Third-party app raises concerns about power consumption despite continuous outage

DINWIDDIE Co., Va. (WWBT) – Southside Electric Cooperative (SEC) executives say a third-party app developed to help customers manage their accounts is showing meter usage despite thousands of customers still without power.

On Wednesday, several Dinwiddie County customers posted about the issue to a social media group. The photo attached to the message shows the use of the meter on Saturday and Sunday, despite the customer’s power cut at the beginning of February 13.

Clients used the Smart Hub app to view their account with the SEC.

Following the initial message, several other Dinwiddie County SEC clients shared similar concerns when verifying their accounts.

As of 11:30 a.m. Thursday, 4,509 SEC customers in Dinwiddie County were still without power due to Saturday’s storm.

NBC12 has contacted the SEC for more information on the issue. A spokesperson posted the following message which was also sent to customers:

“Thank you for contacting Southside Electric Cooperative with your question. Unfortunately, Smart Hub cannot identify a power outage, so it simply estimates usage for that day. You will typically see a 1-2 day delay when this happens. Smart Hub is only an information/payment application, we do not use it to create your bill. For billing purposes, your meter sends daily usage information back to our billing system. customer information (SIC) around midnight, so the last billing reading currently on your account will be for the midnight hour before your power loss, once your power is restored, your meter will send us an update at the next hour from midnight and any usage you had up to the time you lost power will be flagged for billing. However, Smart Hub will still show the estimated historical readings. My apologies for ur confusion. If I can answer any additional information about this issue, please let me know.

NBC12 also reached out to Smart Hub, but the messages weren’t immediately returned.

According to the story in the mobile app stores, the app “provides utility and telecom customer account management at your fingertips. Customers can view their usage and billing, manage payments, notify service customer account and service issues and receive special messages from their local utility or telecommunications company.

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