Turkey producer Farbest Foods will receive $483,540.14 from the City of Huntingburg, Indiana, after being overcharged for its natural gas usage. The city offered to reimburse Farbest Foods after discovering an issue with a meter.
Huntingburg Energy Superintendent John Rutepolher told the Dubois County Free Press the meter at Farbest’s turkey plant had been replaced, and when the meter was replaced in March 2011, the city mistakenly applied a multiplier. A multiplier is used to track natural gas usage for industrial customers when the meter’s tracker doesn’t have the capacity to record the correct amounts. According to Rutepholer, the meter will measure ten units of gas passing through the line as a single unit. So, the city adds a multiplier of ten to correct the reading.
But the new meter did have the capacity to track the proper amounts of natural gas used, so when the multiplier was reinstalled, Farbest was being charged about 34 percent more than it should have been. Farbest did not catch that it was being overcharged, because it occurred at a time when gas usage was already escalated.