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Some Belco bills to be estimated

Electricity tally: meter readers are unable to visit homes during lockdown and so some Belco bills will be estimated

Some upcoming Belco bills will be based on estimates, because restrictions on movement mean meter readers are unable to visit properties.The utility said today that customers will be able to alert Belco to discrepancies between what they are billed for and what they used.Belco also urged customers to ignore messages concerning meter readings that have been circulating on social media. A Whatsapp message on the topic was being shared today.A Belco spokesman said: “Since the Government implemented sheltering in place on April 4, our meter readers have been unable to visit residential and small commercial properties to complete meter reads as normal. “As a result, system-generated estimate bills have been issued. Customers will know if their bill is an estimate as it will say ‘this is an estimated bill’ on the right-hand side. “It is important to note that customers with AMI meters [also known as smart meters] will have an accurate bill.”Customers are advised that, once they have received their bill and confirmed it is an estimate, they can check the usage reading on the bill against their meter. If there is a large discrepancy, a clear photo of the meter can be taken and e-mailed to info@belco.bm and a new bill will be issued. Customers are urged to only check for a discrepancy once they have received their bill and it indicates that it is an estimate.If there is a minor discrepancy, any underestimation or overestimation will be corrected in the next reading cycle after the shelter in place is lifted.The spokesman added: “Belco will only use accredited media sources to send official information about company operations and information for customers. If information is not published by local media or posted on our website then it should be ignored.”