Little League manager: Con Ed billed us for lights we didn’t use

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A Staten Island Little League’s run to the Williamsport, Pa., was so electric that the dim bulbs at Con Edison billed them for power they never used.

Mid-Island LL’s 12-year-olds racked up 15 wins in the tournament leading to the Little League World Series — but not the $2,619.77 tab Con Ed charged them for July 9-27.

In fact, the league didn’t have a single night game or practice during that period, so it never turned on its field lights, said Mid-Island manager Joe Calabrese, who doubles as league treasurer.

“We weren’t even using the electricity. They are billing you for potential use,” he fumed.

Calabrese lamented that his complaints to the giant utility have fallen on deaf ears and he has no choice to pay the bogus bill “because they will cut us off. You don’t pay, you don’t play.”

The Con Ed curveball first came in the billing period between June 7-July 9, when Mid-Island’s electric rate was changed to “EL9 General large.” The league used 2,660 kilowatts, according to the statement and its tab ballooned to $4,671.87.

Then the contested bill came the next month, with the claim the league used 1,440 kilowatts between July 9-27.

“When you become bigger than a residential [power customer], you have to pay for demand charges,” Calabrese explained. “Because of this, we were getting whacked out over there.”

He said the problem is faced by many non-profits and “has been going on for years.”

“Little Leagues shouldn’t have to pay these demand charges,” he said. “It’s hard enough to keep these leagues afloat.”

Con Ed spokesman Michael Clendenin said the utility giant will “reach out” to Mid-Island and “go through the billing with them to see if they can resolve any questions that they have.” He said Mid-Island had a $930 credit owed to them because “a previous bill was an estimated bill.”

The Staten Island Advance first reported on the bill dispute.

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