People may expect to receive larger electric bills after setting up their Christmas lights, but one woman from Pennsylvania received quite the shock when she went online and saw that she owed her provider an alarming
$284 billion (£210 billion).
Mary Horomanski told GoErie.com that she was stunned when she logged onto her Penelec account to see the large bill, and questioned if it was because she and her family had somehow put their Christmas lights up wrong.
“My eyes just about popped out of my head,” she said. “We had put up Christmas lights and I wondered if we had put them up wrong.”
She even told her son that she wanted a different Christmas present—a heart monitor—because of her shock over the bill.
Not only was the bill total a stunning $284,460,000,000 dollars (£210 billion), but her minimum payment for the month of December was $28,156 (£21,076). She was given a full payment due date of November 2018, but it was still a major shock.
However, Horomanski’s son quickly contacted Penelec, which confirmed it was an error. The amount was corrected to $284.46, and a spokesman for the company said they weren’t quite sure what caused the initial error.
The $284 billion (£210 billion) charge was larger than the national debts of several countries around the world, including the combined debts of Hungary and South Africa.
In addition, the bill may have even been larger than the total national debts of several other countries, including New Zealand, Portugal and the Czech Republic.
Overall, the bill was actually roughly two percent of the U.S. National debt as a whole, which according to the U.S. News and World Report, stands at $14.6 Trillion.
The total charge was even larger than the kind of bill that would have been seen by an industrial customer under proposed rate hikes from FirstEnergy, which owns Penelec, back in 2016. According to a press release from that time, Penelec was looking to increase rates for average residential customers approximately 17.1 percent, commercial customers nine percent and industrial customers 1,5 percent. That 1.5 percent increase for such a customer, who used 20 MW for 474 hours, would lead to a total bill of $682,841.44.
Horomanski’s bill was a whopping $284,459,317,159 greater than that amount. (International Business Times)