Utility Billing FAQ
The need to perform maintenance on meters in the customer locations is part of the business of providing the service. Information is a vital part of the billing systems ability to accurately calculate charges and generate revenue. Accurate billing and rate establishment is not possible when meters are not regularly maintained. When average usage becomes the method of billing for one customer then the pattern is easily repeated with other customers. The larger and older a meter is the more lost revenue is not being measured. This results in rate increases to generate revenue as a result of low measured flows. The meter is your cash register for your utility service.
The second page of this document is an example of a meter work sheet to collect and provide information related to billing. Detail meter information is vital when remote hand held device systems are used or may ever be used in the future. This information helps a meter reader know they are in the right location reading the right meter.
A strategy for preparing, communicating, scheduling, replacing and recording is critical if you are planning a major meter replacement. These processes must be centralized around your customer data file management. Planning a meeting with all functional staff responsible for each step in the process should be done. It is important to be prepared to produce billing in the normal cycle. This requires constant updating of information as each customer is completed and follow up on those with unforeseen issues.
Create a plan to collect this information if you do not have it already. Evaluation of age, size, manufacturer and units of measure of each meter often leads to a discovery of incorrect billing of one or more customers. Recent changes in meter technology have made it beneficial to invest in replacing older meters rapidly.