Estimated energy bills: the curse of the modern era

Gas and electric meters enable energy companies to calculate how much we’ve used and how much to charge us. For many reasons, these bills are often based on estimates rather than precise readings. This can lead to problems with customers overpaying or underpaying, and it is not the most accurate way to deal with our bills.

Estimated energy bills

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How energy companies estimate bills

When energy companies are calculating how much gas or electricity you’ve used over a certain period, they will generally rely on old data. This can mean that they incorrectly estimate how much you’ve actually used, so your bill will be higher or lower than it should be. For example, you could have made changes to your lifestyle that have cut your energy usage or you could have used a Haslemere boilers company to install a more energy-efficient system. However, with an estimated bill, this won’t be reflected in the price that you pay.

The problem of estimated bills

At some point, the energy company will physically read your meter, or you can provide them with a reading yourself. If the previous estimates have been wrong, there could be a large discrepancy in the amount of energy you’ve used compared to what you’ve paid for. In instances where you’ve been overpaying, you will receive a refund. However, while the utility company has had your money, they’ve been benefitting from the interest. Those customers who have had their usage underestimated, however, could be facing a large bill when their meter is read.

Reducing estimated bill issues

In this high-tech age with more energy-efficient heating systems available from companies such as, it’s hard to understand why there is still so much reliance on estimated bills. Smart meters are currently being rolled out, and they should be in all homes before 2020. These enable suppliers to receive usage information directly, which will make bills more accurate in the long run. However, they are not without their problems, and many households that have already had one installed are still being provided with estimated bills.

In the meantime, if you receive a bill that is different from your usage, you can provide your supplier with the actual reading. This will ensure that you don’t build up a substantial credit or face a large bill.

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