Thousands of MLGW customers could get some money back as early as next week, part of a massive rebate being paid to customers. The rebate is being issued because the utility bought natural gas last summer when it was cheaper, and paid for the gas by charging customers more.
To prepare for an expected influx of calls related to the rebate, the utility is setting up a temporary call center to handle the flow. Utility officials said they expect to receive an extra 7,500 calls per day about the rebate.
The utility will train 30 extra operators to handle customer rebates, and according to call center supervisor Tjuania Redmond, that is the only thing they will be trained to handle.
"The individual on the phone cannot change what their credit billing is," Redmond said. "It's already pre-calculated, and they're there just to answer questions."
MLGW spokesperson Chris Stanley said the amount a customer gets back will be based on usage.
"It's going to be about fifty dollars average," he said. "But of the customers getting it back, about 150,000 are getting less than fifty dollars."
The credit will appear on each customer's bill as a line item.
"It's only for natural gas customers," Stanley said. "So if you don't have natural gas, you won't see a rebate at all."
Stanley said the temporary call center will be open for the next month and a half, including weekends.