It’s been the topic at just about every water cooler in Altus; electrical rates. Conditions have created the perfect storm for people to be comparing their Altus Power bills. But a solution may be at hand.
Situation one: The Altus City Council had long hinted that all utility rates, including electricity, needed to go up to pay increased costs. Last year the Council approved a study by The Prime Group to see how the electrical rates could be more in line with actual costs. The results of that study have been delayed. Based on the City’s financial straits, the Council approved an across the board ten percent increase in utilities for the new budget year that began in July.
Situation two: The summer heat kicked in, with most of us receiving our normally highest electrical bills for the year.
Situation three: Most people in this part of the country were not aware of a common business practice, estimation. Estimation is commonly used by utility companies to estimate on bills. Inaccuracies are usually corrected the next month. Most cities use estimating during inclement weather and some use it when they’re short of man or woman power to get all the meters read. Altus fell into this category this year.
Situation four: The City, in recent past, has been a little skinny on meter readers. Most recently, when the City lost another reader, many of the bills were estimated. So some people received their highest bills and have been upset over the issue.
Now citizens may have part of the solution. Janice Berryhill, Altus City Utility Manager has provided this information on how Altus Power customers can read their own meters. That way, not only can they actually see how much electricity or water they are using, but they can give that information to the City for their own bills.
Berryhill said customers need to keep in mind when their meters are normally read. The schedule of when the meters should be read is: Zone 1 - Read the first week of each month; Zone 2 - Read the second week of each month; and Zones 3 and 4 - Read the third week of each month.
She said customers can tell which billing zone they live in by their account numbers. All Zone 1 began with 1, Zone 2 with 2, Zone 3 with 3 and Zone 4 with 4.
To actually submit readings, Berryhill said to follow this information.
Name, Address, Phone Number, Electric Reading Date, and Water Reading Date.
For electric meter readings: When reading the electric meter, you read from left to right.
To report your meter reading there are various methods open to Altus Power customers. They may call in their readings to 580-481-2295 or email the readings to “email@example.com”. They may also text message or send a picture of the meter to 1-580-318-5008.
If you have any questions regarding reading your meters, you may contact Dennis Murphy, Meter Supervisor at 580-481-2217.