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Grumpy
Premium
join:2001-07-28
NW CT
Reviews:
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reply to bcool

Re: Gas company hanky panky or bona fide glitch?

Our local electricity company (CL&P) estimates monthly bills when the meter reader doesn't show up to take the reading. "Funny" how the bill skyrockets when this occurs. My theory is that this is their means to a cash flow grab, but that's another story...

It gets worse -- I pay the usual and customary amount on time, and they charge penalty and interest on the artificial high balance due, that isn't even really due. It's only a few dollars that isn't worth the phone button torture plus on-hold time required to fix it, but it certainly does tweak ones sense of what is right or wrong.



bcool
Premium
join:2000-08-25
The Ozarks

said by Grumpy:

Our local electricity company (CL&P) estimates monthly bills when the meter reader doesn't show up to take the reading. "Funny" how the bill skyrockets when this occurs. My theory is that this is their means to a cash flow grab, but that's another story...

It gets worse -- I pay the usual and customary amount on time, and they charge penalty and interest on the artificial high balance due, that isn't even really due. It's only a few dollars that isn't worth the phone button torture plus on-hold time required to fix it, but it certainly does tweak ones sense of what is right or wrong.

Thanks for yours. Anyway, I have learned something about dealing with gas utility that I did not know. If knowledge is empowerment, then I should do better the next time this happens. And admittedly if the adjustment had been "downward" I'd be singing their praises.
--
"in flagrante delicto"


Grumpy
Premium
join:2001-07-28
NW CT
Reviews:
·Comcast
·AT&T Yahoo
·Callcentric
reply to Grumpy

Forgive me the further off topic, but - be thankful you don't burn heating oil.

Year 2000 - $500 per year for heating oil season

Year 2012 - already $1,500 and the season is not over by any means. Estimate $2,000 for heat, Thanksgiving to Mother's day.

Wages - year 2000 level for most people

Heating oil $3.75 to $4.00 per gallon here.



herdfan
Premium
join:2003-01-25
Hurricane, WV
reply to Grumpy

said by Grumpy:

Our local electricity company (CL&P) estimates monthly bills when the meter reader doesn't show up to take the reading. "Funny" how the bill skyrockets when this occurs.

Most of the big utilities make degree day calculations to estimate usage. For example, in the winter the average hi/low temp is subtracted from 60 (so if the high was 30 and low was 20 that equals 25: 60-25=35 degree days. These numbers are added up for the month. If that sum is 10% greater than average, then your estimated bill will be 10% greater. Now if you were gone for 2 weeks and had the heat set down at 50, they have no way of knowing that.

kamin

join:2003-03-30
Puyallup, WA
reply to Grumpy

said by Grumpy:

Heating oil $3.75 to $4.00 per gallon here.

This is why my mom is switching from oil to electric for her furnace... power here is pretty cheap, and it will be cheaper to run than oil (plus replaced the current furnace and 47 year old underground tank) as long as it remains at this prices which I doubt it will ever go under $3.00 per gallon ever again.

A heat pump would be nice (especially for the A/C) but just not in any budget to do the full install of one.

patcat88

join:2002-04-05
Jamaica, NY
kudos:1
reply to herdfan

said by herdfan:

said by Grumpy:

Our local electricity company (CL&P) estimates monthly bills when the meter reader doesn't show up to take the reading. "Funny" how the bill skyrockets when this occurs.

Most of the big utilities make degree day calculations to estimate usage. For example, in the winter the average hi/low temp is subtracted from 60 (so if the high was 30 and low was 20 that equals 25: 60-25=35 degree days. These numbers are added up for the month. If that sum is 10% greater than average, then your estimated bill will be 10% greater. Now if you were gone for 2 weeks and had the heat set down at 50, they have no way of knowing that.

Some gas companies retroactively bill for degree day difference between actual degree days that month and estimated/average (sure) degree days that month to guarantee a certain profit per customer each month for the gas company regardless of therms. Even if your meter was read, your rates will change day to day or month to month, or the % fees and taxes will change month to month.