Utilities can reduce and prevent delinquent bills with OCR meter reading

How utility companies reduce delinquent bills and accounts with OCR meter reading

Ebin Thomas

Account Executive at Anyline

Sep 27, 2022

With the various shutdowns that were put in place and restrictions that were imposed at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people across the country are having a hard time making ends meet. Countless are even struggling to pay their monthly bills, unfortunately causing them to become what are known as delinquent utility bills and accounts.

Thankfully, there are things that utility companies can do to help relieve the financial stress of this situation for all parties – including making sure that meters are being read accurately in the first place and more.

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What is a delinquent bill or account?

As the name suggests, a delinquent account is one that has gone unpaid by the customer for an extended period of time. In most cases, even a partial payment will not impact the delinquent status of the account in question as the remaining unpaid amount is the focus.

What can utility companies do about delinquent bills?

One of the most important things to understand about all of this is that it’s largely impossible to tell which customers will pay a bill on-time and which ones won’t. Everyone’s financial situation is different, and they can all change very quickly.

Having said that, utility companies need to clearly identify which accounts have fallen into delinquent status and keep records of how much each delinquent bill is valued at. This will make the process of collecting on those delinquent bills easier and more effective.

Likewise, utility companies need to make sure that meters are being read accurately to begin with. Only then will they be able to properly bill an account in accordance with its actual consumption.

How OCR can help with delinquent bills

OCR meter reading can help with delinquent bills by giving utility companies the most accurate information to work from at all times. If a customer is already having a hard time paying their bills, charging them too much money for power they’re not using isn’t going to help the situation. OCR meter reading can help prevent this type of situation from happening thanks to far more accurate and efficient reading.

For many utility companies already using OCR technology for their meter reading processes, this technology can also help them reduce NTLs and fight energy theft. Will OCR meter reading help to totally eliminate delinquent accounts? No – but it does go a long way towards helping people avoid these types of situations in the first place.