The importance of readings

We get it. We all lead busy working lives. There are numerous competing pressures. So, in the grand scheme of things, how important can it be to read the energy meters every quarter? Well, the answer depends on two things:

1) how much do you trust your energy provider; and 2) do you want to risk the hassle that comes with over or under-estimated usage? If you’re anything like us, the answer to question one will be a resounding ‘No’. Therefore, what you’re really wondering is how badly things could go wrong without regular readings?

In the absence of an ‘actual’ meter reading, your energy provider will likely generate an estimate (energy providers are only obliged to take one meter read every two years!). If you submitted a reading last month/quarter, this estimate may be reasonably ok. But if your meter hasn’t been read for some time (maybe it’s difficult to access) any inaccuracies in the estimates your provider generates will be amplified.

Submitting readings.

Every time you submit a reading, this is added to the read history for your meter which is used to produce an ‘Estimated Annual Consumption’ (EAC). This EAC forms the basis of the estimate your provider generates. Obviously, a sparser reading history will affect the accuracy. But there may be other factors to which your provider is oblivious. Perhaps the site has been subject to a change of energy use, or maybe the occupancy is different. This all increases the likelihood of an inaccurate estimate, which drifts further away from reality with each consecutive estimate.

Additionally, consider that your provider may be inclined to generate estimates in their favour. Don’t get me wrong – this shouldn’t happen! However, BMU recently refused to validate bills from one provider (who shall remain nameless) whose gas estimates were all more than 25% higher than expected. And this was in the middle of Summer!

Finally, recognise the importance of a meter read when your contract ends and you move to a new provider/contract price. Any error here and you risk overpaying – perhaps significantly if there is much movement in price.

 

The bottom line…

Bottom line – accurate energy bills are an important factor in managing your budgets, particularly in these challenging times. We would urge you to submit frequent reads across the year in order to avoid any nasty surprises down the line. Nobody wants to add the hassle of billing issues to their already busy life, so get ahead of the problem!

We hope this helps. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact your BMU Account Manager and they will be able to assist you further.

Call us today on 01484 506410

Author: Richard Bell

Posted: 23 September 2020

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