I had the same, generally annual, discussion with my electricity retailer today. It, or I should say United Energy, hasn’t been able to read our electricity meter for a couple of years.
The reason is that we have gates at the front of the property and people are here irregularly during the week. We’re comforted by the fact there are two dogs, one of whom is a rottweiler cross, who will happily tear your arm off if you decide to jump the gate though.
For some reason, United Energy needs to physically see its water meter, love it, caress it, make passionate love to it, etc regularly, as well as noting down the numbers on it.
I ask the same question every year – why doesn’t United Energy allow me to take a photo of my meter and send it to them? My water provider allows me to do that. I can either call them, e-mail them something, or even SMS the meter reading to them.
United Energy, you need to come into the 21st Century!