We work hard to obtain an in-person reading of your electric, gas or water meter each month, but from time to time we must estimate usage using a number of reliable inputs. Please read the frequently asked questions below for more information or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have additional questions or call 352-334-3434.
Please scroll to the bottom for questions about missed billing cycles.
Where is GRU reading meters this week?
Jan. 24-Jan. 27 (40,550):
- Monday: SW/SE
- Tuesday: SE/NE
- Wednesday: SE/NE
- Thursday: NE/NW
- Friday: NE/NW
Why was GRU estimating energy usage for some customers?
Like many throughout the industry, GRU has experienced staffing shortages. While we were actively hiring new meter readers, the shortage, combined with wet summer weather, caused delays in our typical process. Until we were fully staffed, we estimated usage on certain routes each month to avoid further delays. GRU stopped mass-estimating meter reads in December.
What are estimates based on?
Your consumption for the billing period is estimated using a standardized method derived from several usage factors. This automated process makes the estimate as fair and accurate as possible.
The following factors are included in the estimation calculation:
- The amount used during the preceding billing period
- The amount used the previous year during the same billing period
- The amount used the previous year during the preceding billing period
- A factor that adjusts the estimate based on the average system-wide usage daily trend
Has GRU estimated usage before?
Yes, GRU estimates individual customer usage from time to time for various reasons, ranging from a locked gate denying us access to read the meter to a loose dog. At times, we have also estimated meters following hurricanes if the storm results in unsafe conditions.
What happens if the estimate is higher or lower than my actual usage?
When your meter is read after an estimate, our system automatically corrects any difference between the prior estimation and your actual usage. If our estimate was too low (meaning your usage was more than we estimated), the difference between the estimated usage and your actual usage will be added to your next bill.
Were you estimating every meter in the system every month?
No, we estimated the usage on just enough meters to allow our staff to stay on a regular schedule.
What has GRU done to address this issue?
Our meter readers have been working overtime and on weekends to make sure meters are read on a regular schedule. Additionally, employees with experience reading meters but who have moved into other positions at the utility have been reading meters while we’re shorthanded.
How do I know if my usage was estimated?
You can tell if your usage has been estimated by looking on the back of your bill. Under Meter Read Type, it will say either ACTUAL or ESTIMATE. Learn more about your residential bill here.
(Updated Jan. 10, 2023) What has GRU done to address meter reading challenges?
We have been working day and night to address these issues and have already employed a number of successful solutions, including:
- Halting mass-estimations of meters.
- Working with a contractor to make sure we always maintain appropriate staffing levels.
- Transitioning temporary employees to permanent positions to improve retention.
- Reviewing additional compensation options to improve retention further.
Please see below if you have not received a bill.
Why haven't I received my GRU bill?
We work hard to obtain an in-person reading of your electric, gas or water meter each month, but from time to time we must estimate usage. When this happens, a meter reader will come out the following month to get an actual read. Our computer system then automatically adjusts your bill based on actual usage.
We have safeguards built into the system to prevent customers from being overbilled if your estimated usage is higher than your actual usage. When the system detects this, it automatically “locks” the account and won’t send a bill until a billing representative can make sure the usage is correct. Because GRU is experiencing staffing shortages, we have been estimating usage on more routes than usual to avoid longer-than-typical meter reading cycles which may cause a customer to go into a higher rate tier. More estimated reads means greater potential for high estimates, which means more “locked” accounts that need to be examined before a bill can go out. This is all causing some customers to miss a billing cycle.
Will I be charged a late fee if I have not received a bill?
No. Customers will not be charged a late fee or receive any other penalties if GRU did not bill them. GRU customers will have 21 days from the date of their bill to pay. Customers who need further assistance should call 352-334-3434.
If I haven't received a monthly bill, what should I do?
If your average due date is approaching and you haven’t received a monthly bill, we recommend that you go ahead and pay an amount similar to your typical monthly bill. This will help offset what would be due if you receive two bills in one month.
What is GRU doing to make sure this doesn't happen again?
GRU is taking several steps to avoid issues like this in the future:
- We are finishing a long-overdue update of our Customer Information System, which will enable us to operate more efficiently and reliably. We expect the new system to be operational in the spring.
- We are replacing or retrofitting all meters with digital meters that can be read remotely, which will eliminate the need for estimated reads.
- We continue to hire meter readers to cut down on estimates.
(Updated Jan. 10, 2023) What has GRU done to address billing challenges?
GRU has enacted measures to address billing delays and anticipates resolving any current issues over the next couple of weeks. Among the steps we have taken:
- Shifting staff from complementary departments to assist in processing delayed bills.
- Working weekends and holidays to resolve existing issues.
- Increasing the billing staff by two full-time employees.
- Working with a contractor to assist with any remaining backlog.
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