Billed higher than normal for a month I was barely home

I’ve been billed £87 for a month where I was on holiday for ten days and worked away for another week (it’s a studio apt…) - spoke with an advisor on the 11th who confirmed that monthly payments of £70 would “more than cover” my monthly usage as well as start clearing the small amount of debit on my account.

Email totally useless, still waiting on replies from 3+ weeks ago, live chat never working - good times!

It’s most likely an estimated bill if you weren’t around to submit a meter reading. You can tell if this is the case because it will say “estimate” next to the reading. Your energy supplier doesn’t know you haven’t been around. Just submit an actual reading next month and it’ll all work out. No biggie.

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Hi - thanks for the reply, appreciate it. By all work out - what do you mean with that? :slight_smile: The £87 is there as an ‘out’ payment in the statement section of my account so it looks like it’s been applied to my balance, just conscious it looks like I’ve been charged far more for a month where I was home 50% of the time haha!

You have indeed been charged for more for a month where you haven’t been home. The estimated reading is higher than the reading would have been if you have been able to submit the actual reading. This is simply because the energy supplier is not psychic or clairvoyant, they don’t know the property was empty if you don’t tell them via a meter reading.

What will happen next month, assuming you submit an actual meter reading, is that your bill will be lower than usual. This is because your usage will appear to be less due to the previously high estimated reading. Essentially what has happened is that you’ve paid a bit in advance for next month via an estimated reading that is too high.

When I say it’ll work out I mean that you’ll only pay for the energy you’ve used, as measured by your meter. For example, your monthly bills could go all wrong for ages but provided the most recent bill is based on the actual meter reading then you’ll have paid the right amount overall no matter what any of the previous bills said.

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As a specific example:


Bill 1:
Opening reading: 1000 (actual)
Closing reading: 1300 (actual)

Bill 2:
Opening reading: 1300 (actual)
Closing reading: 1600 (actual)

Total for two months: 600 kWh of usage.


Now lets suppose you weren’t around to give a reading for bill 1 so it was estimated, and the estimate was too high:

Bill 1:
Opening reading: 1000 (actual)
Closing reading: 1500 (estimate)

Bill 2:
Opening reading: 1500 (estimate)
Closing reading: 1600 (actual)

Total for two months: 600 kWh of usage. You got a big bill in month 1 but a small bill in month 2, but the total works out the same based on the final actual usage.

People get worked up about this all the time, and it’s simply not an issue.