SAO debuts new meter-reading resource for public utilities

May 4, 2023

Meter reading is the critical first step in a utility's revenue collection process. Gathering accurate, complete meter data is essential not only for collecting the appropriate amount of revenue to operate the utility, but also for ensuring a positive customer experience and public image.

That's why it's so important that cities, counties, water districts and electric utility districts have strong internal controls over their meter reading. Poor meter-reading practices, such as not ensuring all properties are metered, estimating meter usage for too many months, or failing to follow up on red flags in the data, can significantly affect a utility's finances.

To help you strengthen your meter-reading practices, we've developed a new resource: Best Practices to Ensure Accurate Billing from Meter-Read Data. It's filled with tips to improve meter data collection, including ideas on how to prevent and detect unmetered properties, methods to limit and monitor estimated billings, and the types of red flags to look for in meter data.

Looking for more accounts receivable resources?

SAO's Center for Government Innovation recently released two new resources: the Accounts Receivable Guide and its companion, the Accounts Receivable Internal Control Checklist. Use the checklist to assess your internal control system and discover potential weaknesses, and use the guide to gain ideas about how to improve your policies and process.

Check out our Resource Library

All our guidance is available online at no cost. We have a lot of great information to share, so spend a few minutes in SAO's Resource Library to see what we have to offer!

How to reach us for more assistance

Remember, SAO can help. If you have technical questions, submit them using our HelpDesk in the client portal.

We also have internal controls specialists at SAO's Center for Government Innovation available to talk with you about best practices and resources. For assistance, reach out to us at