Thousands of CPS Energy customers have been victimized by rogue contract meter readers, the utility reported today.

  Newsradio 120 WOAI reports that four contact meter readers simply entered random figures in the records of thousands of customers, resulting in January through May bills which were in some cases too high or too low by hundreds of dollars.

  The utility says the four contractors have been fired, and Executive Vice President Jelynne Burley is apologizing to customers.

  "We find this breach of ethics totally unacceptable and apologize to our customers for the resulting confusion in billing," she said.  "We have put tighter checks in place to ensure all meter reading work is being reviewed with even greater scrutiny and more frequently."

  Burley says customers who were overbilled in the first five months of 2014 will receive credits.  Those who were under billed will be offered payment arrangements.

  CPS Energy says the inaccurate meter reads could have occurred in all or some of the months January through May.  The reads were all over the city, inside loop 1604.

  Burley stressed that the misreads have nothing to do with sharply higher bills being experienced by customers today due to the hotter temperatures.

 She says if your bill is 'unusual,' you can call the utility to find out if you're affected.