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Estimated Annual Consumption (EAC) - What this means and how it affects your OVO Energy account?

  • 23 September 2020
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Estimated Annual Consumption (EAC) - What this means and how it affects your OVO Energy account?
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Updated on 23/08/2023 by Tim_OVO

 

Estimated Annual Consumption (EAC) - FAQs

 

What is an EAC?

 

EAC stands for Estimated Annual Consumption and applies to the amount of electricity we expect you to use each year. If you don’t have smart meters installed or these aren’t currently sending regular readings, we use this EAC figure to forecast the electricity usage at your property over the next 12 months.

 

 

How do we calculate your EAC?

 

The EAC is calculated using the historical readings submitted for your home (which might cover the time before you moved in). As your EAC is re-calculated each time we share your meter readings with the energy industry, the more readings you submit, the more accurate this figure will become.

 

 

Why do we use an EAC?

 

  • To calculate your Direct Debit 
  • Estimating readings when we have no 'actual' readings
  • Estimating consumption when a meter is faulty

 

What is Usage projection?

 

Usage projection is a figure produced by our billing system, that uses smart meter readings (if available) to project the usage for you over the next year. If you don't have a smart meter, it uses any actual meter readings obtained over the past 12 months.
 

If we don't have any actual meter readings within the last 12 months, we'll use your EAC and AQ (the gas equivalent of EAC) to calculate your usage projection.

 

Usage projections will be used for Direct Debit check in’s and renewal quotes.

 


How do we update an EAC?

 

Whenever a new reading is submitted to the energy industry, a new EAC is calculated for us to use.

 

If your EAC is incorrect, you should keep sending us regular readings. As the EAC is calculated based on the entire reading history of an electricity supply (MPAN), submitting regular readings over a period of time will gradually change the EAC until it matches the member's usage. The better alternative is to get a smart meter!

 

There are some exceptions where we may amend the EAC in other ways (e.g. when there has been a sudden and large increase/decrease in the EAC that doesn't match the most recent readings) but these wouldn't be applied without supporting readings.

 

We can't contact the industry to say we want the EAC amended, so all we can do is ensure the readings are correct on an account. If you’re not sure about how we’ve calculated your Direct Debit, the best thing to do is ensure we have accurate meter readings, and book a smart meter exchange

 

What is the typical annual usage in the UK?

 

As of October 2023, Ofgem has confirmed that a typical household in Britain uses 2,700 kWh of electricity (single rates, for dual rate it’s 3900 kWh) and 11,500 kWh of gas in a year. 

 

Has this raised any more annual usage questions? Comment below as we’re always happy to help de-mystify things! :slight_smile:


20 replies

Userlevel 6
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On this subject.

My experience with my previous energy supplier, hence the move to Ovo.

I have an unusual situation if the fact that I have 3 supply meters, 2 gas & 1 electric, 

The normal computer driven usage forecast (EAC) puts a higher usage figure over the winter months as demand increases, especially when you incorporate heating systems.

In my case, my extra gas meter has zero usage over the winter & a high usage over the summer.

 At every bi annual account review, the generated forecast model was the complete opposite the known service supply data.

So twice a year, a phone call to the cs department resulted in the high swing of my DD payments being manually adjusted back to the original payment amount.

That was until  the beginning of 2020, when my request to have my projected usage & costs looked at again resulted in the response of NO,  the option of the cs team to manually override the computer generated assessment had been revoked, at management level the request to manually readjust my account was also denied as they hadn’t got the authority to do so.

The only advise offered was to raise an official complaint & I did just that.

 Eventually it was all resolved in my favour, but enough was enough hence the move to Ovo.

 
​​​@Tim_OVO  A nice insight, I’m sure my 3 meters & slightly odd usage & setup will give EAC a good workout :grinning:
 

Tom...

Userlevel 7

And hopefully this will be better with 2 of your 3 meters as they are smart meters. Allowing a) a better EAC and AQ, and b) an alternative to the EAC and AQ when possible. 

 

Although in your case, @TomThumb we’re still working on getting your smart meters ‘smart’. For anyone else interested, see this topic for more info...

Hi. Basically, last year OVO misread out meter, getting the digits mixed up and suggesting we had hence used a vast amount of electricity. I contacted them, and corrected the reading, which they accepted was clearly an error on their part. Nonetheless this summer I received an email suggesting we were again using huge amounts of electricity. I explained again that it was their previous mistake , but they nontheless increased the monthly bill from £140 to nearly £600. 

I entered our correct reading online but have heard nothing. I have complained. Nothing. They have now taken over £2000 from my account. 

I'm going to the ombudsman and switching provider, but should I involve the police for what is effectively theft??

I can get nowhere with OVO who have been frankly appalling. 

 

 

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Good morning @Flatty ,

I’m really sorry to hear that things haven’t been working out. If you haven’t yet done so, I would recommend going through the OVO complaints process here to resolve the issue before going to the ombudsman. If you have been overcharged and OVO can verify this, you’ll be able to get a refund for all the excess payments and your Direct Debit payments can be dropped back down to what it should be.

The agents on the complaints team are really good and you’ll get a dedicated complaints handler who will ensure this gets resolved quickly.

As for contacting the police, I wouldn’t recommend this approach as you’re unlikely to get very far. The police can only deal with criminal law and a billing error like this comes more under contract law, meaning it’s out of scope for them.

If you’d prefer to leave OVO anyway, that is an option as well, but I would strongly recommend using the complaints process first and seeing if that resolves the issue before deciding on your next move.

I hope this helps, but please feel free to let us know if you need any further advice.

I was migrated to OVO in May from SSE and my direct debit stayed roughly the same (if anything, I increased it as I like to ensure that I’ve always got a bit extra in my account) and I noticed that the app said “after we’ve got eight weeks of usage we’ll be able to make more accurate predictions” or some guff like that.  Well, OVO, you’ve had 12 weeks of accurate reads from me and still no “accurate prediction” of usage.  According to my bills I’m still overpaying - that’s fine, I don’t have a problem paying a bit extra.

This morning I received a saccharine-sweet “yo, let’s renew your tariff!” email from OVO.  So, I went and had a look.  Sure, the prices are eye-watering and I understand that (so you can spare me the twaddle about why prices are increasing) but what surprised me and quite shocked me was the “prediction” as to how much my account would be in debit by the end of the year.  I’ve went from a “surplus” to a “debit” of nearly £3000.  How can OVO justify that?  How, exactly, is this company running their prediction calculator - and how can they justify having that calculator refuse to allow members to manually adjust their Direct Debit because it falls below what the computer “thinks” should be the annual usage?  (And yes, I do know how projection calculators work, OVO, but unfortunately for me you’re operating on less than four months of actual usage from someone who was bounced over from SSE).  I will be phoning and making a complaint (not to mention looking at going elsewhere).

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Hi @IMac1979

Sorry to hear about your issue. I don't work for OVO, a few of us, post if we think we might be able to help. I am not sure if you are asking for help or just saying you are going to make a complaint and go elsewhere. As you can imagine it is difficult to judge the knowledge of each poster.

You may already know this, so just posting for FYI for others who may also read this thread.

You can see the OVO estimate of your future annual usage at anytime. It is on this page on the website not the app. It updates automatically over time. Future Annual Consumption. 

https://account.ovoenergy.com/plan

What do the figures say for you? How do they compare to the annual usage you historically has with SSE?

Ultimately it is the Future Annual Consumption figures that are driving the direct debit calculator, along with your current tariff and any debit/credit on account.

I assume you have working smart meters set to 30min readings which should help get the Future Annual Consumption more accurate quicker. 

If you have any specific questions I or other customers may be able to answer, feel free to ask. A few of us post on a regular basis. 

Good luck whatever you decide to do. 

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Usage projections will be displayed on monthly bills ...

 

@Tim_OVO I’ve scoured my monthly bills for the past couple of years, but I can’t find any indication on any of them of a usage projection. Where can I find it? 

Hello ,we have been with ovo for 4 and a half years and never used more than an average 3600 units of electric a year in actual usage as our smart readings and bills will testify .

However because we upgraded to a smet 2 meter the national database is estimating our predicted annual electric usage to be 13000 units a year which is 4 times higher than actual usage . 

We have raised this issue with ovo and been told although the national database estimate is clearly wrong thst it cannot be corrected and therefore we will need to wait a year for actual readings to adjust it .

This is extremely stressful as we are in credit and our bills  readings and actual usage all average 3600 units a year electric which is 10000 units less than the projected .

Having been with ovo for many years we are very upset that this estimate cannot be corrected as it means we cannot switch to a fixed deal , even though you have has smart actual readings from us for many years -

Please can we get the database corrected to the correct estimate .
Who do we contact to get this sorted as ovo say they cannot change the database error .

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I’ve no solution, I’m afraid, but I’d like to point out that you’re not alone. For a slightly different reason, my projection has been static for almost six months at more than twice my actual annual usage. This has the effect both of producing wildly inaccurate Direct Debit recommendations and of predicting fanciful savings to be achieved by switching to a different tariff, fixed or not. I, too, have many years of smart meter data on which to base usage predictions.   

This is probably illegal, because as far as I can tell it is mandated by the supplier’s operating licence to produce estimates of future costs based on available data. OVO is clearly not doing this.

I can only suggest that you submit a formal complaint in writing, following the outline given under How the complaints process works. You could prepare the text beforehand, with a prominent heading Complaint, and including the details required. It may be most effective to submit it via webchat, where you can paste your text into the chat. If you choose to use email, be sure to send it from the account whose address you use to sign in to your OVO account. Keep a copy of your complaint with a note of when (date, time) and how you submitted it.

If OVO aren’t able to correct the fault within eight weeks, you’re then in a position to refer the complaint to the Ombudsman. The more customers in this situation who do this, the more likely it is that the Ombudsman and/or Ofgem will rap OVO firmly over the knuckles, possibly requiring them to pay a hefty fine and to give complainants a consolation prize. 

Thanks will do , I’ve been told only ovo can get the national database corrected , I never had any issue for 4 years until smart meter was upgraded to smet 2 .

 

I also need conformation that I will be billed on usage and smart readings which are correct and not some massively projected estimate which is 4 times higher 

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There’s no need to worry about billing - that is based solely on your meter readings and the rates in your plan. You won’t be overcharged because of the inflated projection of future usage, which  has two main effects:

  • it causes the Direct Debit calculation to give a figure that is far too high;
  • cost and savings estimates for other tariffs will be quite wrong.

You should have no trouble switching to a fixed tariff, but you may want to consider waiting to see what will happen to the current variable tariffs on 1 October, when they’re widely expected to fall further. This should become clearer when Ofgem reveal the new price cap later this month.

Meanwhile, do your own sums to find out what your projected costs should be. If you’re pestered to increase your Direct Debit, contact Support to explain why it’s adequate, if it is. They should be able to stop any proposed increase until the projection has been corrected.

 

Yep I have emailed complaints - I’m sure I saw last night that the price was dropping by £148 a year from oct 1 .

will wait until ovo lower the rate but good to know as we are well in credit that the direct debit won’t be adjusted even though it’s  quoting treble our current dd due to incorrect database .

 

I did ring ofgem who advised that only ovo can’t ask for the database to be corrected so will see why their adviser says they cannot ask .

live noticed when ringing ovo that the calls are now based in South Africa according to the telephone adviser and it’s very hard to understand some of the language - have had 3 thwt I couldn’t understand their English 🤦🏻‍♂️

Ofgem has changed its calculations for the October price cap because it expects people to use less energy, and taking these new expectations into account, the cap will likely be at £1,823, Cornwall Insight said.1 day ago

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Cornwall are usually right, but you never know whether Ofgem are going to pull a fast one  😊

As regards changing the calculation, Ofgem announced some time ago that they were revising down the figures they use for the average household’s consumption. This won’t have much effect on the maximum tariffs they impose; it only reduces the annual cost of energy for that fictitious average household. That’s why the price cap looks a lot lower than it otherwise would. The tariffs are designed to ensure that suppliers’ reasonable costs are covered and that they are able to make a modest profit. It may be, of course, that the expected reduction in demand reflected in the new TDCVs has meant that the profit margin has had to be increased.

All will be revealed when Ofgem release their decision towards the end of the month. 

Userlevel 7

Hey @markjeast,

 

Really sorry to hear this,

 

The Support Team should be able to manually calculate your proposed direct debit for a fixed rate plan from your previous usage. They can then put your direct debit on a review suspension so it stays at that amount until your estimated annual consumption updates to a more accurate figure. 

 

Hope this helps. 

Hey @markjeast,

 

Really sorry to hear this,

 

The Support Team should be able to manually calculate your proposed direct debit for a fixed rate plan from your previous usage. They can then put your direct debit on a review suspension so it stays at that amount until your estimated annual consumption updates to a more accurate figure. 

 

Hope this helps. 

Hi that would be good but I find it odd that is is a recent issue and for over 4 years all with ovo projected bills was normal and our usage hasn’t changed - the only change was they had to wait for the new smet 2  meter to connect with readings , it then connected in July  and sent readings since but they already had smart readings for the 4 years precious .

 

would you be able to get the support team to contact me ? I have written a complaint but as yet no reply . The new readings are comparable with the old meter readings so no idea why the database has changed by 10000 units 

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Cornwall are usually right, but you never know whether Ofgem are going to pull a fast one  😊

As regards changing the calculation, Ofgem announced some time ago that they were revising down the figures they use for the average household’s consumption. This won’t have much effect on the maximum tariffs they impose; it only reduces the annual cost of energy for that fictitious average household. That’s why the price cap looks a lot lower than it otherwise would. The tariffs are designed to ensure that suppliers’ reasonable costs are covered and that they are able to make a modest profit. It may be, of course, that the expected reduction in demand reflected in the new TDCVs has meant that the profit margin has had to be increased.

All will be revealed when Ofgem release their decision towards the end of the month. 

The new ofgem price cap info is due to be announced on 25th August, this Friday.

 

Userlevel 7

Hey @markjeast,

 

I’m afraid you’ll need to reach out to the Support Team directly, we don’t have access to your account. If you don’t want to wait in a call queue I’d advise contacting via webchat. 

 

You can find out what the direct debit price would be monthly based on previous usage, your direct debit can be set at this amount and your direct debit can be put on a review suspension. I am not sure exactly why the upgrade to SMETS2 has altered your estimated consumption, but each time we receive a reading your EAC will adjust accordingly. 

 

Hi thank you for all the replies , on opening my account today it has now been adjusted and corrected and advising direct debit of £123 a month which is much better then the original £356 a month 👍

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… my account ... has now been adjusted and corrected …
 

Lucky you! Mine got stuck on 10 April 2023 and hasn’t budged since.

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