Estimated Billing

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In a nutshell, we estimate meter readings when we do not have proper access to meters to secure accurate readings. There are several reasons we sometimes estimate meter readings. Here are a few of them:


Sometimes our meter readers do not feel safe in approaching a meter with an intimidating dog nearby. They have been instructed not to take chances with dog bites. As we cannot tell customers the exact date we will read their meters, it is difficult for them to remove their dogs from near the meters. In this situation, we like to install remote touch pad sensors in an accessible area away from dogs.

Gate Locked

If meters are located within a fenced area with a locked gate, we can be trusted with an extra key. Or, as above, we can install remote touch pad sensors.

Debris Blocking View of Meter

It sounds so simple and obvious, but if we cannot see your meters, we cannot read them. It is the customer’s responsibility to keep the area in front of the meters clear. During the summer months, it is important to keep bushes trimmed away from meters.

Bad Weather

Sometimes, though not often, weather conditions interfere with reading meters. The most common example of this is during the winter, when curbside water meters, found in pits, become covered with plowed snow, making it nearly impossible to find, let alone read, the meter. Sometimes we need to estimate such meter readings for several months.

How long do we continue estimating your bill?

Generally speaking, we estimate only for two successive months. After that, we contact customers by phone or letter, trying to work out a permanent solution to our meter access problems (except in the case of bad weather, when many customers are affected).

How do we arrive at the estimated reading?

Our computer makes a calculation of historical information for your specific meter, comparing your usage during the previous month and during the same approximate period one year ago. In most cases, estimations prove to be lower than the actual reading. This means that when a reading is eventually taken, customers can expect a somewhat higher bill, due to the fact that we are catching up with the lower, estimated previous period.

Customer Service

Mishawaka City Seal



100 Lincolnway West

P.O. Box 363

Mishawaka, IN  46544

Phone (574) 258-1630

Fax (574) 258-1710