Estimated reading for final ConEd bill?
September 4, 2014 8:54 PM   Subscribe

I recently moved out of an apartment in NYC. A few days before my lease was up, I contacted ConEd to terminate service effective the last day of my lease. Apparently ConEd sent a final bill with an estimated reading???

I was told that the next scheduled reading wasn't for a few weeks. This is a problem because it's estimated based on the usage from the same month in the prior year, and this year my apartment was unoccupied during the final month, so the usage was almost zero. (compared to last year when I was running AC all month, and living in the unit full time)

I don't understand how ConEd doesn't do an actual reading when people move out. How can they properly determine what is owed by me, and the next tenant if they don't read the meter between tenants?

Has anyone else experienced something similar and did ConEd somehow fix it in the end?
posted by dcjd to Work & Money (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You should be able to read the meter yourself and then give them a call with the correct number.

Note that I have never done this myself.
posted by ryanrs at 12:21 AM on September 5, 2014

ryanrs: Unfortunately that doesn't really help with my situation since ConEd apparently only lets you submit a reading on the actual reading date. My reading date was about a week and a half after I moved out.
posted by dcjd at 6:49 AM on September 5, 2014

dcjd: "A few days before my lease was up, I contacted ConEd to terminate service effective the last day of my lease."

See their side for a second. ConEd is staffed to handle a scheduled rotation of readings, not a stream of one-off requests. If everyone in NYC gave ConEd notice "a few days" before leaving (which is probably on the generous side of things), their readers would do nothing but scramble to do final readings on a moment's notice. What exactly were you expecting to happen here, O Special Flower?

Is the estimated reading significantly different than your typical monthly bill? If not, let it go, it's not worth your time. Otherwise, I suspect it will sort out when the scheduled reading happens.
posted by mkultra at 9:05 AM on September 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

What will happen is: they will do the actual reading, figure out how much electricity was used, and pro-rate that amount based on the number of days you owe vs the new tenants. Unless the new tenants immediately start leaving multiple hair driers on constantly during those first few weeks, you will end up paying an amount close enough to the electricity that you actually used that it will not be worth your time to worry about it.
posted by Phredward at 9:25 AM on September 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

mkultra: I just want to pay for the amount of electricity I actually used and don't find that to be a special request. From my conversations with ConEd, they don't suggest giving any more notice than what I gave them... and as you said, apparently their meter readers are on a set schedule and the amount of notice for cancellations makes no difference, they aren't reading the meter until they are scheduled to. I've dealt with utility companies in other areas of the country that actually do come out and do special readings for exactly this sort of situation, so ConEd's policy came as quite a surprise.

Phredward: The bill ConEd sent is over $100 more than what my actual usage should have been, because I didn't install my AC this summer. (I was primarily living elsewhere for the final months of my lease). I assume the new tenants would have installed AC immediately and probably have been running it full time, so calculating a bill based on percentage of time I was there would have me subsidizing them.
posted by dcjd at 2:15 PM on September 5, 2014

When I moved I forgot to start ConEd (didn't know they were separate from National Grid) and they just kept giving me energy for over a year before sending me an enormous bill, I think over 10k. I called and they said they didn't do any readings and basically charged me the max for every month. They sent someone over to take an actual reading and they did whatever calculation to estimate my monthly, which brought the bill down to a reasonable amount. Perhaps they're estimating a higher number for you and you can ask them to take an actual reading.
posted by homesickness at 7:56 PM on September 5, 2014

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