Pizza place may shut down after almost $20K electric bill

Posted at 1:22 PM, Sep 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-01 18:39:54-04

MIDDLEVILLE, Mich. -- A West Michigan pizza restaurant says they may soon be shutting down because of a large unexpected electric bill.

Mitten Pizza, located on M-179, posted a notice to their Facebook page Monday explaining their unfortunate situation. In it, they say that they recently received a "corrected" electric bill from their provider for $19,795.75.

According to Mitten's owner, Jamie Zichterman, the electric company had uncovered a "mistake" and was back-charging them for 12 months of service.

Because of the large bill, Zichterman says they may have to shut down their business on Nov. 1.

"We are a small owner operator pizza place, not a huge chain that has millions in accounts and lawyers paid to handle these circumstances," he said in a Facebook post.

Zichterman says it's not his goal to shut down the business but says if they cannot negotiate the bill down to a lower amount, that may be inevitable.

In the Monday morning post, Zichterman saying, "Local customers, we love you, and thank you SO much for your continued support over the past 3 years."

A friend of Zichterman launched a GoFundMe campaign Monday afternoon to try and help him pay off the bill.

FOX 17 reached out to Mitten's provider, Great Lakes Energy, for comment about the situation, who sent the following statement:

"To protect our members’ privacy and account information, we are unable to share account details with anyone other than the account holder. We are happy to work with our members for payment arrangements when they are unable to pay a high bill. We have reached out to Mitten Pizza and are currently waiting to hear back from them regarding this manner."

FOX 17 shared the statement with Zichterman, who said he has been in contact with Great Lakes Energy. We followed up with the energy provider to ask what sorts of meter errors could lead to such a situation, they have yet to respond.