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This entry was published on 2018-08-31
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Meter reading and estimated bills
Public Service (PBS) CHAPTER 48, ARTICLE 2
§ 39. Meter reading and estimated bills. 1. A utility corporation or
municipality may, in accordance with such requirements as the commission
may impose by regulation, render an estimated bill for any billing
period if: (a) the procedure used by such utility or municipality for
calculating estimated bills has been approved by the commission, and the
bill clearly indicates that it is based on an estimated reading and (b)
the utility owning the meter and providing the meter reading data on
which the estimated bill will be based or the municipality has made
reasonable effort to obtain an actual meter reading or (c) circumstances
beyond the control of the utility or municipality made an actual reading
of the meter extremely difficult or (d) circumstances indicate a
reported reading is likely to be erroneous, or (e) an estimated reading
is prescribed or authorized by the commission for a billing period
between periods when actual meter readings are scheduled or for seasonal
or short term customers.

2. Where a utility corporation owning the meter and supplying meter
reading data for a bill or a municipality fails to gain access to a
meter for a period of four months or two billing periods, whichever is
greater, the corporation or municipality shall take reasonable actions
to obtain an actual meter reading. Such additional actions may include,
but not be limited to: making an appointment with the customer or such
other person who controls access to the meter for a reading at a time
other than within normal business hours, offering the customer the
opportunity to phone in a meter reading, or providing a card to the
customer on which he or she may record the reading and mail it to the
utility or municipality.

3. Where a utility corporation or municipality has submitted an
estimated bill or bills to a residential customer, and such estimate or
estimates significantly understate the actual amount of money owed by
such customer, the customer shall have the right to pay the difference
between the estimated charges and the actual charges in regular monthly
installments over a reasonable period. The commission shall establish by
regulation the minimum amount for any such underbilling, and the length
of any such period; provided, however, that no such installment period
shall be less than three months.

4. Upon discontinuation of utility service to a residential customer,
a gas or electric corporation shall notify such customer of their right
to an actual meter reading. It shall be the right of every residential
customer of a gas or electric corporation, upon the discontinuation of
utility service, to obtain, upon request, an actual meter reading by
such customer's gas or electric corporation. A gas or electric
corporation shall provide such a reading within forty-eight hours of
such request, provided that if circumstances beyond the control of the
gas or electric corporation make an actual reading of the meter
extremely difficult, such corporation shall not be required to provide
an actual meter reading. A gas or electric corporation shall not be
required to provide a physical meter reading during a holiday or
non-work day, but shall instead provide such meter reading on the next