Estimated and adjusted bills — what are they?

Three major hurricanes back-to-back and the subsequent restoration efforts made it difficult to conduct business as usual. For example, our meter readers have spent the last two months on hurricane assignments, instead of reading meters. As a consequence, many customers have received or will receive estimated bills.

If your bill is estimated, the words “estimated bill” appear on it. Whether it is a home or business, we calculate an estimated bill to the best of our ability, based on an historic review of a customer’s average use of electricity for that month. Because of the unprecedented number of hurricanes, some customers — particularly those in hard-hit areas — may have received more than one estimated bill.

Because an estimated bill is based on a customer’s past usage of electricity, rather than an actual meter reading, it reflects an approximate electric usage for the month. The next time the meter is read, your subsequent bill will be adjusted to the actual amount of electricity used. The bill will have wording indicating that it is an “adjusted bill.” If you have received an adjusted bill, please keep in mind that if the earlier estimated bill was lower than your actual electric use, your current bill may seem high.

Estimated bills and subsequent adjustment bills can be confusing, so we appreciate your understanding.

We want you to remember, as well, that your electric meter does not record energy use when the power goes out, so you pay only for the energy you actually use, as recorded by the electric meter. Since you are only paying for actual energy used — not a flat monthly rate, as in the case of your cable or telephone bills — there is no need to issue a credit for the time you were without power.

See Meter Readers and Your Electric Meter for more information.