The Public Service Commission wants to look further into how many utility bills are sent out without anyone ever looking at a meter. The PSC started the inquiry about six weeks ago after getting about two-thousand complaints against LaClede Gas for estimated billing practices. LaClede is the state’s biggest natural gas utility. It’s based in St. Louis. Commission Chairman Jeff Davis says the staff has been told to survey investor-owned electric, gas, and water utilities. He says the commission wants to know how many estimated bills each company has sent out during the last year; how often the utilities got actual meter readings for accounts on which it had issued estimated bills; and how often the utility reconciled its estimates with real meter readings. When the study is over the PSC will do follow-up audits to see how close the estimates come to the actual meter readings. No timetable has been set for completion of the survey.
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