Clarifying HMU meter audit findings
Harlan Municipal Utilities CEO Joe Rueschenberg has released the following statement regarding a recent electric meter audit.
“In order to ensure accurate and consistent billing, we, from time to time, perform meter audits. During a recent electric meter audit we determined thirty-six (36) customers were being billed for a different level of electric service than they are receiving. We have talked with these customers. We do not anticipate any additional customers are affected at this time.
We have a fiscal responsibility to all our customers. To not rectify billing discrepancies when customers are underbilled means other customers must make up any shortfall for services received. Conversely, we must issue credits if customers are ever overbilled. It is critically important we are fair, equitable and consistent in our billing. We have HMU Board of Trustee approved policies as guidance on the best way to resolve billing discrepancies.”
Service level, or the size of the electric meter necessary to supply the property, is determined by several factors such as the total anticipated electric load of the property or intended use. The anticipated level of electric use in new construction is typically determined by the builder and/or electrician and not the homeowner nor the utility. Older homes may have had services upgraded by prior owners without new owners being aware of the upgrade when they purchased the home. Commercial and industrial applications will vary by how the property was used. A prior owner may have had a high electric load, say for something like an electric welder or high-capacity pumps, requiring an upgraded service with the appropriate monthly charge.
Rueschenberg ends with, “We ask customers to check their bills. If you think your level of billing or use is not correct for your applications, please contact us. We are always willing to work with customers to determine the proper level of service and metering to ensure accurate billing for services received and commodities used.