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qazwsxokmijn
13-09-2010, 09:41 PM
This has been happening far too often now - power meter readers overestimating our household's electricity consumption because our house has a locked gate and a big black but actually friendly dumb dog.

I do understand the readers' apprehension about entering a big black dog's gated domain, and even though my mother always writes the month's electricity reading on a white board visible to the whole world it often gets ignored because they said they're not allowed to take our word for it and need to check it themselves, and so they overestimate the reading.

So what can be done about this? Our reader seems to change very often, we've only had one gentleman who would knock on our door to ask us to let the dog in and open the gate so he can read the meter for himself. I'm sure there are MANY other homeowners with gated properties protected by a big doofus dog or two and have found a solution to one of life's little problems???:confused::confused::confused:

pine-o-cleen
13-09-2010, 09:45 PM
I don't blame the meter reader either. Tie up the dog.

qazwsxokmijn
13-09-2010, 09:50 PM
I don't blame the meter reader either. Tie up the dog.
Tying up the dog's not an option.....we don't know when they'll be coming as they can vary from 8am to 4pm in the evening. And they can come on any of the first 2-3 days of each month.

Arnie
13-09-2010, 09:56 PM
I think Post/Power/Council/People in authority must have free access to a door at your house, not sure but I think that is or used to be the case.

qazwsxokmijn
13-09-2010, 10:10 PM
I think Post/Power/Council/People in authority must have free access to a door at your house, not sure but I think that is or used to be the case.
Yeah, not sure if that's the case either.

QW.
13-09-2010, 10:24 PM
I think Post/Power/Council/People in authority must have free access to a door at your house, not sure but I think that is or used to be the case.

I don't think they should even have keys to your property so they can read your meter when you are not there.

Most of the meter readers that do come are scared of our huge neapolitan mastiff.

Terry Porritt
13-09-2010, 10:38 PM
It isn't the meter readers that make an estimated reading, that will be done "back at the office".

You need to read the terms and conditions of your supplier, you will find that you must allow and provide safe access. The onus is on you to arrange your dog and the access so that you conform to those terms and conditions,

For example Genesis who we are with say this:

WHAT ACCESS DO YOU NEED TO PROVIDE?
You must:

* provide safe and unobstructed access to metering equipment, the metering equipment of any other person and any equipment of the network company on your premises between 8.00am and 7.00pm, Monday to Saturday, excluding public holidays;
* provide immediate access to your premises at any time for safety reasons or to prevent serious damage to property or the environment;
* allow access for installation, connection, testing, inspection, maintenance, repair, replacement, alteration, servicing, cleaning, disconnection or removal of any equipment owned by us and/or a meter company or network company;
* ensure that any dog or other animal that may make entry unsafe is secured to enable safe and easy access; .......................etc

http://www.genesisenergy.co.nz/genesis/index.cfm?C2BC2742-BAD7-73BF-AD17-FF179DF6A6D2

We have 3 dogs, and the meter is inside the house. We ensure the dogs are confined when the meter reader calls.

Edit: our dogs are "house dogs" ie live in the house. They have access to the rear of the house which is fenced. Callers to the front door do not encounter the dogs.

CYaBro
13-09-2010, 10:40 PM
Meter readers have given up totally at our place because of our two noisey labs.
Our bill has been an estimate for over a year now.
I really should go out and check to see how far off it is!

Edit: I'm not going to give anyone easy access as our house is about the only one that hasn't been broken into on our street due to the dogs.

Marnie
13-09-2010, 10:43 PM
I am not sure which power company you are with, but if ours has been estimated we check the meter and if very different we phone the reading in. We've never had a problem, an amended account is produced quickly indicating it was 'customer's own reading'.
I like dogs but would be very wary of anyone's dog, however lovable the owners claim it is
Ever wonder why your meter reader changes often?
You could try calling the power company and discussing other options, such as a meter that can be read remotely.

Snorkbox
13-09-2010, 10:43 PM
Genesis can and do fit advanced meters which ensures you do not get estimated readings again as they don't need to read at the location where the meter is located.

SoniKalien
13-09-2010, 10:58 PM
With Powershop you can enter your reading in online whenever you want - in fact they encourage you to do so every 4 weeks or so.

Trev
13-09-2010, 11:04 PM
Read the meter yourself, and then ring them up with the readings. Energy Online allows this option.
:)

qazwsxokmijn
13-09-2010, 11:35 PM
Read the meter yourself, and then ring them up with the readings. Energy Online allows this option.
:)
That might be our only solution, actually.

Our dog is also an inside dog, he can come in almost anytime he wants, but usually no one is home when the readers come, so the dog will be outside.

pctek
14-09-2010, 03:05 AM
Our dog is also an inside dog, he can come in almost anytime he wants, but usually no one is home when the readers come, so the dog will be outside.

So can't he be inside the day of the reading.

qazwsxokmijn
14-09-2010, 07:56 AM
So can't he be inside the day of the reading.
Usually, no, he won't be inside as he'll be outside when no one is home.

johcar
14-09-2010, 09:54 AM
Change to a power company that supplies a smart meter. Once it's installed you (and your dog) will never be bothered by meter readers again.

I used to work for a power company (about 10 years ago) as billing manager, and so I had fairly close contact with the meter reading department. IIRC they had around 20 fulltime meter readers on the books then, and there was always one reader off work on any given week due to dog bites. West Auckland meter readers were more prone to this problem than North Shore readers, because of the predilection of Westies to own dogs and not train or control them properly.

And I hope you're not one of those owners who insists (in the face of evidence to the contrary) "My dog doesn't bite!" - and dogs will bite if they are defending what they see as "their patch".

And the smaller the dog, the more aggressive (actually, that's funny - the same behaviour can be applied to people....)

nedkelly
14-09-2010, 10:14 AM
Most times when we get a bill my dads rings up with a new number he just read and within the next 2 days we have a new bill emailed to us, I think we have missed the last couple of meter readers because we have a 6ft fence and electric gates that we forget to leave open, and dont like leaving open all day because we live on the main road.

Trev
14-09-2010, 10:16 AM
Thats called the tiny persons syndrome. :lol:
:)

qazwsxokmijn
14-09-2010, 01:51 PM
And I hope you're not one of those owners who insists (in the face of evidence to the contrary) "My dog doesn't bite!" - and dogs will bite if they are defending what they see as "their patch".
Not entirely, I know all dogs are capable of being unpredictable. There was an instance however a couple of years ago three random kids jumped our fence without permission to play with the dog. He happily complied with the kids without barking or growling, even though they were complete strangers. Perhaps I have a faulty guard dog! :eek:

What power companies use these smart meters? I'm currently with Empower.

ubergeek85
14-09-2010, 01:57 PM
Meridian use 'em.

johcar
14-09-2010, 02:34 PM
Contact and Genesis are rolling them out

:pf1mobmini:

decibel
14-09-2010, 09:23 PM
Is it the power company or the lines company that are rolling these "Smart Meters" out?

If it is the power company, do they change meters when you change supplier?

johcar
14-09-2010, 11:52 PM
Pretty sure it's the retailers installing the smart meters; they're the ones that use the readings to send the bills out, after all...

:pf1mobmini:

qazwsxokmijn
15-09-2010, 12:18 AM
Will be contacting some power companies, inc our Empower to see if we should change.....

Snorkbox
15-09-2010, 12:50 AM
If you had gone here earlier it may have helped.

http://www.empower.co.nz/wa4727.html

Apparently the meter reader only calls every three months and other times it's estimated based on previous usage.

prefect
15-09-2010, 08:23 AM
I guess smart meters will be the norm soon, until then if you have a dog and its scaring the meter reader man up and pay your bill.
Or get rid of the dog