I figured I'd try here, sorry if this is off-topic. My electric company
recently sent me a bill that blew my mind. All summer my bill has been in
the $125-$135 range. The most recent one came in at $389. There have been
no changes at other than them switching my meter. I've checked with a
number of my neighbors with similar sized or larger homes who also cool with
central AC and they all say their highest bills come in around $150. This
is bizzarre and the only responses I get from their customer service teams
are 'You used it'. No help at all and I told them that I wanted the meter
checked. No problem they say, I just have to wait until the end of
December. Does anyone have any guesses as to what could have caused a jump
like that? We didn't have a particularly hot month, cooler than past months
Well, one obvious possibility is that the new meter is defective.
Another less obvious possibility is that the *old* meter was defective.
Also, it could be that they've been estimating your usage for a few months,
guessing low each time, and they finally read the meter and got an accurate
figure. It ought to show on your bill whether the charges are based on
estimates or actual readings; if it doesn't, the utility company certainly can
tell you which way they figured the bill each month.
I'd bet somebody blew the arithmetic in converting from the old meter to
the new. You'd need the final reading from the old meter + the original
reading from the new meter. Maybe they blew it and just filled in
something to CYA.
Jim Tiberio wrote:
It would appear to be related to the meter change (note taking into
account your later information about estimated readings).
Could be the last reading on the old one was improperly recorded, or as
noted some confusion about the meter rate. The same number on one meter
does not always correspond to another meter.
Of course the big unanswered question is "Why was the meter changed?"
There are all kinds of possibilitys including their ASSuming that the old
meter was causing you to have been under billed in the previous months and
now they are playing catch up.
BUT unless they give you an answer that makes sense (including information
about the last reading of the old meter and the initial reeding of the new
meter when it was put into service) then you need to take it to the state
Once you have sent the problem to the state, just pay you bill and wait for
the bureaucracy to do its slow thing. If an adjustment is made you will
get your money back with interest.
Best guess is some one slipped their disco. Old meter had an reading of XXXX
new meter MIGHT have had an reading of YYYY and they just subtracted.
Unfortunately it happens. Try and get some one to deal with the situation in
person. Bring you bills and sit down and ask simple questions. Never say it
is your mistake.
Ask for the beginning meter reading. IF it is 0000 then the multiplier could
be wrong. Be gentle almost willing when dealing with them. I have been in
the trade for 35 years and have seen 3 bad residential meters. Usually it is
an math problem i.e. humans not the meter.
Last resort call the utility commission and make waves there.
Comparisons from month to month can be faulty. Usually I try to do March to
Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free.
Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com ).
On Fri, 15 Oct 2004 17:27:18 -0400, Jim Tiberio wrote:
Another possibility is a payment wasn't made or received or credited
properly. The last is a real probability.
Since none on this board handle billing, check with your utility provider
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.
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