Can I Count On My Meter?
My Meter Is Approved by Measurement Canada
Most of us take the reliability of our electricity or gas meter for granted. It's understandable. After all, it's a pretty complicated mechanism. And, besides, it always seems to be working properly anyway.
Before a utility can use a new type of meter for billing purposes, the manufacturer must provide Measurement Canada with a prototype.
One reason it does work accurately is because of the Electricity and Gas Inspection Act. This Act states that any equipment used for measuring electricity or gas consumption must meet stringent requirements.
Who enforces these standards? Measurement Canada.
Who verifies the accuracy of meters? Measurement Canada or accredited organizations verify the accuracy of electricity and gas meters.
For example, before a utility can use a new type of meter for billing purposes, the manufacturer must provide Measurement Canada with a prototype. Measurement Canada then evaluates the prototype design for performance, reliability and accuracy. If the meter passes these tests, it's approved.
My Meter Is Verified Regularly
In addition to a prototype meter being approved, each meter used for billing purposes has to be verified and sealed. And while they are in service, the meters are periodically checked by Measurement Canada or by accredited organizations to make sure their accuracy is maintained.
What Do I Do If I'm in Doubt?What Do I Do If I'm in Doubt About the Accuracy of My Meter?
Of course, errors can happen. You might feel, for example, that your energy bill isn't an accurate reflection of the amount of electricity or gas you've consumed. If this is the case, here's what to do:
Stop and think about it. Maybe you actually used more energy than you realize. A heat wave or cold snap can really eat up a lot of energy. Or perhaps you have added an appliance or had an appliance that was working overtime — such as a refrigerator, freezer, water heater or air conditioner.
Your utility may have overestimated the amount of electricity or gas you used. This happens when the utility hasn't been able to take a reading from your meter and must estimate the amount consumed.
Or, it could be something as simple as a rate increase that you may have forgotten about or overlooked.
It is unusual for higher energy bills to be caused by inaccurate meters, but if you still have your doubts, see step 2.
Contact your supplier's customer service department and ask them to investigate. If you're dissatisfied with the answer and still think the meter is defective, see step 3.
Contact your nearest Measurement Canada office and ask to have your meter tested. At the same time, to avoid surprises, check with your utility to see if it will be levying a service charge for removing the meter to be tested.
What Should I Do When I Move?
Contact your electricity or gas suppliers and give them the current reading of your energy meter. This way, you will receive a bill based on actual and not estimated consumption.
Here's how to read your meter:
Analogue Meters: Reading the meter from left to right, record the lowest digit pointed to by the needle on each dial.
Digital Meters: Simply read the number displayed on the meter.
Contact your electricity or gas suppliers when you move and give them the current reading of your energy meter.
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