Glitch embarrasses Genesis Energy

Last updated 05:00 20/01/2011

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Genesis Energy will apologise to customers after an embarrassing glitch saw thousands get a wild under-estimate of their power use.

The Price Plan Check was emailed on Tuesday, in an effort to ensure people were on the right electricity use programme.

However, a computer problem meant 13,800 customers were told their power use was 840 kilowatt hours of electricity over the past year – about a tenth of an average home's consumption.

Genesis Energy spokesman Richard Gordon said the computer-generated email had failed to pick up different power-use figures. "We're still trying to work out how it happened."

The figure of 840kWh was "completely wrong", he said.

An average home uses around 8400kWh a year.

The email was stopped as soon as the problem was spotted. However, it still went out to almost 14,000 of its 650,000 customers.

Genesis would send out a revised email as soon as the problem was resolved, Mr Gordon said.

There was no way the email would have been mistaken for a bill. However, the company would apologise for the error, and for any confusion caused.

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- The Dominion Post

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