Another option to consider while waiting for the utility company: In
California when your utility charges are in dispute, you mail the
billed amount to the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) and they let
the utility know you are disputing the charges. You are not late and
no harm comes to your credit; however, the State is holding the
utility company's money in trust, pending a resolution. This might
make your problem a little more important to resolve as the utility
company is now receiving $0 from you.