I give meter readings each month, why is my bill still based on estimates?

Why, when I faithfully provide meter readings on time, each month, does OVO still give estimated readings on my bills?


Best answer by Darran_OVO 13 April 2017, 12:50

Updated 14/09/2020:


Meter readings, usage and estimates


For non-smart-meter members on our new online account with daily charges that look like this:  



Will an account balance update daily?

The standing charges will be deducted each day. Usage charges will only be deducted once a reading has been provided or when we estimate a reading for you billing date.


When we receive a reading how long does it take to update the balance?

Whenever a reading is submitted you will be charged up to date, this normally happens instantly.


Will we bill to estimates each month if we do not get a reading?

Yes, this is also the same for smart customers if the meter doesn’t communicate remotely. 


Can a customer remove any incorrect readings if added in error?

Our Support team are able to override incorrect meter readings, by submitting the correct reading for the correct date. 

View original

35 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +2

I believe I understand what you’re saying @AlisonH. Let me just repeat this back to you so I can be sure we’re on the same page:

If the submitted reading is just beyond the cut-off date/time then that month’s bill will be issued based on usage which is 100% estimated.

Let’s say that you then submit the following month’s reading in time. Since the Billing System only needs to note the cumulative total, there is no mention of the previous actual reading which you gave.

Am I correct so far?


Now @Eva_OVO (who is a Forum Moderator) states that “You’ll see the reading on your next month’s summary”.

Here's an example (from one of my gas bills in Sept last year) showing what Eva suggests you should see:

Now this is a particularly ‘silly’ Bill because my meters were part of a test being done by an OVO Engineer, and the estimate is therefore way out!

Nevertheless you can see that I should’ve provided a reading by 13th August, but I didn’t do so until two days later.  As a consequence my August Bill was entirely estimated.

My September Gas Bill therefore shows the late Customer Reading, and then yet another Estimate because I didn’t provide that September’s reading in time either.


Now if I turn to the electricity Bill for the same period I see this:

Never mind that this ran to 18th Sept instead of 13th. The important bit to notice is that there is no Customer Reading shown for 15th August, despite the fact that I submitted readings for both gas and electricity together online.


Is this what you are seeing?

I don’t agree. I know I have been submitting readings, but the record still shows as Estimated. I have also raised this with the on-line chat and had the same answer. 

I will just have to make sure I submit absolutely on the day in future and take a screenshot. 


Userlevel 6

We’ll record the reading, @AlisonH, but it won’t be recorded on your summary if one has already been generated. You’ll see the reading on your next month’s summary.

Userlevel 7
Badge +2

Thanks for raising that issue @AlisonH - good point!

The new Billing System is still in it’s early days. Unlike many other Energy Suppliers, OVO have developed their own system. That means the programming team are still working on it and can add features.

Their first priority was to ensure that it fully complies with Ofgem’s guidelines, which it does.

So let’s ask the duty Moderator, @Eva_OVO, to see if your suggestion can be allocated a “ticket” and passed to the programmers in London.

Similar but different issue here. With other suppliers (gas or electricity) if a reading is sent late, then it is taken into account and the balance adjusted.

OK if OVO don’t do this, but why if I send in a reading one day late is there no message to say it won’t be recorded? Not even a warning that it’s too late.


Userlevel 6

I've moved your post here, @Mulletty, take a look at Darran's best answer for more info on this.

To correct an estimated reading you would need to get in touch, you can send us a message on Facebook or Twitter with your name, DoB, account number and up to date meter reading.

If you don't use social media, you can speak with them through our Help Centre’s online chat!

How do I correct and estimate after the statement has been issued.

I keep getting charged for off-peak electricity despite having turned the heaters off in April What happens is that I get a reminder to give a meter reading. When the statement comes there is a few days estimate. The next month, when I try to put in the actual reading, Ovo don’t accept the actual reading as it is lower than the previous months estimate. So I can only put the figure from the previous statement. This way the figure keeps going up and up - especially as ovo’s estimate for those few days is so high.
all in all I have been charged for 200 units that I haven’t used.
I joined Ovo 5 Feb 2018 in the hope they would an be an improvement on my previous supplier who totally trashed my gas usage. I called Ovo before transferring and was assured they would sort it all out within a few months (I think 16 weeks was mentioned for some reason). Here I am nearly a year on and my last bill showed I used just under 4 units per day, but despite many calls OVO still estimate 13 units a day! I gave them a reading of 5086 on 4th jan, equating to less than 4 units per day based on last bill, Ovo estimated 1 day usage and added 13 units to my bill! The impact of this on current plan is not huge, but Ovo want to double my direct debit if I renew or put me on standard tariff if I don’t sign up for new plan, add to this I haven’t been able to take advantage of any offers during my contract because the estimates are always so high. It seems to me despite promising to sort with the meter company, Ovo are making no effort as they make more money out of me if they don’t sort it. I can’t even leave for another provider as the rubbish estimate will move with me and I’ll have to start all over again. I can’t even phone them to complain without losing my discount!
before anyone suggests smart meters, I did book an installation, took a days holiday from work and pretty much the first thing the installer said to me was they can’t install in the gas boxes Redrow use on new homes and Ovo know that!!!!

anyone else had similar nightmares and is there an answer?
Userlevel 7
@Brian out on the Suffolk coast thanks for sharing. Where's this monthly estimate you see? I'll be able to advise how it's calculated when I know this! As for building up credit, that is the plan for fixed tariff customers. Build up credit in the summer (3-5% annual interest) and eat into this in the winter. If we were to do it the other way and have our customers in debt for half the year, we wouldn't have the liquidity to buy our energy in bulk at a great price for the customer - fair enough?
Hello OVO

I do hope one day or year soon you'll get monthly "gas usage estimates" rather more accurate.

For the next month, Sept 2108, your estimate is 810Khw. In Sept 2017 we used 62Khw. Sept 2016 we used 94Khw.
For October 2018, the estimate is 1140Khw. 2017 we used 62Khw & in 2016 just 125Khw.
November 2018, estimate is 1296Khw. 2017 we gobbled 281Khw and 2016 brrrrr 596Khws.
The pattern seems to be for really dumb excessive gas estimates for the summer & autumn seasons. No idea why. Maybe you guys need to change your bit of seaweed & the pine cone in Bristol?

I guess your energy estimates factor in your monthly DD recommendation, if we followed that we'd build a cash holding with you. No big licks but I don't bank with my greengrocer & OVO's no different.

Please don't suggest Smart (truly an oxymoron) Meters. They plainly were designed by the same committee who came up with the platypus duck. A good old mate of mine has been fully employed battling these past 10yrs to somehow get the software for them to work & I think he's not finished yet :D

End of grumble.
Userlevel 1
I had no problem for years giving my readings on 5th of the month when my statement was on the 12th so why all the probems now?
I've recently had notification tjat my statement date has changed with no notice of when I should submit my readings.
On one occasion when I sent in readings after the 5th but before the 12th I got estimated bill and the reason was I submitted too late.

This is all bullshit imo and Ovo don't seem to know what the Hell they're doing or perhaps they're pissing about to push their smart meter agenda. I won't have a dangerous or piece of spyware and potential hacker in my property. End of. Ovo are failing imo and need to get a grip. People are pissed off.
Userlevel 6
Hey @NoiseMaker,

I've moved your questions over here where you should find all the information you need about estimated bills.

Userlevel 1
Ovo added estimated readings on my account despite me sending them 5 days before and them showing on my readings history. They returned my email saying they had no emails with my readings but they're right there in plain site and this is after me attaching a screen shot of my readings history. Total incompetence here?
Userlevel 1
Why are estimated readings added days after I email readings with plenty of time? Estimated readings are higher than actual readings.
Userlevel 6
What is the point of me giving you meter readings if you always include an estimated reading and charge me on that reading?

Hi @bigbird,

I've moved your topic over here where you'll find all the info you need.

What is the point of me giving you meter readings if you always include an estimated reading and charge me on that reading?
The old adage of tempting fate seems to have occurred following my last post. I provided readings on the requested date but have received a bill based on estimated readings for this month. It may be that because the due date was a Sunday there were no staff to receive and process the readings (I assumed, perhaps incorrectly, that the readings were processed automatically). That being the case, surely OVO should adjust their meter reading requests accordingly? In any event, the differences in the readings are marginal but it is annoying when making the effort to provide readings on the requested date to have them overridden.
Tend to agree with the above comments. Have had the same situation for over a year. Queried it and got similar answers. This Month, as a test of the system, I gave accurate (UP TO THE MINUTE READINGS AT 11:57pm ON THE DAY SPECIFIED) I still got an estimated reading on my bill which was the date of bill generation using an estimated reading. WHY?

Don't really mind as I over pay to the extent that I could now have a free years energy! - Well I'm getting no real interest from any bank.

Still don't particularly want a smart meter I can work out how much I'm using and why. Also I don't want a meter cluttering up the walls and décor. the meters are in a cupboard for a reason< they are out of the way. By the sound of it they don't particularly provide a more accurate bill. Any way in the long run it will always even itself out and you pay for what you use. Nevr had an underestimated bill though!
Hi Chrisl,

Firstly, I use my PC diary (I guess this could also be done via Alexa, Cortana, etc.) to remind me of the days when meter readings are due and then use the email from OVO to back-up those dates. Thereafter, I read the meters on the actual dates quoted on the OVO email reminders to take the meter readings.

Since adopting this approach, I have had no estimated readings. I accept, however, that given work commitments, travel, etc., it is not always possible to give readings on the dates required. However, if the majority of the readings are actual with a few estimates now and then, I guess there is a balance over a period. Hope this is of some help.
Why when I submitted meter readings on 4th November, and got an e-mail adjustment, do I get an estimate bill dated 11th November?
New to OVO so go easy on me :)

So I added my meter reading 20/11 thinking this was close enough to the 24/11 date that OVO bill on. Pretty sure it told me on the dates on the app and this was inside it - but I can't remember now, and because OVO didn't send me an email reminder that is also set up in the app I have no evidence. Because I submitted early, I now have 4 days usage estimated, which clearly aren't estimated on my usage but ho hum that's a different matter (FWIW ~130kWh for the previous 10 actual days vs ~90kWh for the 4 *estimated* days, nearly double my actual usage, but its only for a handful of days so can forgive the crudeness of the calcs!).

Anyway, it's only a minor discrepancy - as it only estimated 4 days - but how close to the cut off do you have to put the meter reading in to get no estimated usage? I'd guess if I went to 24/11 then it would say that I'm too late and go back a whole month for estimated usage, so 23/11? Would it then estimate 1 days usage?
Userlevel 1
I will take Toddy’s tip and provide readings day before statement date. See if it works.
A review of my readings against Ovo estimates this past year reveals they have consistently overestimated, except Aug & Sept.
Result has been higher bills than necessary leading to a projected shortfall. Is this to encourage a higher DD?
Or a Smart meter? Judging by some comments, not a good idea.
I now submit my readings bang on the date specified by OVO and this seems so far to be working. There will of course be occasions when submission on the due date will not be possible (holidays, etc.).
I have the same issue, and I think the Ovo response is both unhelpful, and Innaccurate! Having experienced this problem, I raised directly with Ovo, and they agreed to change the dates on the reminder. So just a few days ago, Reminder asked me to submit on 6th. I was sure this was wrong as my statement date is always 7th, but did as requested. Guess what, Bill produced using Estimated readings for 7th. Grrrr
I submit regular meter readings but usually a day or two before my statement date. Last month my gas usage for the first 29 days came to 59 units. OVO then put an estimated reading in for the remaining two days of an additional 42 units!! I've read my meter today, 4 days after my statement date, and I'm still 8 units short of their estimate.
Baffled by their maths.