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February 09, 2007



It's standard practice not to check them every month. They estimate the in betweens and if they're wrong the bill jumps or drops dramatically in the months when they do check.

I learned this from the electric company in 1982 when I left my first apartment. I owned it for the month of July but actually moved out the first week of the month. The final electric bill was absurd, with nothing but the refrigerator going (didn't know it was standard practice to empty it and turn it off), and the few full days there and a visit or two later in the month when I used lights briefly. The bill should have been no more than half normal.

I've seen regular evidence of the practice ever since.

Cop Car

I don't know what our power company does now (HH sees the utility bills); but, at least some power companies indicate when a bill is for an estimated reading. (My bills would have "est" beside the reading.) I thought that "everyone" did that. Obviously not!


In the Chicago area, they indicate on the bill when the usage is estimated. I think ComEd comes every other month. Nicor Gas sends someone every month during the winter, but in the warmer months when there's less gas used, they bill us every other month, so I'd assume they are reading less as well.


Our bill specifically states "Your meter is scheduleed to be read each month. This statement shows present and previous meter readings . . . " then "An estimated bill is rendered when PSNH is unable to read your meter." then "Examine your previous bills to see if they say 'estimated'."

There has never been an indication when the bill is estimated although they are supposed to.

Additionally, they encourage us to look at the meter usage graph and figure out where we can save energy. If the bill is estimated so much, there is absolutely no value in the graph as it doesn't tell me a thing.

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