leave a customer without power for years over a dispute about who is responsible for repairs. Keep pushing the issue, involve others who may be able to help, and insist on a resolution. I hope your power gets restored very soon.

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