Estimated Electric Utility Meter Readings
Silicon Valley Power is providing new advanced meters to its customers. When the program is completed, customers will have access to their usage data and be able to use that information to manage their energy usage.
Some customers may experience a bill with an “estimated read”. This happens when SVP is unable to access and read your meter or the advanced meter system was unable to capture the data fully. If this occurs, the billing system will create an estimated read based on the customer’s historic usage and the current rates. Ideally, customers shouldn’t receive an estimated bill for more than two months before it is balanced with an actual read*. Once an actual read is obtained and the bills are balanced, it may result in a credit if the estimates were too high or what seems like a high bill if the previous bills were underestimated.
*We recognize that in the past few months, we missed the no more than two-month estimated read target for some customers and are working to rectify the problem.
Estimated usage is noted with an “E” in the meter reading column. There have been instances where customers have received estimated reads without this notification, but this has since been resolved.
- Preview a sample bill with an estimated read indicator below.
- As of May 14, 2019, the majority of affected customers will be balanced within the current billing cycle or the next one or two billing cycle.
- Estimated completion; spring 2020.
- Why is my bill so high all of a sudden?
- You may have had a new advanced meter installed that is now reading electric usage more accurately. As older mechanical meters age, they may have slowed down and not registered the full amount of electric usage.During the pilot stage, the vast majority of meter usage changed by less than 2% up or down, but there were occasionally mechanical meters that had become more inaccurate.
- In addition, you may have had a previous bill with an estimated usage. This estimated usage is based on a formula that takes into account historical usage data for that specific meter. Because it is estimated, it cannot take into account if there are changes in usage during the billing period. Therefore, the next bill you receive can be unusually lower or higher depending on how accurate the estimation was.
- There are other factors that may cause changes to your usage, such as whether you added any new appliances or electronics in the last couple months, a change in weather leading to more cooling or heating, visitors staying for extended time, using a second refrigerator during the holidays. A new electric car is probably saving you lots of money at the pump, but if you charged it at home then you will likely see an increase in your electric bill. Kill-A-Watt meters are available at the Central Park Library tool lending library if you want to examine how much energy each of your appliances use.
- Is it just your electric bill?
- There may be other services charged on your bill from the City of Santa Clara. Check to see if the change was only in the electric service or on one of the other services provided to you.
- Why does my meter reading online say it’s estimated?
- It is possible that you have had one or more estimated electric readings. The City of Santa Clara is in the process of upgrading over 50,000 electric meters to new advanced meters that measure accurate electric usage and provide online monitoring. Once the meter is installed, the usage reflected on the first few bills may be estimated until the meter is able to fully transmit usage data around the clock.
- Why aren’t my readings on my bill anymore? It just says “AMI”
- Due to the way data is captured, AMI monthly bills are calculated based on usage instead of meter readings. The read dates on the bill are still provided, but the meter readings will no longer show.
- If you have access to your utility bill through My Utilities Account and you have an Advanced Meter (listed as AMI on your bill), you may notice that the “meter read” readings do not match the usage billed. AMI electric meters bill based on electric usage and the “meter reads” reflected on your online account should be disregarded.We are working to find a solution to the incorrect display of the “meter reads”.
- If your AMI Usage is estimated, you will now see “AMI – E” on your bill. See example below
- Why haven’t I received my opening/closing bill yet?
- The transition phase of switching to the new advanced meter requires a bit more of our resources to be diverted to billing adjustments in order to make sure your bill is accurate. As a result, opening and closing bills have been delayed. We appreciate your patience while we are upgrading your services.
- Am I going to get stuck with a big bill if I haven’t gotten my 1st bill after a month?
- It is possible that your first bill may include usage for multiple months. However, payment arrangements are available to help spread out payments as needed. In addition, you may qualify for one of our rate assistance programs.