Actual vs estimated billing

Think you are being over charged? Know how to work out actual bills

First things first, when you move to a new property ALWAYS let the supplier know you have moved in, otherwise you may be paying off other peoples bills, debts and you may find it a lot more difficult to resolve problems later down the line if you haven’t informed them you have moved in from the offset. If you think you might be able to manage with direct debit payments, but do prefer to knowing exactly how much you are using so are thinking about going to a prepayment meter. There are other options available which could save you hundreds each year. (Smart meters – Staying on credit meter and checking use each month by contacting supplier with meter reading each month and asking

You may need to give them the MPRN number, MPAN number or supply number Help to identify these here.

Suppliers will send meter readers round, but how often varies, and if either of your meters are inside it will depend whether they manage to all whilst you are at home.

So… It is a good idea to take your own meter readings every 3 months and at least every 6 months to make sure you can check your bills are accurate.

See more on how to take a meter reading here:


Things to look for are Kilowatt hours over a year this is to even out the different usage in winter and summer it is best to look at a whole year of usage to understand whether your usage is high or low and to carry out a comparisson.

It is very often noted on bills, annual statements, or if you have readings of your own

Electric can be worked out simply by working out the difference between the number on your meter, and a reading taken from one year ago, the unit on the meter is kilowatt hours (kwh)

Gas is slightly more complex, it needs to be run through a calculation – you can find tools online to do this but it is unlikely to be 100% accurate so it is usually best to speak to your supplier.

To see how your usage compares against click here, it might help you to work out if your bills are about right or way off the mark. Don’t forget things will change depending on how your hot water is heated, and how you heat your home – storage heaters, gas radiators, or plug in electric heaters.

Things to look for A could mean Actual E could mean Estimated – Customer Reading or your read – are meter readings which the supplier have received from you. Our read could be readings taken from the supplier.