CUC says new meters will cut bill errors

| 04/04/2016 | 20 Comments
Cayman News Service

Caribbean Utilities Company

(CNS): An island-wide programme to replace meters will reduce billing errors and give customers more detailed information about their power consumption, CUC has said. No strangers to complaints from their clients who question the accuracy of bills and meter readings, especially when high bills don’t seem to change, even when residents are away from home, officials told CNS that in future the new meters would provide features such as remote reading, 15-minute interval consumption data and a number of other services that will help customers manage their consumption and know that their bills are right.

“The electricity meters which CUC currently use measure accurately to within 0.2% percent. The failure rate expected on these new meters is less than 0.05% and the common failure mode is to not produce a reading rather than produce a reading that is too high,” a spokesperson for the power provider said.

Now halfway through installing some 28,000 new meters across Grand Cayman, the island’s only power provider said the exchange of meters is being conducted in a “highly controlled manner” but the firm admitted some errors along the way.

“We have encountered a small number of errors where the exit reading on the old meter is entered into the billing system incorrectly leading to under- or over-billing,” a spokesperson for CUC said, adding that a review process is in place to capture the errors before bills are sent to customers but some had slipped through the net.  “A very small percentage have carried through to the customer’s bills and were brought to CUC’s attention by the customer and subsequently rectified,” the company representative stated.

Answering CNS readers’ queries about why historical billing data had disappeared where new meters have been installed, the spokesperson said that no information had disappeared and previous billing data was still available via Customer Connect. “If the meter has been changed the customer has the option to see the historical consumption under both meters.  There is a drop down box that allows for the selection of the meter number and the relevant consumption display,” she added.

The issue of estimated bills during the implementation of the Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) has also been rectified, CUC said, after the estimation feature was enabled for some customers. “CUC does not routinely estimate bills and will only do so when it is absolutely necessary; such as in case of a meter failure. In such instances the customer is notified and the calculation provided to the customer,” the spokesperson stated.

CUC also said that investigations carried out by the firm into customer claims regarding inaccurate readings and bills given by the older analogue meters took much longer than will happen with the new AIMs. Pointing to the common complaint that bills don’t seem to reduce when customers are away from their homes and so consuming only a fraction of the power they would normally use was often because it used to take CUC staff much longer to read and process bills, making it more difficult for customers to understand what periods the bills cover.

“With the new meters we have better verification and resolution of these consumption issues as we are able to look back through the billing period and review the consumption on a 15 -minute interval basis,” said the spokesperson for CUC. “One of the main reasons for going to the AMI system is to give customers more detailed information on their electricity consumption so that they can verify their usage and exercise more control over their consumption.”

Expecting to deliver more accuracy and offering new services such as pre-paid power, the firm is hoping for a smooth transition and a lot less contention over bills. But CUC invited any customer who feels their bill is not correct to contact them for review.

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Comments (20)

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  1. Wake up NEO says:

    These meters are not proven to be safe. Cancer & other worries:

    The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) has proposed a moratorium on “smart” meters as an “issue of the highest importance.” This international association of physicians and public health experts warns that it is unacceptable to implement radiation-emitting technology before serious medical and environmental concerns have been properly addressed. – See more at:

  2. Soldier Crab says:

    Two points:
    On the Brac and Little Cayman you can choose to have a “pay-as-you-go” meter which has a smart-card you take to the Power & Light office to ‘top up’. In your house/apartment there is a display unit which plugs into an ordinary power outlet and tells you how much current you are using at any time and how much credit you have left.
    The meters are programmed not to switch-off during the weekend but will go off very early on Monday if your credit has been used up.
    It is a very good system for landlords and tenants for obvious reasons.

    The meters being used by CUC are dangerous; there are several instances of them shorting out and causing a fire. They can also simply fail so that you don’t get any current even if your bill is paid up to date. Try getting that sorted out at the weekend.

  3. Harvey says:

    I think we all just need to stay “flexible” on this issue. I’m sure the cigar smoking plutocrats at CUC have our best interests in mind. Now they will be able to tell when you are home and not at home and when someone hacks into their system they will know when to break into your home. Seems like a terrific idea. Believe me, they aren’t installing these smart meters because it is going to reduce your bills. I think it is time for me to go “off the grid” with solar and a generator. I am preparing my manifesto as we speak.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Smart meters is only there for ONE THING when you DON’T PAY your bill they DON’T have to come to your house and see no sad faces our our no sick people begging to leave it on one more night..They can now cut you off by a click in the office..CUC I got inside info from your place tell me i’m wrong on this and I will EAT my DAM METER..

  5. Anonymous says:

    What about all the Cayman meter readers jobs? Does CUC not care?

    • Anonymous says:

      Those days were done long time ago.. They no longer have someone to come out and read your meter. My dog is always loose in my yard and I have an analog meter that requires it to be personal read. How can I still be paying bills and don’t hear about my dog biting the meter reader??

      In each square of the island they’re smart meters to assist with averaging out the cost current for the consumers who have analog meters. I was away for a full two weeks with everything unplugged besides my fridge but yet my bill didn’t change!!! Ive purchased LED bulbs which should bring the usage down and still no change in my bill.

      CUC CAN NOT TELL ME that they DONT average out EVERYONES bills who don’t have a smart meter.

      • Anonymous says:

        No they don’t, your analog meter is actually fitted with a transmitter that sends the signal to CUC’s meter reading vehicle when it drives by.

  6. Vivia thompson says:

    I complained for years that my light bill was wrong went from $750 to over $2300 for one month finally admitting they had faults but I don’t want the new meter unless it can be confirmed that there is no health threats.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Hey mackeeva. Just in case you’re reading the news (looking for your name), the premier of Iceland just resigned because of an offshore controversy. Just thought you might like to know.

  8. Anonymous says:

    “Meter upgrades” is the excuse they’ve given me for explaining why their on-line Customer Connect usage-tracking system hasn’t worked at all for me for a month. I just want a system that works….

  9. Anonymous says:

    Please, we are not stupid. The new meters will allow for time of day premium billing. Oooh everyone home at 5 pm, well the rate for high usage times is twice that of 3 am.

  10. Anonymous says:

    These “Smart Meters” are very harmful to your health, are used to control you and have many incidences of bursting into flame. Please do your own research and make an informed decision before letting them install this horrible device Wake Up!.

  11. Anonymous says:

    In the UK consumers can now have ‘Smart Meters’ that provide a continuous display of actual electricity consumption and a comprehensive historical record of past usage.

    See –

    Apart from monitoring your power bills they can also help identify inefficient appliances and help you reduce waste.

    Why can’t CUC introduce these?

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