Sunday 15 July 2012

How SP Services calculates estimated billing for utilities

WE THANK Mr Andrew Seow for his letter and feedback regarding meter reading for utilities ('Utilities: Tweak estimated billing to help strapped users'; July 5).

For residential customers, SP Services reads the utilities meters once every two months.

The two consecutive meter readings will show the consumer's actual consumption over the two-month period between the meter-reads.

For the months when meters are not read, customers are billed on an estimated consumption, computed by taking the actual consumption between the previous two meter readings and dividing it by the number of days during this period to obtain an average daily consumption.

This amount is then applied to the number of days in the billing month to derive the estimated consumption for that month.

If there is any over- or under-estimation in the estimated consumption for the month, adjustment will be made in the subsequent month when the meter is read.

This ensures that a consumer is billed for his actual consumption over the two-month period.

We have contacted Mr Seow to explain how the bills are computed, and he has accepted our explanation.

Customers who wish to be billed on actual meter readings monthly can submit their meter readings via our hotline (1800-222-2333) or website (
Shirley Tan (Ms)
Customer Relationship Management
SP Services
ST Forum, 14 Jul 2012

Utilities: Tweak estimated billing to help strapped users
UTILITY meter reading is bi-monthly, and estimated figures are provided when the meter is not read.

When a meter reading date does not coincide with the date the estimated figures are provided in the previous month, usually a one- or two-day difference, there will be a fluctuation in consumption and consumers will have to pay more. In my case, the two-day variation amounts to a 35 per cent increase, including taxes.

Although any underestimated or overestimated figures are adjusted when the meters are read the following month, it gives consumers a false sense of savings in utility consumption when meters are not read.

Last year, out of the six given periods, three periods did not fall on the same day when actual readings were taken against the estimated figures given.

Consumers on a tight budget run the risk of having their Giro transactions rejected for not having sufficient funds in their accounts.

As actual meter reading is taken on a working day in a given month, SP Services could tie in the estimated figures on the same day the following month, regardless of whether it falls on a weekend or public holiday. This will enable consumers to monitor their consumption more accurately.
Andrew Seow
ST Forum, 5 Jul 2012

1 comment:

  1. Is there not a way that readings can be recorded electronically at each block using a central system and SP Services either polls or have that reading sent to their billing dept monthly. I know, easier said then done but shouldn't this architecture be in the pipeline? Or has already been implemented elsewhere?