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stlouislandlord

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Posts: 27
Reply with quote  #1 
I just got a $200 for 2 weeks gas bill for a vacant house set at 60 degrees!  I know it's been cold here but give me a break!  In the same amount of time my drafty house was only $80 and that'd probably be a lot lower if I had new windows (I like to live awhile in the houses I'm working on).

I called the gas company and they're going to send someone out to look at the gas meter and see what's going on but if they say everything's fine what do I do?  $200 is kinda high for a unoccupied house, and the house is done, new windows, insulation, etc, so I have no idea how it could get so incredibly high. 

OHlandlord

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Posts: 3,814
Reply with quote  #2 

First, look at that bill.  Was the first reading and the last reading both ACTUAL readings, and not estimated?  Look for the codes on the bill beside those readings then look on the bottom or back for explanations of those codes.  I have many problems with Columbia Gas around here for estimating bills (even on move out).  They just guess what the tenant or the house has used.  If either was estimated that may be your problem.  They may have just estimated the bill at the tenant's move-out (and the tenant actually used much more gas than they thought) or they are estimating it now (figuring it is still occupied and estimating it based on the gas used last year at this time).  If either of these, demand an adjustment.  I go around with the gas company more than any other utility.  Don't let them tell you that they will make up for it when they read the meter next month.  (I hear that a lot!)  I always read the meters at move-out and call them in myself.  Or I call the readings in when I get the first bill after move out.  (They don't like it, and don't like to have to re-input these numbers and recalculate the bills.  Many service reps don't know how to do these right and I get an identical bill in a week.)  The gas company here only reads the meters every 2 months and estimates it in between.  I don't let them.  They're not using my money for free for a month.  Also, how many days was the bill for?  More than 30?  If they didn't read it on time because of the weather, it may be for a longer period.  Your bill shouldn't be that high.  Let us know.

 



 

stlouislandlord

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Posts: 27
Reply with quote  #3 
bill was for 2 weeks, , 2/03 to 2/14, so not even two weeks, only 11 days, and the gas was turned off because the tenets didn't pay their bill. 

They were suppose to come to the house friday and check the meter, i've heard on the news they have some new wireless measuring system that isn't accurate but they don't care, they don't do anything until someone bitches. 

I'll call tomorrow and see what's going on. 

OHlandlord

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Posts: 3,814
Reply with quote  #4 
If you can, go read that meter yourself before you call them.  Compare the number to the last reading on that bill.  It's been 11 days since they "read" the meter.  If it really used that much gas in those 11 days, you should have used the same ccf (or less) since then as what you got billed for.  (Do the math - subtract the last reading on that bill from the meter reading you took today.)  There's no way you could use $400 of gas in less than 2 weeks.  That's more than $1000 per month!!!  Something's fishy here.  Did both readings say CO (usually the code for company read)?  I really doubt they bothered to read the meter twice in only 2 weeks!  Let me know.
kurt

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Posts: 137
Reply with quote  #5 

SOme times they read the meter wrong, so as sugested go take a meter reading and call it in to see if it matches.. Also correct is there is no way $400. in gas in two weeks or less, would almost have to have a pipe open spitting it out! Smell a gas leak? Easy way to check is..light a match ok ok maybe not the best advice there at the end..

stlouislandlord

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Posts: 27
Reply with quote  #6 
sorry, it was $200 for 2/3-2/14, or ~$400 for the month.
stlouislandlord

Registered:
Posts: 27
Reply with quote  #7 
oh, i didn't update it.  They checked it in person and confirmed the reading so I'm stuck with the incredibly high gas bill for a empty house.
OHlandlord

Registered:
Posts: 3,814
Reply with quote  #8 
That's still awfully high.  For a 30 day month, that comes out to $545!  Are all the storms down, vent fans off, etc?  Can you shut off the heat to rooms with no plumbing and only heat those that do (& the area where the thermostat is)?  I'd crank that heat down a little more if it doesn't lok like you're going to have freezing temperatures overnight.  Or just turn it down & let the water run a little.  I'm guessing there is not enough insulation in that house. 
kurt

Registered:
Posts: 137
Reply with quote  #9 

Ok corrected I am.  Even for 30 days, that's high. Stuck you seem though. Sounds like you need to insulate your windows (selaing around them) or replace them. Or simpler way turn water on to trickel (it's cheaper), put foam around pipes you can, and even get the wires that wrap around pipes that keep em warm enough not to freeze.

 

INsulation is cheaper by far for you and your next tenants(not sure next tenants are gonna be worth a wooden nickel...but) and can be put in by yourself.

 

Or hope lightining strikes your unit or dress in a few towels, set fire to the place good, and  say you saw em running away saying some thing like "iyatola, iyatola"... Say it was the iraqi's hiding wepons of mass .. oh well k prolly wont work..

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