City of statesville downtown generic

Happy New Year. And welcome to fall. But wait … fall started in mid-September, right? And we are already into winter.

The original, more formal name for the season that began on Sept. 22 is autumn, and it is based on movements of the sun. During the 19th century, “fall” became the more popular term in the United States inspired by — you guessed it — the leaves falling from trees.

So why would I say “welcome to fall” now? The fall season may have passed, and most of the leaves have fallen. But other things continue to fall during the wintertime — the temperature, rain, sleet snow, and how cold your fingers and toes feel. Many of these changes result in higher utility bills. To ensure that you are accurately billed for utility charges during the winter months, make sure your meters are accessible to City of Statesville meter readers.

Water meters are generally located in the right of way at the edge of your residential property. Please make sure the lid is clear of any leaves, yard debris or trash. The meter reader must remove obstacles from the meter lid to read the meter, so please always keep this area clear. Also, there are times vehicles or other immovable objects block access to water meters. If the meter readers cannot reach your water meter, they will leave a “missed read” card. You can then record your water meter reading on that card and either mail it in or call it into customer service at 704-878-3564.

The quickest and easiest option is to take a picture with your cellphone, verify the numbers on the dials are readable, and email the picture to customerservice@statesvillenc.net. Please remember, these readings need to be within one day from when you received the “missed read” card. Readings later than that cannot be used for billing purposes. Another advantage of getting water meter readings each month is to more quickly identify any water leaks and more quickly reduce the resulting water and sewer bill.

Electric meters are generally attached to a building and need to be accessible to meter readers. It is very important to get exact meter readings, especially during the high usage months. If city meter readers are unable to read your electric meter (privacy fences, dogs, overgrown landscaping), they will leave a “missed read” card. The same options are available (mail, phone or email) to submit residential customer reads. It is even more important that these customer electric reads take place as soon as possible, so the customer can be billed the correct usage for the billing period.

Coming soon: The City is starting a sample pilot program for automated meter reading. These meters will send readings and meter status frequently. If approved to be fully implemented, many of the obstacles City meter readers face today will be less of a problem. There will also be a customer portal, so that customers who sign up will be able to monitor their utility usage any time they choose. Keep your eyes open for more information once the pilot program has been completed.

— Nikki Gregory, Statesville

Information Technology Director

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