Billing inaccuracies can represent significant problems for both customers and for utility companies. A customer who receives a bill that’s much higher than usual through no real fault of their own could end up costing your company valuable time and money with angry phone calls, late payments, negotiation tactics, or lost business. And if you mistakenly send a bill that’s inaccurately low, your customer might be relieved (albeit confused) — but your business will certainly suffer as a result. It’s important to get to the bottom of what might cause these billing inaccuracies and take steps to prevent these problems from occurring. Otherwise, you might find out the hard way that you’ve lost revenue and customers. In today’s post, we’ll discuss a few of the most common reasons for inaccurate energy bills and how investing in more accurate equipment and processes can be to your benefit.
Why Might Customer Energy Bills Contain Inaccuracies?
- The customer’s wiring or appliances are faulty: Most of the time, customers should be able to estimate their energy use and what that energy use will cost. For example, using a 1,000-watt vacuum cleaner for one hour will allow the customer to utilize 1,000 watt-hours of electricity. But sometimes, faulty products can cause energy usage to increase unexpectedly. A faulty dishwasher or dryer could end up using a lot more energy to perform its normal functions due to a major repair that needs to be made. Alternatively, faulty or damaged wiring could increase energy use without the customer realizing it. That’s just one reason it’s so important for the homeowner to prioritize home inspections and regular repair services.
- Your utility meters aren’t working correctly: It’s also possible that your company’s utility meters aren’t working correctly. When meters are installed improperly or experience a communication failure, they won’t accurately display important data. Utilities will always test meters when they’re installed, but many homeowners don’t realize that these meters should also be tested on a periodic basis to ensure they’re functioning as they should. A broken meter can certainly cause billing inaccuracies, so you’ll want to service this equipment regularly or invest in meters that can alert the utility when there might be a problem with the equipment.
- Your meters aren’t being read accurately: Your meters might be functioning fine, but they might also be read incorrectly — and that can obviously lead to inaccurate invoicing. In addition to testing energy meters to ensure they work, the data also needs to be checked for accuracy. This is especially common when meters are read manually, though it can happen in other scenarios as well. If there’s a discrepancy between the actual energy consumption and the data collected by the utility, this can be a huge problem for both company and customer.
How Can Utility Companies Ensure Accurate Billing?
In some cases, billing inaccuracies can actually be more favorable to the customer. If your electrical metering methods are found to be faulty, your utility may be missing out on thousands of dollars in earned revenue each year. That can be disastrous for the company itself and even make it harder for customers to accurately predict their bills on a monthly basis. Of course, consistent overcharging can cause unnecessary stress for customers and even cause them to take their business elsewhere. Either scenario can be incredibly problematic for both parties. In other words, it’s essential to ensure the bills you send out — and the equipment you use to gather information — are accurate 100% of the time.
That’s where properly testing energy meters will come into play. Accurate meter testing can make all the difference for your utility. When you use the right equipment for testing energy meters, you’ll be able to precisely and quickly gain access to the information you need and make potential adjustments to make certain your customers are being accurately billed for their energy use. To learn more about how our equipment for testing energy meters can allow your utility to reach set goals and eliminate inaccurate energy bills, please contact us today.