Grace Edwards told the Hartford Courant she discovered the billing error after a prospective buyer for the house asked for a history of utility charges.
Officials from Connecticut Light & Power said a developer who previously owned the home had agreed to pay for the lights.
In 1987, Edwards bought the house and those charges remained on her bill but she did not know that she was taking on the expense of the streetlights.
Then, in July, Edwards was able to get the charges dropped from her bill, but CL&P initially refused to reimburse her.
Then, the state's Office of Consumer Counsel got involved.
“I discovered a serious billing error on CL&P’s part that amounted to thousands of dollars over many years. I called CL&P, wrote letters, did it all, but they were unresponsive to any kind of reimbursement. I really thought I was going to have to sue CL&P. But when I contacted the Office of Consumer Counsel, they got the issue resolved in two business days," Edwards said in a news release from the Office of Consumer Council. "CL&P reimbursed me the total amount of overpayment plus interest, and apologized for the error.”
The overcharges amounted to about $35 each month.
"I am pleased that the Consumer Counsel staff were able to resolve this issue. It is inconceivable that this problem persisted for so long, and very disappointing that CL&P did not immediately rectify the situation when Ms. Edwards brought it to their attention," Consumer Counsel Elin Swanson Katz said in a news release.
CL&P spokesman Mitch Gross said the utility has apologized to Edwards for the error and inconvenience.