Inability to access meters for reading is the primary reason for estimated bills says Chief Executive Officer (ag), Guyana Power and Light Renford Homer.
Acting Chief Executive Officer (Ag. CEO), GPL, Renford Homer
Speaking with the Government Information Agency (GINA), Homer explained that in most cases when the Meter Readers go to read the meters, they have no access to the meters, “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.”
Homer pointed out 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 in to 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.
The power company’s acting CEO further explained that the estimation is carried out through an algorithm in the computer. The algorithm 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 power company official explained.
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.