Renter wants complex to pay high power bill after period without heat

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A south Charlotte woman's heater is fixed, after she says it was broken for at least a week.

She has relied on three space heaters and blankets to keep warm under her own roof, but despite those low indoor temperatures, she just received a high power bill.

"I came home from being out in the cold, only to step back into the cold," Sharlina Little says of the last seven days without heat.

The air inside, she says, sunk into the 40s during the recent cold snap. A recording on her cell phone shows her breath in her cold bedroom air.

"It wasn't until the extreme cold came, that I began to notice that something just wasn't right," Little says.

She says her heating system, even when cranked up to 88 degrees, did nothing within her one bedroom.

"This morning I forced myself to get up and make a sandwich," she says.

She says she got messages maintenance would come several times, but no one showed until Thursday afternoon.

Now, she is puzzled by her first full-month power bill there, rising over 100 dollars for the unit.

"I did not sign up to live in this apartment to pay high price bills," Little says.

She says when she called Duke Energy, a rep linked the high price to the broken heater.

"What it does is it causes it to work even harder, and with it working harder, that's what's causing the bill to skyrocket," she says the rep told her.

Now, she wants the complex to pay a share of the fee.

"I don't want to be struggling to pay high price light bills due to something that was on their part."

WBTV spoke with a person at the complex, who said there was no one there authorized to comment on this.

Little says she's grateful it's a toasty 72 in her unit now, but she will keep looking for answers on paying the bill.

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