Woman gets $284 billion electric bill, wonders whether it’s her Christmas lights.
Mary Horomanski checked her online account this month and found she owed $284 billion to the electric company—a fortune worth more than the national debts of Hungary and South Africa combined, the Erie Times-News reported.
The 58-year-old thought putting up her Christmas lights for the season caused the colossal spike in her electric bill.
“My eyes just about popped out of my head,” Horomanski said. “We had put up Christmas lights and I wondered if we had put them up wrong.”
Penelec, the utility company, came up with a payment plan where she did not have to pay the full amount until November 2018. The company said she just had to make a minimum payment of $28,000 by the end of December.
Horomanski, suspecting that something was off with her bill, sent a text message to her son to contact the electric company about the issue.
The company confirmed the error and said the bill should have totaled $284. A spokesperson for Penelec said the company was investigating the error and that it involved moving a decimal point by mistake.
“I can’t recall ever seeing a bill for billions of dollars,” said Penelec spokesman Mark Durbin. “We appreciate the customer’s willingness to reach out to us about the mistake.”
Horomanski said she is keeping a sense of humor about the situation. She jokingly told her son that she wanted a heart monitor for Christmas after seeing this year’s bill.