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In the dark; tenant looking for help with electricity
BATON ROUGE - Imagine spending the entire holiday season without power. A tenant is desperate for electricity, but the apartment complex where she lives is waiting on parts for repairs. She called 2 On Your Side hoping to have a solution before the next holiday.
When Heather Russell moved to the Essex View Apartments on Menlo Drive, she was looking for a fresh start.
"I'm basically camping," she said.
Her new start has been anything but fresh after her power meter was removed on November 6 due to fire hazard concerns. She's been taking baths at her friends house and getting ready in the dark.
The power company says the meter base is damaged and needs to be replaced. A month has gone by and Russell fears she's no closer to getting her lights turned back on.
"They're still waiting on parts, they don't know when they're coming in, they won't give us a definite date," said Russell.
Ever since she moved into her apartment in April, Russell says she's been having problems with her electricity. Her bills are several hundred dollars each month. It turns out the reason is because of the meter base.
She's been getting her information sparingly, but thinks money and time could be saved if they replace the entire panel. Instead, parts are needed to fix the one meter base.
"Instead of doing what's safe and what's right and replacing outdated meter boxes, they're trying to salvage something to fix my box," said Russell.
Management at Essex View Apartments changed on December 1 and the new company inherited the problem. The management company says it's working with the distributor to move the project along. Russell has been given an opportunity to get out of her lease and rent concessions, but she says she's in a tough spot financially.
"The rent everywhere else has gotten so high just since April that it's ridiculous," she said.
Russell is also on the hook for food costs, Entergy bills, and pet deposits.
"I can't keep any food here," she said.
The management company says if the wait goes much longer they'll be looking to find a new electric company to make the repairs.