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Commercial electrical customers began received a mailing from Houston City Hall this week that outlines the procedure for paying for a sharp escalation in wholesale costs during bitter cold in February.

The letter outlines the cost each commercial customer will be assessed. They have the choice of paying the bill upfront before 5 p.m. Oct. 15 or paying the cost over a 24-month period.

The Houston City Council earlier agreed to pay half of the remaining $713,142 in extra charges. The balance will be paid by residential and commercial customers. Commercial customers — estimated to be about 412 — used about two-thirds of the power during the cold snap and residential ones the rest. Commercial customers will pay based on their consumption.

Residential customers — 841 of them — will pay $5.90 for 24 months or can pay the total of $141.61 upfront.

Bills will arrive in mailboxes around Nov. 1.

Because of the frequency of scams that occur daily in the country, some concerned customers have called Houston City Hall to ask if the letter is legitimate. It is on a single sheet of paper and addressed “Dear Houston Electric Commercial Customer.”

For more information call Houston City Hall at 417-967-3348.

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