Well we come to the conclusion on this short series about meters and making sure you are billed correctly.
In order to determine if you are being billed correctly you have a few ways of going about this.
Firstly, and the most accurate, involves getting an electrician to look at your meter board. If you have a friend/relative who comes over for social visits that is the perfect time.
However if you are like most of us with relatively little electrical knowledge and the only electricians you know seem to charge the following method may be more to your liking. Key to this method is that the cheaper meters (such as Night meters, and controlled meters) only operate at certain times. Or put this another way - you won't get electricity through the meter 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Devices on these meters will either
- only work between 11pm and 7am, or
- only work between 11pm and 7am with a random 2 hours slot occuring around midday, or
- randomly go off for up to 4 hours generally in the evening, or
- only work between 7am and 11pm.
If you recognize the above happens with your appliances, call your power company and tell them. They will give you a reason, and insist they put it to you in writing. Once you have it in writing compare it to your bill, if everything matches, fantastic. If not call back and ask to speak with a manager. Don't take no for an answer.
Also if you bill lists more than one meter, the following meter combinations are something you should watch out for
- A day meter WITHOUT a night meter
- Two 'Composite' meters
- Two 'anytime' (also known as '24 hour') meters
- Three meters where two meters are 'controlled' (also known as 'economy').
What we have described is the most common results of an incorrect meter configuration. If any of these match your bill, call your Power Company and insist they check it free of charge.