Meter Reading

Below are frequently asked questions and answers regarding meter reading.  If you have a question that is not submitted on this list please send it to us using our online contact form.

Meter Reading FAQ

Q: Why does Citizens estimate my gas usage periodically?

A: Although we strive to read all of our gas meters each month, there are times when we cannot do so. During severe weather or at times when we have ill meter reading personnel, it may be necessary for us to estimate your gas usage. These estimates are based on your usage from the same month in the previous year and then adjusted for changes in the weather. The following month when we do get an actual reading from your meter, the estimate is checked and your account will be adjusted if necessary.

Q: How does the meter reader read my meter from the truck?

A: Many of the meters installed by Citizens are now equipped with remote reading devices called ‘ERTs’. Basically these are small radio transmitters, which transmit the meter reading to the handheld computer that the meter reader carries. The meter still has the standard dials to read manually. The use of these ERTs helps reduce labor costs by enabling each meter reader to read more meters in a day.

Q: Why can’t I plant bushes and shrubs around my meter?

A: You can plant bushes or other plants in front of your meter, but we encourage you to keep the immediate area around the meter clear of any obstructions. In order to read your meter accurately, the meter reader must be able to see the dials clearly. Even more importantly, in case of a fire in or near your home, emergency personnel must be able to quickly access the gas shutoff valve, which is located at the base of your gas meter.

Q: When is my meter read?

Our customers are separated into several billing cycles. All customers in a cycle will have their gas bills due around the same day each month. According to the rules published by the Michigan Public Service Commission, you are entitled to have your bill at least 21 days before it is due. So, we will normally read your meter anywhere from seven to eleven days before you receive your bill. The actual reading date is printed on your bill.