How to Make Sure Your Electric Bill is Correct
How to Get Relief From High Electric Bills and Incorrect Charges: If you think your electric bill is incorrect or too high then here are some things you can do.
Electric Bills and Electric Meters
Electrical Question: A few years ago I was living in my two family home, where I used the second and third floor as a owner occupied landlord, and rented out the bottom floor.
- The attic was remodeled by a contractor who added a sub panel to the existing 2nd floor panel that I used. So all the attic electricity was going from the sub panel to the remodeled attic which was part of the 2nd apartment. An electrician added a third meter for the attic under the 2nd apartment service so I could keep track of the electric heat cost for my tenant and then charge for that part of the electric bill.
- The electrician apparently got a permit for a Common Area Landlord meter. It took over 15 months to even get a meter, and in the interim the electric company bridged the meter socket and was giving me free electricity because the electrician explained the meters were so “back logged”.
- I did make calls to the town inspector office requesting the meter be installed so I could have closure on this, again I did not know the permit was taken out as a common area meter.
- I moved out and rented the apartment. The situation continued with free electricity for the tenant who left after 6 months. Another tenant began renting out the second and third floor and finally the electric company installed the meter. After about six months the electric company started sending me bills for the third meter. That’s when I found out about the permit problem, and the electric company refuses to change the meter.
What are my options here?
Could I talk to the inspector about changing the permit to second meter?
This electrical question came from: David, a Handyman from Groveland, Massachusetts.
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Thanks for your electrical question David.
How to Get Relief From High Electric Bills and Incorrect Charges
If you think your electric bill is incorrect or too high then here are some things you can do
Most Electric Bills are Based on the Building and the Occupants
First, let me address the matter that is discussed in this question.
- In a construction situation such as this, a permit is issued by the local building department based upon the type of building project at the location.
- The building department will inspect the work to make sure that is has been done according to code.
- Typically an application for service must be filed with the local electric utility company.
- The type and purpose of the electric service will be identified on the application which will determine the category of the service and the rate schedule that will apply.
- If you feel that your billing account is not correct then you may request that it be changed or adjusted as available within their guidelines or available programs.
Private Metering for Tenants
- Another option for landlords is to have a Private Meter or Energy Usage Monitor installed that will accurately keep track of electricity being used and recover the charges based upon the electric utility billing.
Adjustment to Your Electric Bill
- If you feel that your electric bill is not correct then you should contact your local electric utility company which is listed on your bill.
- Review your account and ask about the rate schedule that applies to your home or location.
- All Electric Homes and the Billing Rate Schedule. If your home is All Electric then this should be pointed out. An all electric home is where all of the major appliances are electric, not gas. All electric appliances include heating, cooking, water heater and clothes dryer.
- Many electric utility companies offer energy efficiency programs which may include a free home inspection that will identify key areas that need improved efficiency. When funding is available an appliance replacement program may be offered to exchange older refrigerators, microwave ovens with improved efficient units. Other services may be available for additional attic insulation, weatherization, and energy saving light bulbs.
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Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.