We’ve been busy laying the foundations for a new way to manage your online account and as part of this we’re changing the ways that statements and billing are done. This means that when you login, you can now see up-to-date energy charges applied to your balance based on the reading we get from your smart meter every day.
So where did this all start?
We started with up-to-date billing as customers told us that it’s difficult to feel in control of their bills. Especially when you have to wait until the end of the month for a statement. With up-to-date billing you now get a clearer idea of how much your energy use has cost every day.
Billing in detail
Traditionally energy companies would receive meter reads either:
- From customers reading their own meters and submitting a read.
- From smart meters directly.
On a specific date each month the energy company would look at the latest meter read they had received to bill you and generate a statement. This might have been based on the latest smart meter read, it might have been based on the last read that a customer submitted or it might be based on an estimation if there was no meter read.
This method of billing is prone to problems at many different stages and often leads to confusing bills, inaccurate estimation, bad Direct Debit recommendations and uncertainty over how much you should be paying.
We often hear from people that these things together can make them anxious as it’s not clear how much their bill was going to cost until their statement was produced. This makes it difficult to budget for energy usage and know if there was anything that needed to be done during the month to help reduce costs. Leading some people to try to estimate their own bills as they couldn’t wait for the statement date.
In the new online account we are aiming to change all of this. We are no longer waiting until a specific day each month to calculate how much your energy has cost you. Instead we will be calculating your energy cost and updating your account each time your smart meter sends us a read.
This means that your balance figure is always an accurate reflection taking into account:
- The cost of your energy usage, as calculated and billed with each time your smart meter send us a read.
- Daily standing charges.
- Payments and refunds.
Statements in detail
As all your information is available in detail online, we will no longer be issuing monthly statements as a way to calculate your balance and communicate your usage and costs to you.
Instead of receiving a regular monthly statement you will only receive statements:
- At the end of a plan (if you’re leaving us at this point it will be part of your final bill).
- If you cancel your Direct Debit and we need to discuss payment options with you.
- If you’re on a two year plan we’ll also send you a statement at the end of your first year.
(If you opt to receive paper statements you will still receive these regularly in the same way).
The information that you would normally see in your statement is all available on the website or app but with the ability to see more clearly how your costs were calculated.
We’d love to hear your feedback on this and how you feel about these changes. Please comment below to share your thoughts and opinions, we value your input!