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A question about estimated readings

  • 25 September 2020
  • 17 replies
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Hi I've just checked my tariffs and usage for this year and what I've found is total lie. I'm long enough with you to know how to send a meter reading, my usage is always lower than your estimates. But for some reason you ignoring this. Now you have charged me £150 more than my bill should be. And I can prove it.  Your estimates for the period from 14.03.20 to 15.04.20 is  

479,1kwh for electricity 

and 1537,8kwh for gas. 

Now,my reading, for the same period, which I've send you is 143kwh for electricity and 512kwh for gas.  Where is that difference coming from? Because of your ignorance I'm now paying a lot more than I should. 

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Best answer by stephenrand 27 September 2020, 17:02

Hi @Woody the handyman 

Your photos solve one mystery.

Your statement is produced on the same date every month - in your case the 16th. It will always show an estimate for that date, unless you happen to have sent in your meter readings on the 16th exactly. 

That estimate will always take into account the readings you have sent in. In the examples you have shown, the estimates clearly are based on your readings.

So on 16 August the estimate carried over from the previous statement, which was just two higher than your 14 August reading, was 7650. 29 days later your reading was 7691, and when your statement was produced on the 16th, it was estimated at 7693, adding just 2 for the extra two days.

To put it another way, your readings show a month's usage of 7691-7648 = 43. PP's estimates show 7693-7650 = 43.

So your readings are definitely being taken into account, and the estimates are entirely sensible and accurate.

So any problem must lie in your direct debit payments against your actual usage.

Stephen

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@Woody the handyman 

I won’t answer this in the same spirit in which it’s written. 

There is no “lie” here, no conspiracy to make you pay more than you need to.
The estimated usage for the year is just that, an estimate, a guesstimate, supposition and assumption or based on previous usage.  It varies and you certainly can’t know just how far out it’s going to be until nearly a year has passed.

The ‘lie’ as you call it is based on  your original quote which is where you have the opportunity to enter your expected annual consumption. Did you do that when you got your quote?

The estimates on the statement become more accurate the longer you’ve been with PP, but the important part is that the balance on the statement should not persistently increase unduly (by persistently I mean over a large number of months and by unduly I mean a significant multiple of an average months payment.)

That said if your usage goes way out of kilter either way you can very easily ask for a review at any time and PP also review your balance regularly. 

If you don’t mind me asking how much is your balance after you’ve paid the direct debit and how much are your current colder payments?

Because of what we have to endure in the UK  (the climate), it’s very common for balances to increase a long way in the warmer months only to be swallowed up when it goes cooler - even with the PP colder/warmer split this still happens because it’s a 60/40 split but in reality most people pay more than 70% of their annual heating costs over the 5 or 6 coldest months so there is always going to be some “guesswork”  or conjecture involved.

So if your balance is way way over what it should be, which is (around a months average plus a bit more because you need to allow for the fact that we are going into  the cold months, head over to wattbot, help and support> ask a question and type review my direct debit. There will be a dialogue to work through.

You aren’t paying more because of PP’s ignorance, PP can only set the DD according to the information they use at the start of the switch, but as said it can be changed.

I also think from reading your post you don’t seem to understand how the payment system works. 

The direct debit is fixed and the balance varies according to how much energy you use. You don’t pay a variable amount every month, you pay the same (apart from the cold/warm split). So PP haven’t charged you £150 more than they should have, based on your figures the over ESTIMATE is about £70, but it doesn’t matter because as soon as the real figures are entered the balance will correct itself anyway

Your post, to be polite, isn’t terribly  well thought out and it’s unnecessarily  accusatory when all you need do if your balance is increasing more than it should, is to ask for a review, and if it’s really a long way out you may be able to get a small refund.

PP’s prediction system is far from perfect but I think any ignorance here isn’t down to PP.

 

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Hi Mr Woody,

Don't worry because you actually only even pay for the energy you've used.

Just take a photo every month and then you'll have a really good record of your usage for your own peace if mind. 

Your payments will be less in the summer than the winter and that's because the decent people at Pure Planet adjust it on your behalf. 

 

Top tip - unplug, save money 💰 👌 👍

Thanks for reply Mr. Woz,or rather WozBot. Your, way too ,long explanation dose not convince me at all. Let me put it this way. If you say PP estimates (guestimates) are based on my reading, is not true. I'm with PP more than two years, every month sending my meter reading,  every month I'm below expectations. How it's possible for me to be in debt.  I don't think someone is reviewing my account at all cos your figures are much higher than my reading. You can check my usage at any time you will see the difference. Direct debit wasn't set up by me, PP did and everything was going well up to this month, when PP decided to take more, without explanation. 

And this is not the end, in October they want to take even more,  £250 above direct debit. I DO  NOT AGREE.While I can digest 50% more in colder months, 150% makes me angry, don't expect me to be polite. You've just admitted that is something wrong in the system, why you can't fix it? Simple things should be simple, why you making it so complicated? I understand that you're buying the energy on the market, than selling it to costumers, passing all the costs on us, that's how you make money, but be reasonable show some empathy in this hard times and another lockdown on the way. I'm loyal to the companies I'm with, not shopping around every year to get better or cheaper deal. I can see now it's a mistake. Thank you very much for your time Mr. WozBot, your answer didn't make any change, I'm still in the same position as before, just because PP is not able to put the estimate figures close to reading figures. This is the whole problem. Your figures are different, my direct debit payment is based on your Guestimates figures not even close enough to my meter reading. Where is the point of sending it to you? That's what you call transparency?

And if you think the only answer for this problem is smart meter, you're wrong. 

 

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I hesitate to step into this conversation, but I think it's important to explain @Woody the handyman that when you post here you are not talking directly to Pure Planet, but to your fellow customers. And they do not have any access to your account details.

So @woz is a fellow customer who has attempted to explain what might be happening on the basis of the information you have given.

If you have been sending your readings every month for two years and you are now being asked for an extra payment ( did you receive an email explaining this?) it suggests that your account has been reviewed. But then your monthly statement would have been showing your balance getting more into debt over the months.

So it sounds as if you may need to get in touch with Pure Planet directly

Worth bearing in mind that in my experience the staff team want to be helpful, as do the fellow customers who respond here.

Stephen

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Thanks for reply Mr. Woz,or rather WozBot. Your, way too ,long explanation dose not convince me at all. Let me put it this way. If you say PP estimates (guestimates) are based on my reading, is not true. I'm with PP more than two years, every month sending my meter reading,  every month I'm below expectations. How it's possible for me to be in debt.  I don't think someone is reviewing my account at all cos your figures are much higher than my reading. You can check my usage at any time you will see the difference. Direct debit wasn't set up by me, PP did and everything was going well up to this month, when PP decided to take more, without explanation. 

And this is not the end, in October they want to take even more,  £250 above direct debit. I DO  NOT AGREE.While I can digest 50% more in colder months, 150% makes me angry, don't expect me to be polite. You've just admitted that is something wrong in the system, why you can't fix it? Simple things should be simple, why you making it so complicated? I understand that you're buying the energy on the market, than selling it to costumers, passing all the costs on us, that's how you make money, but be reasonable show some empathy in this hard times and another lockdown on the way. I'm loyal to the companies I'm with, not shopping around every year to get better or cheaper deal. I can see now it's a mistake. Thank you very much for your time Mr. WozBot, your answer didn't make any change, I'm still in the same position as before, just because PP is not able to put the estimate figures close to reading figures. This is the whole problem. Your figures are different, my direct debit payment is based on your Guestimates figures not even close enough to my meter reading. Where is the point of sending it to you? That's what you call transparency?

And if you think the only answer for this problem is smart meter, you're wrong. 

 

hi @Woody the handyman 

Apologies for trying to help, I’d just been plugged in to recharge my bot-batts and was feeling a bit sprightly. 

I noticed in your very long reply that you didn’t answer the most important question which would throw some light on your predicament, and which was, how much is your statement balance and how much are your cold season payments.

The more I read of your last reply the less your original post stacks up. What does the setting of payment levels according to how much energy you’re expected to use have to do with empathy? PP don’t know your financial circumstances but if you are struggling to make payment they will listen and arrange a payment plan with you.

I didn’t say there was something wrong with the system, I said their prediction system was far from perfect, and I also said the longer you’re with them the more accurate it gets.
I never mentioned Smart Meters (did I?) If your readings are real (submitted) and not estimated it makes no difference whether you have a SM or not.

If the wrong estimates have caused higher than necessary payments PP will put it right.

If on the other hand your statement balance is about where it should be according to how much energy you’ve used then your complaint is either not as you’ve described or it’s spurious.

I do agree with you about your mistake, because it’s very easy to get a quote from a comparison site, irrespective of your estimated  consumption if you have 2 years worth of statements you can easily work out what you’ve actually used and get a quote for that amount. You should do that, because sites like MSE will email you if a significantly cheaper deal comes along, it saves having to worry about it, (although some deals won’t show).
HOWEVER when you compare make sure you compare a quote from PP FOR THE SAME AMOUNT OF ENERGY

Let us know how you get on? If you use help and support replies aren’t instant.

I need to get back to my power supply, the chips in my head are starting to throw up some horrible errors...(that’s the beauty of being a bot, you get to check yourself!)

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and If AI is capable of emulating my replies then we’re all doomed...

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Hi I've just checked my tariffs and usage for this year and what I've found is total lie. I'm long enough with you to know how to send a meter reading, my usage is always lower than your estimates. But for some reason you ignoring this. Now you have charged me £150 more than my bill should be. And I can prove it.  Your estimates for the period from 14.03.20 to 15.04.20 is  

479,1kwh for electricity 

and 1537,8kwh for gas. 

Now,my reading, for the same period, which I've send you is 143kwh for electricity and 512kwh for gas.  Where is that difference coming from? Because of your ignorance I'm now paying a lot more than I should. 

Hi Mr Woody

So are you saying the readings for the period from 14.03.20 to 115.04.20  been estimated by PP?

Which you  are saying were incorrect?

If that's the case, then if you have submitted true correct readings yourself every month since then, then your usage would've been corrected,  have they not?

You are submitting your readings every month, aren't you? 

 

 

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Wozbot 😂😂😂😂😂😂 that's funny 👍👍👍👍

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Wozbot 😂😂😂😂😂😂 that's funny 👍👍👍👍

:robot:

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@Woody the handyman 

hi Woody

Do you still want some help with this?

I’ve read and re-read your reply, I’ll try to keep this short as you don’t like long replies

If you’ve submitted readings your statement balance will be accurate so if you owe PP money it’s because you are using more energy that they originally quoted for. The estimates are irrelevant because they have real readings.

If you haven’t been submitting readings regularly the statement balance will be estimated and PP won’t know what you’re using until they get real readings at which point the balance will correct itself. 

I’m wondering if you didn’t submit readings for a while, PP under estimated, and now that you’ve given readings the computer says you haven’t been paying enough for what you’re using.

Sorry longer than I wanted, please post back.

Hi Mr. WozBot. I don't think you can help me. The question was where is the point of sending meter reading to PP if it doesn't count at all. I think that my higher usage is build up by PP. 

Have a closer look at these figures in a circle. Estimates and reading on starting date and ending date, in the middle you see my reading. 

Remember that estimate figure from ending date, it will appear on the next statement as a starting figure. Why is that?Starting figure for next statement should be actual figure from meter reading, not estimate figure. And if I look into my previous statements it is the same every month. Every month  little step up , on electricity and gas. But on the last statement I've noticed a huge jump between reading figures and estimates.  Electricity-39946 reading to 39973 estimate. We're family of three, we used to have a shower daily, this year we use it twice a week. PP emailed me that I'm using more energy than last year. How it's possible, every month I'm sending my reading, got message check your reading it's lower than expected. Now I can see what's happening. They have never used my reading figures a starting figure in a statement. 

 

That's why I'm angry, that's why I said it's a lie. I've joined PP in 2018,and I have to admit ,I was happy. Price I got was very good. No probs. And now I am paying twice as much as last year. Just because I'm loyal to the company I'm with doesn't mean I am an easy target.  And I feel just like that. 

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Hi @Woody the handyman 

Your photos solve one mystery.

Your statement is produced on the same date every month - in your case the 16th. It will always show an estimate for that date, unless you happen to have sent in your meter readings on the 16th exactly. 

That estimate will always take into account the readings you have sent in. In the examples you have shown, the estimates clearly are based on your readings.

So on 16 August the estimate carried over from the previous statement, which was just two higher than your 14 August reading, was 7650. 29 days later your reading was 7691, and when your statement was produced on the 16th, it was estimated at 7693, adding just 2 for the extra two days.

To put it another way, your readings show a month's usage of 7691-7648 = 43. PP's estimates show 7693-7650 = 43.

So your readings are definitely being taken into account, and the estimates are entirely sensible and accurate.

So any problem must lie in your direct debit payments against your actual usage.

Stephen

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Ahhh this all becomes clear, @stephenrand  has explained better than I could. 

I’ve just checked your annual estimate on my wozbot  sheetbot and Annually your costs work out at £1490.10 per year based on the August annual estimates on the right hand side.   (Winter £149.01 Summer £99.34) 

That is for the estimated annual consumption shown on your August statement (E. 6649, Gas 16407)

(The current fixed tariff would work out slightly more expensive at £1512.09/year with certainty prices won’t change for a year but with a £30 penalty per fuel to leave early )

You are not being ripped off, I think the unit prices on your tariff last changed in May 2020.

I’m sorry to say you have misunderstood, but if you aren’t happy get some quotes elsewhere. 

Your usage is as near as makes no difference correct, your readings are being taken into account and if your balance is falling or too low it’s because you are using more than your original quote was for.

See if you can find your original quote and see how many units it was for compared to  E. 6649 and Gas 16407?

What I have noticed is your electricity consumption is quite high for your circumstances, that might be a good starting place, for example have you changed to low energy lightbulbs?:robot:

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All quiet in here...

Shhhh

 

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I’ll let you work it out...

 

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