Inability to read meters lead to estimated bills- GPL
Chief Executive Officer (ag), Guyana Power and Light (GPL) Renford Homer says if Meter Readers cannot access the property of an individual, “maybe, because the gate is locked and no one is home or, the meter is positioned where it is difficult to do the meter reading,” the person’s bill is then estimated.
Homer pointed out that meter readings are necessary to determine a customer’s level of consumption for a 30 days period but it is a challenge because people lifestyles change overtime and most persons are out during the day especially in the newer housing schemes.
“We have a very short period to retrieve the meter, read and bring it into the customer information system to complete the bill. If we don’t complete the read at that time and at the same time complete the bill generation timely, we do an estimation,” Homer explained.
This he said is done through an algorithm in the computer. The algorithm he said, examines the previous six months of consumption and does an average.
“If you happen to had a month or months where your consumption were higher than usual and you chose the remaining months to conserve on your actual consumption and it was reduced, chances are your consumption would come out to be a little higher than expected,” the CEO outlined.
Homer said, in instances where a customer recognises a mistake they are allowed to do a self-read while the power company also conducts one so that the information can be corrected.
Additionally, customers were urged via letters from the power company to submit their readings all the time while GPL conducts one certified read every quarter, “this gives us the comfort that what they are giving us is correct and that we’re billing them are not estimated charges, especially since we only read during the day,” he said.
Reports recently surfaced in the media that estimated bills from the power company do not reflect anything near actual consumption.