The Adventures of an opening meter reading.

Once upon a time, there lived an opening meter reading, he did not lead a very long life, but in his short, yet notable time on earth, he raised an inordinate amount of questions and at times caused quite a bit of confusion. He tried not to cause a fuss, but sadly, sometimes, he found it was unavoidable.

Ok, enough fairy tales, but one of the most frequently asked questions we hear from customers who have recently switched, is why we haven’t used the reading they gave us as their opening meter reading?

It usually prompts at least a phone call, and in the interests of not wasting your time - have a quick read of the journey our intrepid meter reading takes, and everything should become clear and ensure a very happy ever after.

So, why didn’t you use my opening reading to start my account?

Once your switch is nearing completion, we contact all our customers and ask for opening meter readings. The readings are then used to close your account with one supplier and open a new one with us. Think of them as the switch readings.

Simple really! – Unfortunately, industry rules and regulations sometimes make this process a bit more difficult and sometimes you may see different switch readings to the ones you gave.

The good news is that whatever readings are used, you will never pay for the same energy twice.

What happens to the reading?

When you give us your reading, we send it off to be validated by an independent company. It is a requirement all suppliers sign-up to, and it stops any disagreements over the readings. This process can however, sometimes delay the switch slightly.

The validating company check that the reading supplied is in line with your past usage by using a simple(ish) calculation to work out a maximum acceptable reading.

They begin by looking at your last validated reading, and the number of days between this and the latest switch reading you gave to us.

Factoring in the estimated yearly consumption, the validators turn this into a daily figure and multiply it by the amount of days between the last validated reading and the switch reading - which results in an expected usage for that period.

To make things a little more complicated, the figure is then multiplied by 2.5 to account for any fluctuations in your use. As a calculation, it looks like this.

Last validated reading (expected consumption x 2.5) = maximum switch reading.

Once this has been worked-out, your switch reading will be accepted and validated if it is:

  • Equal to the maximum switch reading
  • The same as your last validated reading. (You may have been on holiday and not used anything) or;
  • Somewhere between your maximum switch reading and the last validated one.


What happens if my reading fails validation?

If the numbers don’t quite add up to what they expect, they will use an estimate for your switch reading. It’s nothing to panic about though, as the difference is usually very small. It’s not just simple guesswork as they use the following formula:

Last validated reading expected usage = Estimated reading.

The majority of the time, the reading you give us for the switch is validated and then used. It is one of the most important parts of your switch, so please don’t be put-off giving us one. It gets us off to a good start and in the habit of submitting regular meter readings. Which is useful for everyone.

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