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.