If you've noticed some inconsistencies in your power bill, it's because billing cycles vary and can go up to 34 days.
The Guam Power Authority said it’s reevaluating the billing cycle process in the face of smart-meter technology.
Cycles are based on readings in the field
According to GPA, the utility uses a route and book system rather than a straight calendar cycle.
"This method allowed for the reading of electric meters that considered the size of the route and number of metered accounts within that particular route as well," the utility said.
GPA's current billing cycle ranges from 28 to 34 days. Some utilities use cycles as short as 27 days, some as long as 35 days, the utility said.
Holidays can also affect the number of days in a billing cycle.
Longer periods can trigger higher rates
This means ratepayers' bills can fluctuate with number of days in a period.
And certain usage thresholds trigger different per-kilowatt-hour rates.
For example, GPA’s residential rate for the first 500 kilowatt-hours in a billing period is about 6.9 cents per kilowatt-hour. Every kilowatt-hour above that costs about 8.6 cents per kWh.
A fuel surcharge, currently about 15 cents per kWh, is also added to the power bill.
Smart meters should reduce variability
"The authority is currently reevaluating the billing cycle process as the use of smart-meter technology allows for the expedient reading of electric meters remotely as opposed to actual field meter reads. This should allow for more consistent billing cycles and better forecasting of energy costs," GPA stated.
In September 2018, GPA eliminated eight meter-reader positions because smart-grid technology has made those jobs obsolete.