Dallas, TX, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — March 8, 2007 – The Public Utility Commission of Texas has passed a rule whereby electric utilities cannot estimate a meter reading for longer than three consecutive months. The rule – which has come about because of the need for more accurate usage information – will take effect from July 2007.
Utilities such as TXU Electric Delivery (recently bought by a private equity consortium) will put new processes in place to advise consumers that meter readers are unable to perform their duties. These include leaving a door hanger to let the home or business owner know each time the meter is inaccessible. In addition utility staff will contact the customer either by phone, by mail or in person to inform him if there is an issue with reading the meter.
"We don’t want any electric customer to be inconvenienced by the new rule, so Electric Delivery is doing everything in our power to make sure that consumers are made aware if there is an issue and know who to contact should it be necessary," said Rob Trimble, president and chief operating officer, TXU Electric Delivery. "More importantly, we are notifying customers early in the process, because most meter access issues can be easily and quickly remedied, but some might take longer and acting now will help prevent a potential disconnection in the future."
The customer will have the opportunity to correct the issue that is preventing the meter reader from accessing the meter. Their other options include either paying to have the meter relocated, with agreement from Electric Delivery, or paying to have a remotely read meter installed.
If the access issue is not corrected and disconnection occurs, the customer will have to choose between paying to have remotely read metering equipment installed or paying to have the meter relocated before their electricity is reconnected. Both of these options are costly for the customer and implementation can take a long time and could result in the customer’s service being interrupted for a week or longer.