What does ‘estimated’ mean on my energy bill?

Posted 04/11/2015 by E.ON

Don’t you just hate things you can’t control? Delayed trains, traffic jams, ‘the Great British weather’… The list goes on. Most people would put their energy bills on the list of unpredictabilities too. But what if we told you it doesn’t have to be this way? Here’s our simple guide to understanding what ‘estimated usage’ really means, and how you can use it to take control of your energy bill.

Let’s start at the beginning. How do you work out the cost of my bill?

There’s three ways we calculate your energy bill.

  • We read your meter and charge you for exactly how much energy you’ve used.
  • You submit your meter readings to us and we calculate your bill from the information you sent us.
  • If we don’t have a meter reading, we’ll provide an estimated bill. This is where inaccuracies can happen, as without a meter reading we don’t know exactly how much you’ve spent.

What does ‘estimated’ mean then?

You get an ‘estimated’ bill when we haven’t received your meter readings. To estimate your bill we use some clever equations, including your past energy usage, what time of year it is, how well-insulated your house is and how many people live there. But because an estimated bill is just an estimate, there’s a chance that you might use more or less energy than you’ve paid for – and this means that you may have to pay or get paid the difference once we get an actual read.

Hmm, that doesn’t seem like the best way to pay my energy bills! What can I do to make my bill more accurate?

Our estimated bills are as accurate as they can be, but by submitting your meter readings you are giving us an exact record of your energy usage. This means you’ll only pay for the energy you’ve used. Plus we’ve made it really easy to send us a meter reading – all you’ll need is your email address, postcode, and E.ON account number.

Or, if you want to take the hassle out of meter reading altogether, a smart meter is probably right up your street. With a smart meter, not only will we automatically read your meter for you, but you can also monitor and control your energy usage. That means no ‘uh-oh’ moments. Sound good? You can register your interest in smart meters with us now.

Alright, I’m following. Back to my estimated bill - what if it costs more than you estimated and I can’t afford it?

If you’re having problems, let us know. The sooner you get in touch, the more help we can give you. You can find us on Facebook – E.ON Energy UK, Twitter @eonhelp or call us on 0345 302 4251 between 8am and 8pm Monday to Friday and 8am to 4pm on Saturdays. We can talk through your options and also recommend ways to keep on top of your energy usage.

Good to know. But what if I’ve submitted my reading, and my bill still says ‘estimated’?

It can take us up to three weeks to calculate your bill from the meter readings you give us. So if a bill is sent out before we’ve updated your account, you might still get an estimate. The best thing to do is try to give us plenty of time to process your meter readings and apply them to your account.

Now you know what an estimated bill means, you can hopefully avoid any unwanted surprises. Remember, the best way to get an accurate bill is to read your meter regularly. If you’re still unsure of anything, you can visit our bill Help and Support page.

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