Mary Horomanski’s bill was more than the combined national debts of Hungary and South Africa.
Mary Horomanski went online earlier this month to check her electric bill.
The Erie woman was stunned to see that she owed Penelec, her electricity provider, more than $284 billion — an amount greater than the national debts of Hungary and South Africa combined.
“My eyes just about popped out of my head,” said Horomanski, 58. “We had put up Christmas lights and I wondered if we had put them up wrong.”
The good news, if you can call it that, was that Horomanski didn’t have to pay the entire $284,460,000,000 until November 2018. Her minimum payment for December was a relatively paltry $28,156.
And Penelec hadn’t turned off her electricity.
Horomanski texted her son, who contacted Penelec and told them about the bill. She said they confirmed it was in error.
Her online statement was quickly fixed to the correct amount: $284.46.
Mark Durbin, a spokesman for Penelec’s parent company First Energy, said he doesn’t know how the error occurred but obviously a decimal point was accidentally moved.
“I can’t recall ever seeing a bill for billions of dollars,” Durbin said. “We appreciate the customer’s willingness to reach out to us about the mistake.”
Horomanski said the $284 billion bill caused her to ask her son for a different Christmas present this year.
“I told him I want a heart monitor,” she said.