Utility’s customer service has plan to help customers with estimated billing
EPHRATA, Wash. – Grant PUD is asking customers concerned with high bills this winter to contact its customer service department by emailing email@example.com or calling (509) 766-2505.
Many of the concerns from customers stem from the combination of the traditional winter energy-use spike that accompanies colder weather and that it was necessary to estimate some bills the past few months. On average, a single meter reader records information from about 300 meters a day. If the meter reader is unavailable because of winter conditions or other reasons, then the reads for that day have to be estimated. Bill estimations are based on prior usage and can sometimes be higher or lower than actual usage. In those cases, bills are adjusted when a reader is able to record the actual power consumption, usually the following month. Estimated bills will have the word, “Yes” on them in the upper right corner of the bill. Also, it’s important to note the days in the billing cycle listed on their bill. Billing cycle days can vary as much as six days.
If a customer is concerned that the estimated bill is out of line with actual usage, then they are encouraged to contact customer service to discuss their options. “We understand that getting an unexpected high bill can be upsetting,” said Terry McKenzie, senior manager of customer solutions. “We want customers to contact us so we can find the best resolution for them.”
Options for customers include:
- Sending customer service an electronic photo of their meter when they receive an estimated bill so the bill can be reviewed to reflect actual usage.
- Signing up for BudgetPay level billing service.
- There are also resources in the county to help customers keep their power on if they cannot pay their bill.
McKenzie encourages customers to e-mail their concerns if possible, due to increased call volume. Emails will be answered as quickly as possible.
It is also important to note that all meters in the county are still being manually read — even the new Advanced Metering Program (AMP) meters. Eventually the new AMP meters will be read remotely when the utility has completed and tested the interface to operate the remote reads. One of the benefits of AMP meters is to eliminate estimations and increases accuracy and efficiencies. To learn more about the Advanced Metering Program, visit http://grantpud.org/customer-service/advanced-metering-program.
Established by local residents over 75 years ago, Grant PUD generates and delivers energy to millions of customers throughout the Pacific Northwest. What began as a grassroots movement of public power has evolved into one of the premiere providers of renewable energy at some of the most affordable rates in the nation. For more information visit www.grantpud.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
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