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Gas meter conundrum - cannot solve this!

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bigscientist

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Hi,

I moved into a condo about 6 weeks ago and received my first gas bill first recently. Between Feb-March, I used only 8 therms of gas which was about 1 therm every 2-3 days. I found out today that my gas meter was actually replaced by the utility company on 3/30, after my first bill, as part of an internal update. I received a new meter number and according to the smart meter I am using 1 therm a day. This was the first red flag because my wife and I are very conservative in our energy usage (as evidenced by our first bill) and we definitely did not change our habits after 3/30. So I went outside to check out what the meter actually read. Oddly, I found both my old and new meter physically still there. I expected to not find my old meter attached since they said they replaced it. Later when I called to ask them I was told that that old meter is currently inactive and there haven't been any smart reads coming from it since March 30. This is where I start to get extremely confused...

There are 8 attached condo units in my complex, and 8 gas meters on the outside wall at the end of my building (in a 4x2 grid). If there are 8 units, and 7 working gas meters (my new one included) and my old meter/meter number is still there but inactive, then that means someone of the 8 units does not have a meter reading their gas usage, or is not being billed. I've walked around the entire development and the number of gas meters always matches the number of attached units, so I've ruled out that the 8th meter might be located somewhere else and that my new meter was added as a brand new addition.

I have a strong suspicion that my utility company replaced someone's meter, assigned that meter to my account, and disconnected the old meter from my account. I suspect however that I'm still physically connected to my old meter and that they're not showing any smart reads from it because it's not linked to an account. The question remains then, how can there be 8 units and only 7 working meters. Unfortunately due to the coronavirus I can't get a serviceman to come out until after May to test which meter my unit is actually serving.

Can anybody explain what might be going on here? Thank you so much! Feel free to ask for more clarity.
 
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Snoonyb

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If, as you say, you are using 1 therm a day, the new meter is operating and may need calibrated.
 

bigscientist

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Update: I am 100% certain the gas company has assigned the wrong meter to my unit.

Around dinner time my wife and I went to check the meters. We weren't running any appliances at the time; everything in the house was off. The old meter's dial was not moving as expected, but our new meter was rotating as if someone was using gas.

Then in the late evening when my wife was running the shower/hot water I checked the meters again and our old meter's dial was rotating, and the new meter's dial (now which I suspect is for another unit) was still. I also checked our garage to see that the gas water heater was on during this time. The gas company said our old meter was off/inactive. I just saw with my own eyes that isn't true.

I'm pretty irritated. Not only does that other family use way more gas than we do, but the gas company won't send someone out during COVID19 because its a non-essential service, yet they send someone out 4 days ago to replace a meter, and incorrectly at that.
 

billshack

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I have seen this before, You could turn off your meter and see what happens. See ho comes running.
 

JoeD

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There is no physical way to connect two meters to one unit. The gas company is wrong.
 

bud16415

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As much as I like shutting off the meter assigned to you to get the gas companies attention it would only hurt your neighbor that has done nothing wrong and knows nothing about any of this.



It is pretty clear you are still running thru the old meter. I would go down and write down the readings off it, call the gas company and explain again what you told us. Then I would tell them until this COVID19 passes you will be paying nothing or you will pay what the old meter says you use. I would even offer to email or text a reading photo so they can compute your bill. They will straighten it out and no one is going to shut you off for their screw up.

And welcome to the forum. :welcome:
 

bigscientist

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Thank you all so much for your replies! I never thought about turning the gas off.

if I request they turn the gas off, will they shut it off from my unit or “my” meter? If they shut off my unit then I’ll not have actually any gas working but I’ll still be recording usage and paying through the wrong meter. If they shut it off using my meter (or what they think is my meter) then whoever it’s actually connected to would stop getting gas but I would still have working gas and no usage shown. Which is it?

I’ll ask the utility company too but I honestly don’t trust their knowledge at this point.
 

bigscientist

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Talked to them again and they won't shut off gas willy nilly like that. I guess I have to wait out the coronavirus for the tech to come out.
 

JoeD

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Do you smell gas near the meter? If you do they will be there in 10 minutes.
 

bigscientist

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Do you smell gas near the meter? If you do they will be there in 10 minutes.
No unfortunately and thankfully. And with all the notes they have for me now I know they’ll be on to me if I try to pull that. You’re smart though,thanks.
 

Jeff Handy

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You could shut off your old meter yourself, there is an obvious 1/4 turn fitting with holes to put on a padlock.

Shut it off, and if your gas goes out, you have removed all doubt that your old meter is still serving your unit.

Then open it, and re-light any pilots if needed.

Or just wait, and have the gas company do this same thing.

Or have them shut off the new one assigned to you, then show them that your gas is still on in your unit.
 

bigscientist

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I am so sick of my utility company! They still won't come out because of COVID.

I just chatted with Customer Service and she offered to turn off my gas in 2 days with the meter number on my account (the wrong meter). I said fine, let's do it! We'll see what happens.
 

kok328

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I hate it when they cluster meters like that but, unfortunately it's all too common.
I was living in an apartment with the same type of setup. Upstairs neighbor moved out and had his utilities shut off. It got pretty cold for me that night while I was waiting for the utility company to show up and turn my meter.
 

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