Reading Your Bill


Now I want you to get out of copy of your electric bill, There are a number of things that you want to look for.
If you don't have a copy of your bill, go to your electric company's web site, and there will probably be a copy of your last bill online.
Or call your company and they will tell you how to get a copy of your latest bill.

There are the key points to identify on your bill.

1. Your account number (it is circled at the top right on the bill on th
e right)
2. Is the name on the bill your correct name?

3. Are the house number and street  name correct?

4. Are the building or unit or apartment number correct?

5. Your meter number and rate-make sure your billing rate
is correct. At right you see a billing rate of  001 . This indicates non electric heat. If you had electric heat, the billing rate would be 005. This would be a cheaper rate that you would be entitled to.

6. The billing period -A normal billing period is 30 days. In the example to the above right the billing period  is 35 days. This is 5 days  and almost 17% more than normal. That means that for every $100 you are normally billed you are now billed $117 A $300 bill would be raised to $351.
7. Reading type; estimated or actual -see explanation below and please do not skip reading the link entitled "Electric meters".
An estimated bill means the meter reader could not visually read your meter, so your bill was estimated by your electric company based on your past usage usually from one year before on the same month. In the graph below left in the red circle you can see that months actually read are solid black bars and estimated readings would be white bars.  If you're bill was estimated, you want to determine why and get it corrected so the actual read can be gotten by the meter reader. The usual problem is that the electric company cannot gain access to the meter because it is in an locked cellar or some other area that is locked or inaccessible. Even in a locked cellar, an AMR meter can be read electronically, so your meter reading will never be estimated. An AMR meter is an electric meter that can be read without the aid of the meter reader.  It does this by sending out a radio signal that is picked up in a variety of ways by your electric company.  If you see it indicated on your bill that you did have an estimated read, then you probably don't have an AMR. Ask a company representative when you speak to one in the next section to be sure if you have an AMR. If you do not, ask the rep why your reads are being estimated and then try to correct the problem. If you do have an AMR and your readings are being estimated, then you may have a defective AMR or your meter is in an area that will not allow its signal to reach the company. Find out from the company rep if this is the case and ask to get it corrected.

 OK, have you got all that? Note if anything  was incorrect on your bill, and we will head onto the next step, How to talk to the Electric Company Representative.


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Disclaimer: Even small amounts of electricity can kill you. If you are unsure of what you are doing at any time as you read this web page, I urge you to stop and consult with a licensed, qualified electrician. The small cost of professional assistance may mean the difference between a job successfully completed and a tragic ending. Do not risk injury or death if you are not exactly sure of what you are doing. We take no responsibility for damage, injury or death.




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