The Electricity Meter Reader vs the Invisible Dog

The invisible dog vs the electricity meter reader.
The invisible dog vs the electricity meter reader

Many of our readers would have experienced the joy(!) of receiving an estimated electricity bill due to having a dog on their premises. It seems that Meter Readers are becoming more and more timid when it comes to encountering man’s best friend in the course of their duties. In fact the mere thought that a dog may be loose in a yard seems to be enough to send some Meter Readers scurrying away in fright – as the true story below illustrates.

We’ve received a copy of a great letter on the subject from one of our readers to their Electricity company, which we’ve published below (with permission of course), and which explains what happened when a Meter Reader encountered their non-existent, invisible dog.

The story goes like this:

Our reader opened the latest electricity Bill from his provider (Ergon Energy) only to find the Bill had been estimated, with a note on the bill stating: “Reading estimated because a dog was loose on the premises”. “Fair enough”, you may say, as Meter Readers are not chew toys for dogs. Yet when you read the letter from our reader to Ergon below, it kind of puts the ridiculousness of the situation in perspective.

Good morning,

Firstly I would like to thank you for the hilarious letter you included with your estimated bill of 02/11/15, alleging your meter reader was unable to read the meter due to a dog loose on the premises.
As this is the second reading taken since my property has been vacant, I do apologise for the invisible dog, of which I was not previously aware.
Since July 12 this year, the only persons on my property have been myself and my painter. I personally do not own an invisible dog, and I understand my painter does not own a dog at all – visible or invisible.
I also do not know who has been feeding the invisible dog during the above time period – perhaps the Invisible Man?
To assist your meter reader undertake his clearly highly dangerous work on my premises, I have today taken a manual reading of the meter, and have included it here for your reference.
Please issue a replacement bill forthwith, which I would expect will be a credit due to the premises being fitted with solar panels and being continuously vacant for 4 months. If you have any queries regarding this email, or would like to see a picture of the invisible dog, please do not hesitate to contact me.


Pleasingly we can report that Ergon Energy have replaced the estimated bill with a correct bill, which indeed is in credit due to the combination of the reader’s solar panels and a long-vacant house.

Of course the question remains – was the Meter Reader lazy or did he hear a barking dog in the general vicinity and decide he could shirk his responsibility and sneak by? It is our guess Ergon Energy won’t be telling anytime soon, but hopefully they will have some hard questions for the brave soul concerned.

In conclusion, we thought this adaptation of the first stanza of the famous poem “Antigonish” by the late Hugh Mearns should be dedicated to the intrepid Meter Reader – whoever he may be!:

Yesterday, upon the stair,
I met a dog who wasn’t there.
He wasn’t there again today,
I wish, I wish he’d go away…

If you have encountered a similarly ridiculous situation when dealing with your electricity provider, feel free to comment below.. 😀

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