Meter Reader Craziness
December 28, 2013 9:17 PM Subscribe
Help me understand why the energy company seems to (somewhat randomly) choose to estimate my energy usage rather than billing me for actual usage.
posted by raspberrE to Home & Garden (9 answers total)
I pay the same company for gas, electric, and water. Gas and electric meters are right next to each other, in my gated backyard. We have dogs but they are never outside when we are not home, and we leave the gate unlocked and obviously open on meter reading days (at least, the meter reading days that are listed on the previous month's bill).
The water meter in down in a hole on the sidewalk... obviously not blocked by any sort of gate.
So why does the energy company EVER estimate my water meter reading, and why have they estimated my electric reading 7 out of the last 12 months, but only estimated the gas reading 4 of those months... when the meters are right next to each other?
And yes, I have tried calling the company. I have never gotten anyone to give me a straight answer other than "your gate must have been locked." I have specifically asked why they estimated my water reading then, since it's on the public sidewalk, and was told that they never do such a thing. I also asked to get an automated phone call reminder the night before meter reading day so I could be sure to open the gate, and I have only gotten that call 2 maybe 3 of the last 12 months.
I know that in the end, the amount I pay them all evens out over the year... but it drives me nuts not being able to look at my bill history and figure out my normal monthly usage since my electric meter was never actually read two months in a row - meaning even the months they did the "actual" reading, I don't know whether that amount was true to what I actually used that month, or whether it reflected an over- or underestimation the previous month. (Yes, I know I can read my own meter to keep up with usage but that doesn't help me in trying to analyze last year's usage.) It also drives me nuts to pay $50 one month and $250 the next. (I also know that "balanced billing" is an option but don't want to go there for various reasons.)
Is this much estimation normal? Is there anything I can do to ensure that my meter is actually read?