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欠费一美分--断电!

2006-05-22 15:05张咏,CRI

Power Shut Off After Woman Owes a Penny

It was just a penny, but to Consumers Energy it was enough to cut off power in a local home. Jacqueline Williams, 41, of Flint had an electricity bill of $1,662.08 and paid all of it, except for one cent. That wasn't enough for the power company, which blacked her out for seven hours Wednesday.

The CMS Energy Corp. subsidiary told Williams the power would not be turned on until the penny was received.

"I went down there, paid my penny and got a receipt," Williams told The Flint Journal.

Shortly after, the electricity was turned back on.

"All of this for one penny," said Williams, who went to the state Department of Human Services for help in April and was told the agency would pay most of the bill.

But she was still short more than $500.

Williams, a Social Security recipient, went to the Salvation Army, where she received $430.67, and Consumers agreed to match $430.66 toward the bill.

However, she was still one cent short.

A Consumers Energy spokesman said that the utility had no choice in the matter, though he was not aware of any similar incidents where service was stopped for one cent.

"This was the first one I've heard about," said Terry DeDoes. He said the company has many programs to help people who fall behind in their utility bills.

Williams said she doesn't want to find herself in the same situation again. "I'm praying to God I stay on top of my bills," she said.



杰奎琳·威廉姆斯是美国密歇根州弗林特市的一位依靠社会救济为生的普通妇女,最近因少交了1美分的电费,她家被供电公司停电7个小时。

据美联社5月16日报道,现年41岁的威廉姆斯最近在接到了一张金额为1662.08美元的电费帐单后,想方设法四处筹集资金交费,但最后还是差了1美分。而在为其住房供电的一家名为消费者能源的公用事业公司眼中,仅凭这1美分的欠费便完全可以切断对她家的电力供应。于是,5月10日该公司停止向威廉姆斯家供电达7小时之久。

这家供电公司表示,只有在她交纳所欠的1美分后家中的电力供应才会被恢复。随后,威廉姆斯立即补交了这1美分,她的家中也就又来了电。

据威廉姆斯说,她曾经于今年4月份时就电费问题前往密歇根州公共事业部门寻求帮助,对方当时表示可以为其支付大部分费用。但尽管如此,这笔电费中,她还是有超过500美元的电费需要自己交纳。后来威廉姆斯又想到了基督教救世军,在那里她筹集到了430.67美元,而该电力公司则同意将剩下的电费减免为430.66美元。可即便如此威廉姆斯最后还是少交了1美分的电费。

供电公司发言人特里·德多伊斯说,该公司在这件事情上别无选择只能这么做,并称公司已经制定了很多项计划用来向那些欠交各项公用事业费用的人提供帮助。而威廉姆斯则声称她再也不想遇到因欠费而被停电的事情了。

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