1. Except as
otherwise provided in subsection 4, if a utility is unable, because of
circumstances beyond its control, to read the meter of a customer on the date
scheduled, it may bill the customer based upon the customer's estimated usage
for the billing period.
purposes of this section, circumstances beyond the control of a utility
(a) Severe weather;
(b) The presence of an animal on the premises
of the customer which prevents an employee of the utility from reading the
meter without risk of injury; or
(c) Any other circumstance which makes it
unreasonably difficult to read the meter.
A utility shall consider the following
factors in calculating a bill based upon estimated usage:
(a) The usage of the customer during the same
month of the preceding year;
Any change in temperature from the preceding month;
(c) The usage during the preceding month;
(d) Seasonal load
4. A utility
which issues three consecutive bills to a customer based upon estimated usage,
or five such bills for a customer in the area surrounding Lake Tahoe, shall
notify the customer of its right of access to the premises of the customer.
Thereafter, any additional and consecutive bill based upon estimated usage may
be issued only under extraordinary circumstances.
A utility shall:
(a) Adjust the estimated usage upon the first
reading of a meter after an estimated reading;
(b) Print the word "estimate" plainly on each
bill which is based upon estimated usage; and
(c) Notify customers of its right to issue
bills based upon estimated usage.