Utilities are authorized to estimate meter readings under the provision of WAC-480. For instance, in adverse weather conditions entire areas may be estimated or small groups within an area estimated, depending on road conditions. If PUD water meters are covered with ice and snow, they are estimated, regardless. Removing the snow to open the box for reading can damage the frost plate. Therefore, customers with both electric and PUD water service may have a normal reading for the electric meter and an estimated reading for their water meter. For those who receive estimated bills, this is how the PUD estimation process works.
- If the service shows usage for the same period one year ago, the same usage is billed as an estimate.
- If there is no service usage for the same period a year ago, last month’s usage is billed as an estimate. 95% of the PUD estimated bills will be generated using the first two steps and rarely result in large over or under-billings.
- In very few instances, information is unavailable for the process as outlined in 1 or 2. On these occasions depending on the time of the year, the peak use for the service (summer or winter) will be used to create the estimated bill.
Regardless which method is used to provide the estimated bill, the next time a valid reading is available, the entire estimated bill (and consumption) is credited to the customer account and the entire use between the last two valid readings is re-billed. This will appear on the customer statement as “Return of Estimate”.
The PUD avoids estimating bills unless absolutely necessary. Even though no one likes to receive an estimated bill, we request that if you receive an estimated bill that you pay the bill.
Remember if you have questions about your bill or require payment arrangements; contact our Customer Services personnel at your nearest area PUD office.