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May 25th, 2016, 09:39 AM   #1
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How to compare 3 sets of data?

Hello, I am brand new to this forum

I have a math question regarding comparing three sets of figures relating to an electricity bill. I am trying to help a friend with her electricity bills as she believes she is being overcharged by the company with her Estimated Billing.

My maths is not very good, so I am asking for help with this question/problem -

There are a total of 51 electricity statements dating back over the last few years.
  1. Estimated Billing has a total meter increase of 38582 and a total consumption charge of $4648 from the 37 estimated statements.
  2. Meter Reader Billing has a total meter increase of 15344 and a total consumption charge of $1611 from 10 meter reader statements.
  3. Customer Read Billing has a total meter increase of 12334 and a consumption charge of $1658 from 4 customer read statements.

Is there a way that to find out if the Estimated Bill works out to be more expensive on average than the other two types of bills? The consumption charges are the same for the three types of bills. Is it a simple case of just working out the average?

Many thanks,

Moss

Last edited by skipjack; May 25th, 2016 at 03:51 PM.
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May 25th, 2016, 04:11 PM   #2
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Your figures imply that the cost of the electricity has changed during those years. It's important for accurate billing that the meter is read on the day of a price change. A customer reading would normally be accepted in these circumstances, provided that it is promptly passed to the electricity billing company. If no reading is available, the meter reading for when the price changed has to be estimated. As prices tend to increase and estimated readings tend to be higher than "true" readings, errors of this kind tend to benefit the customer.
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May 26th, 2016, 06:48 AM   #3
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Well, yeah that is what could have happened, but how can I demonstrate it with math? That's what I need to know.

Moss
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May 27th, 2016, 12:54 AM   #4
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Hey moss2076.

It will involve an average but you could use a median if the data is skewed.

If you are just looking at prices alone (rather than as a function of something else) then grab the data and compute both the average (add them all up and divide by the total number of data points) or find the median (basically order them in increasing order and take the middle one if an odd number or average the middle two if not).

If you want a more detailed investigation then you will need to express what sort of variables you are discussing and what sorts of question you are (specifically) trying to answer.
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