There’s a common assumption that everything will cost more when living in Los Angeles. Gas is routinely over $4 a gallon, eggs can creep into the double digits for a dozen, and monthly utility bills can skyrocket for some.
While most of these expenses are unavoidable, if you’re an LADWP customer and you’ve seen your rates jump, there may be an unexpected reason. Customers receiving an estimated amount on their monthly bills may be scratching their heads over why there’s been a sudden jump in their amount due.
What is an estimated amount on a utility bill?
Previous to this current rash of customers receiving estimated bills, estimated amounts only got issued to customers with inaccessible meters. A meter behind a locked gate or somewhere unreachable by a meter reader, or when a dog is present on the homeowner’s property, usually triggers an estimated bill to get delivered to the customer.
These estimated amounts would be derived from historic usage data and might get adjusted for seasonal variance. This means an estimated bill should reflect an accurate guess based on the customer’s actual usage.
The LADWP is now fielding complaints related to the recent billing system overhaul that has left many customers with higher than normal bills due to estimated amounts getting autogenerated. These new estimated bills aren’t based on individual customer usage, leaving some customers to deal with bills many multiple times their actual utility usage.
While the LADWP is prepared to correct these errors, the municipal utility is dragging its feet while placing the blame on a third-party.