Budget Billing

My local electricity provider offers what is supposed to be an equal payment plan that is designed to eliminate the seasonal fluctuations in power bills. Supposedly, it averages the last twelve months of usage and sets that as the payment amount. It is subject to quarterly adjustments to avoid a large year-end settlement.

Well, it appears that their computer is stupid. It set me up for the amount I expected ($123), and all was well until this, the third month. Once on budget billing, your bill shows actual usage versus amount paid, and a rolling twelve-month average usage. That average has stayed within 3 kWh for the last three months. Of course I’ve used more than I’ve paid so far, but this is expected with it being the dead of winter and my heat being electric heat pump.

Despite the consistent average usage, they are bumping my payment up by twelve percent starting next month (to $138). In three more months, with the spring transition usage in the books, they’ll probably drop it by twenty or so percent to reflect actual usage. Completely ignoring the twelve month numbers, again. This defeats the purpose of the program, in my opinion. I’ll probably just cancel the plan and go back to paying for actual usage every month.

Why offer the program if the calculation algorithm is that fucking stupid?

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3 Responses to Budget Billing

  1. hollychism says:

    The utterly terrifying part? It may not be a computer algorithm doing the math.

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