Reporter: Dhomonique Ricks l Videographer: Jemon Haskins
Roanoke, VA - AEP customers: If your last power bill seemed higher or lower than normal, there is a reason. It may have just been the company's best guess. When the wind storm rolled through, many meter readers were used elsewhere to scout trouble and get the power back on for customers, and about a 100,000 customers' meters were not read. Those customers got estimates.
If your bill seems a bit out of kilter this month, AEP says remember one thing:
"If you overpaid, you will be credited for it. If you underpaid, you'll see a little bit more on your bill," said AEP Communications Manager Todd Burns.
Only about 20% of AEP customers in Virginia will have estimated bills. It is just those who were supposed to have their meters read on a day the power was out. AEP says there are dozens of different reading periods, so this may or may not affect you.
"The bottom line is read your bill. Read your bill real close because there's a bill message on there that will explain all of this," said Burns.
Bills indicate the meter reading period. So if the date listed is when you were without power, your bill is based on an estimate. The estimate is based on last year's usage at this time.
"This is less common than it used to be, but it's not entirely unusual," said Burns.
If your bill seems high, Burns says you may have just used more power despite the outage.
"It's most likely because you've used more electricity because it was very hot during the period your power was on. If you were off for a couple days, keep in mind it was 100 plus degrees for much of that period," said Burns.
AEP says meter readers are back to their assigned task of reading meters. If you received a bill based on an estimate, when your next reading takes place, your account will be trued up.