TOLEDO, Ohio - Ronald Ramm was aware natural gas rates were going up, but his latest residential bill from Columbia Gas of Ohio still came as a shock. It was for $5,559.60, due Wednesday.

Ramm, 55, said he'd never seen anything like it in the more than 30 years he's lived in his home on the city's south side.

"The highest gas bill I've ever had since I've been here was $310," Ramm said Tuesday, noting that that was a bill he got last winter.

Columbia Gas investigated and determined that the eye-popping bill resulted from an error made when the company replaced Ramm's basement meter with an outdoor one in October, spokesman Chris Kozak said.

Ramm and his wife were credited Wednesday for an overcharge of approximately $5,300, Kozak said, adding that the Ramms were never at risk of having their gas turned off if they didn't pay their original, four-figure bill.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071220/ap_on_fe_st/odd_gas_bill_error;_ylt=AsiUL6bOLhbKQ.8iajVCsrUsQE 4F