American Electric Power said it has overcharged Sunbury village more than $20,000 since 2005 for rented streetlights.

American Electric Power said it has overcharged Sunbury village more than $20,000 since 2005 for rented streetlights.

An AEP representative told village administrator Dave Martin on Jan. 21 that AEP will credit Sunbury $20,201 over the next few years.

"The credit, I'm assuming, will appear on our next bill," Martin said.

Martin said village council members asked AEP representatives for a list of all electric bills in December 2009 to determine the total electric charges.

Because of high bills, Martin said, "We started the review process to look and see if something was wrong."

Martin said council also received a list of streetlights that Sunbury rented from AEP.

"We pay $6 a month to rent certain street lights (per light) and they provide the electricity to them. They come out and replace the bulbs when they burn out. If the light falls over they put it back up. That's what the $6 a month buys us," he said.

Sunbury decommissioned dozens of streetlights in 2005, when the village started a streetscape project.

"We put in a new sidewalk and put in ornamental street lights," Martin said.

Council member Bill Metzler went to all rented lights around the village and found AEP was charging Sunbury for lights not in use.

"That's for street lights that apparently were removed during the streetscape but we continued to be charged for them," Martin said.

Martin said the village receives multiple electric bills, which made it harder to tell if AEP was overcharging Sunbury.

"It's like a giant jigsaw puzzle," Martin said. "The street lights in one end of town come from one bill, the center of town is on a different bill and the north end of the village comes from a different bill."

At its council meeting two days earlier on Jan. 19, Martin told council that an AEP representative told him to expect a reimbursement of $10,800, which would be a $300 credit per month for three years.

Council told Martin it wanted to make sure Sunbury gets credit for exactly what it overpaid.

"I already asked for and received December's (2010) bills to form a good baseline," Metzler said. "I want to also check the math."

When Martin talked to an AEP representative on Jan. 21, AEP told him the reimbursement jumped up to $20,201.

"It's hard to say it's this, this or this without some type of documentation," Martin said.

Martin says he's still waiting to receive paperwork from AEP showing the exact amount overpaid.