Rants, Raves, Reviews

A Extra Two Weeks to Pay the Power

By Gary R, in , posted: 26-Jun-2007 08:51

I am with Genesis Energy (one of those bloated State Owned Enterprises). Each month I like to pay the account on time to receive the prompt payment discount. At 10% it saves me around $35 p/month which is significant.

Every month Genesis send me an estimate which is always more than my actual usage. When I receive the bill I check my meter and phone in the actual meter reading. Two days later an updated bill is emailed to me which has a total due but no prompt payment discount. I leave it for at least a week then phone Genesis and request the discounted amount. Genesis then credit the current bill and resend another one which includes the prompt payment discount. As a bonus they always extend the payment due data by 2 weeks.

What gets me is that the estimates are always more than my actual usage. The revised bill never includes the prompt payment discount and I always have to phone Genesis to have the bill corrected. If I wasn't so militant and checked my bills I would probably pay the first revised bill and Genesis would shaft me 10% per month.

The irony of all this is that as a customer of Genesis I have to do all the chasing to pay them money. If I didn't chase them and didn't pay my bill they would threaten disconnection. Oh well my gain as it is an extra 2 weeks of interest from the bank for me.

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Comment by Plug, on 26-Jun-2007 09:28

You don't get stung an extra 10% per month - if you've overpaid, they factor this in when they do your actual reading every 2 months, and "refund you" the 10%. So, your two monthly payment is (your total use for the 2 months) - (what you paid in your estimate last month).

Comment by Bung, on 26-Jun-2007 09:34

If 10% discount saves you $35 per month why don't you get more militant about saving some power. That'll put more money in the bank than futzing with the account.

Author's note by Jama, on 26-Jun-2007 09:47

Why overpay and have it sitting in someone else's account, that is just silly!

Save power? You obviously don't have kids and a wife at home all day. At this time of year the heat pumps and clothes dryer get a lot of use. Saving power for me is turning off the hot tub which I have done. Plus by the time I phone in my actual another 4 to 5 days have passed since the estimate which means my power bill covers 35 days.

Comment by MissD, on 26-Jun-2007 11:52

Yeah that's the first thing I thought (what Plug said).

The worst that can happen is you overpay, then you receive a reduced bill when they do an actual read.

"Why overpay and have it sitting in someone else's account, that is just silly!"

When you pay your reduced bill wouldn't that even up the stakes?


Author's note by Jama, on 26-Jun-2007 12:10

But why should I pay extra in the first place? Genesis are estimating my power bill, this month being Winter it would have cost me an extra $100 to pay the estimate which I then get back in two months time through a reduced actual reading.

What if Telecom sent you a phone bill which was an estimate? Would you pay it? No - because you expect them to tell you exactly what you have used.

Comment by TinyTim, on 26-Jun-2007 13:01

Our last estimate was about $100 low... so I save interest (on our revolving credit mortgage) by not paying that till next month... at 10% p.a. that's $10 interest per year or only 80c for the month. Oh well more of a win psychologically than in reality.

Comment by MissD, on 26-Jun-2007 19:28

Perhaps you could request an actual read every month - sounds like more a matter of principle for you so surely they could work something out.

An estimated phone bill? No - as my usage varies significantly - my power usage is not as unpredictable.


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