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    • Bobblehat
    • By Bobblehat 4th Oct 17, 5:24 PM
    • 76Posts
    • 63Thanks
    Bobblehat
    BG underestimating next years usage figures?
    • #1
    • 4th Oct 17, 5:24 PM
    BG underestimating next years usage figures? 4th Oct 17 at 5:24 PM
    I just noticed on my Aug 2017 BG bill/statement that included an annual review, BG decided to estimate my next years usage of gas to approx 16,000 kWh despite my last years usage of approx. 22,500kWh. BG had not been informed of any change of usage or occupancy or anything else that could affect my consumption. As far as I can tell from previous years bills, my gas consumption is reasonably steady.

    As I had to ring BG up on another matter, I thought I would query this discrepancy as I needed a rough figure to use to get an accurate estimate for the supplier I am currently in the process of switching to (AVRO). The BG operator first told me that it was probably because I was always in credit. After a few seconds thought I asked why would that alter my estimated gas usage for the forthcoming year, or was it that the figure they were quoting for the past year (ending Aug 2017) was too high? I explained that I was switching away from BG to another supplier and needed an estimate of my actual gas usage. The operator volunteered to work it out and came back after several minutes to confirm that the actual usage for the previous year was approx. 22,500kWh.

    So I asked my question again, if I had actually used 22,500kWh last year, why were BG estimating that next years usage was only going to be approx. 16,000 kWh. I got a collection of reasons including "depends what tariff I was on", "being in credit affects the estimate" ...... and a few other reasons, none of which, it became evident, could actually alter the estimate of usage for the next year. They could alter the price I pay and whether I was in credit or debit ..... but not the usage or even the predicted usage!

    The BG operator, when the above was pointed out to them, became somewhat defensive and resorted to "Well! It is just an estimate, it's neither right or wrong ... it's just an estimate!"

    I gave up at this point, since I think I had the figure I wanted i.e. 22,500 kWh to use for the new supplier. So .... this leads on to a few questions ......

    1) Has anyone else noticed that BG had given them a grossly underestimated figure for predicted gas usage in the next year at their last annual review?

    2) Can anyone think what could have caused the underestimation?

    3) Can anyone think of a reason BG might want to do this on purpose? Just asking not saying
    Last edited by Bobblehat; 04-10-2017 at 5:27 PM. Reason: omission
Page 1
    • Lorian
    • By Lorian 4th Oct 17, 5:51 PM
    • 4,125 Posts
    • 2,258 Thanks
    Lorian
    • #2
    • 4th Oct 17, 5:51 PM
    • #2
    • 4th Oct 17, 5:51 PM
    I have a similar issue with Sainsbury's energy. my tariff is ending so their system quoted me for their latest tariff, but on checking the detail it too has used some low estmate rather than my actualy last 12 months usage data with them. It meant their quote looked artificially low.

    As it happens I too am now moving to AVRO. Bit nervous about it but heh, I hope they work out OK.
    • Hengus
    • By Hengus 4th Oct 17, 6:10 PM
    • 4,664 Posts
    • 2,831 Thanks
    Hengus
    • #3
    • 4th Oct 17, 6:10 PM
    • #3
    • 4th Oct 17, 6:10 PM
    I have a similar issue with Sainsbury's energy. my tariff is ending so their system quoted me for their latest tariff, but on checking the detail it too has used some low estmate rather than my actualy last 12 months usage data with them. It meant their quote looked artificially low.

    As it happens I too am now moving to AVRO. Bit nervous about it but heh, I hope they work out OK.
    Originally posted by Lorian
    Work it out for yourself and, if you are underpaying, then put some money into a savings account pending the day of reckoning. Alternatively, ring Avro and ask them to set a realistic monthly DD payment.
    • Bobblehat
    • By Bobblehat 4th Oct 17, 6:30 PM
    • 76 Posts
    • 63 Thanks
    Bobblehat
    • #4
    • 4th Oct 17, 6:30 PM
    • #4
    • 4th Oct 17, 6:30 PM
    I'm not sure that is what Lorian meant .... Hengus.

    I am concerned that more BG customers than just myself have been given a low prediction on next years usage compared to last years usage. Surely no one would agree that this is a good thing!
    • Hengus
    • By Hengus 4th Oct 17, 6:58 PM
    • 4,664 Posts
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    Hengus
    • #5
    • 4th Oct 17, 6:58 PM
    • #5
    • 4th Oct 17, 6:58 PM
    I'm not sure that is what Lorian meant .... Hengus.

    I am concerned that more BG customers than just myself have been given a low prediction on next years usage compared to last years usage. Surely no one would agree that this is a good thing!
    Originally posted by Bobblehat
    Suppliers base their projections based on data held by industry Data Collectors. The Estimated Annual Consumption for electricity and the Annual Quantity for gas. These estimates are updated each time your meter is read by a meter reader or yourself. Suppliers only have to read the meter once every 12 months. A gaining supplier is given the EAC and AQ on switch. I provide both my suppliers with an actual meter reading once a month and I am happy with the EAC and AQ figures shown on my bill. That said, the key, imho, to choosing the cheapest supplier going forward is to use projections in kWhs/year based on actual meter readings taken from two statements ideally a year apart.

    I cannot believe that anybody in BG’s senior management team would condone what is tantamount to mis-selling on a grand scale when the evidence trail would be there for any Regulator to see.
    • Bobblehat
    • By Bobblehat 4th Oct 17, 10:23 PM
    • 76 Posts
    • 63 Thanks
    Bobblehat
    • #6
    • 4th Oct 17, 10:23 PM
    • #6
    • 4th Oct 17, 10:23 PM
    I agree, it could be tantamount to mis-selling and it would be possibly criminal if proven deliberate and/or widespread! Best case is just putting it down to poor computer algorithm or testing procedures!

    So, given that BG have assured me I actually used 22,500 kWh last year, which has now been checked by the operator during the phone call (using actual meter readings supplied by me and by meter reader persons over the year), what could possibly have lead them to say my estimate for next year is only 16,000 kWh?

    Please note that my query is not related to cost, or tariff, or payments in any way ..... it's purely on last years usage (kWh), confirmed by BG (today) vs projected usage for next year (kWh). I did indeed choose another, cheaper, supplier for next year and I am in the process of switching away from BG.

    Why bother with this query if I am moving away from BG? Well, firstly I needed to confirm the possible usage figure to get a reasonable accurate quote for comparison from the new supplier .... and .... to see if anyone else has noticed this anomaly and possibly spot a trend!
    • nic_c
    • By nic_c 5th Oct 17, 5:04 AM
    • 1,127 Posts
    • 641 Thanks
    nic_c
    • #7
    • 5th Oct 17, 5:04 AM
    • #7
    • 5th Oct 17, 5:04 AM
    BG are reducing my DD similarly because of estimates, so I would be paying less per month under their SVR than when I was on the collective! In fact the DD set by BG would be lower than every quote I got on MSE CEC when I used my actual usage as given on my bill. I am moving away, but they informed me of the change before I switched and the cynical part of me wonders if the idea was to get people to stay and issue large bills with DD corrections in the spring!!
    • Bobblehat
    • By Bobblehat 5th Oct 17, 10:49 AM
    • 76 Posts
    • 63 Thanks
    Bobblehat
    • #8
    • 5th Oct 17, 10:49 AM
    • #8
    • 5th Oct 17, 10:49 AM
    Ah! Ha! ... so at least one other person has noticed underestimated future usage ..... now I know I'm not alone! It would be good if a few other people could check their recent yearly review from BG to see if their future estimate has miraculously lowered!

    ......and the cynical part of me wonders if the idea was to get people to stay and issue large bills with DD corrections in the spring!!
    You may be onto something there!
    • SuiDreams
    • By SuiDreams 16th Oct 17, 4:10 PM
    • 2,221 Posts
    • 10,259 Thanks
    SuiDreams
    • #9
    • 16th Oct 17, 4:10 PM
    • #9
    • 16th Oct 17, 4:10 PM
    Just to add I have has something similar with Sainsbury's Energy.


    Annual review based on following usage Gas 3480.78 electric 1284.
    End of Tariff email shows estimates based on Gas 5289 electric 1270.


    Completely different figures. what is worse than based on my spread sheet of previous figures the Gas estimate on both is low (one a lot lower than the other), and Electric usage on both slightly high.
    • Hengus
    • By Hengus 17th Oct 17, 9:36 AM
    • 4,664 Posts
    • 2,831 Thanks
    Hengus
    Just to add I have has something similar with Sainsbury's Energy.


    Annual review based on following usage Gas 3480.78 electric 1284.
    End of Tariff email shows estimates based on Gas 5289 electric 1270.


    Completely different figures. what is worse than based on my spread sheet of previous figures the Gas estimate on both is low (one a lot lower than the other), and Electric usage on both slightly high.
    Originally posted by SuiDreams
    It is not an exact science as the link below shows. If we have had a particularly cold or warm Winter or cool/hot summer, results can be skewed. Rather than look at projected consumption figures on bills do your own calculation based on actual meter readings:

    https://www.first-utility.com/help/bills-and-payments/how-do-you-estimate-my-usage
    \
    Note that the annual gas consumption (AQ) is only revised once per year, and electricity (EAC) twice per year.
    Last edited by Hengus; 17-10-2017 at 9:39 AM.
    • SuiDreams
    • By SuiDreams 17th Oct 17, 9:48 AM
    • 2,221 Posts
    • 10,259 Thanks
    SuiDreams
    It is not an exact science as the link below shows. If we have had a particularly cold or warm Winter or cool/hot summer, results can be skewed. Rather than look at projected consumption figures on bills do your own calculation based on actual meter readings:

    https://www.first-utility.com/help/bills-and-payments/how-do-you-estimate-my-usage
    \
    Note that the annual gas consumption (AQ) is only revised once per year, and electricity (EAC) twice per year.
    Originally posted by Hengus


    As stated in my post I do use my own estimates I have my usage tracked going back years. Electric usage varies very little now I've reduced my usage as much as possible and I know what my gas usage is for mild or cold winters again this is very tightly controlled now and have managed to economise on my usage using a digital timed thermo stat. I am more concerned about the less savvy people who don't keep their own records. The worrying thing about the estimate on the bill was that it was showing next 12 months gas usage to be over 1000 KWH less than the pervious 10 month. Plus the fact that they sent me 2 completely different annual usage figures within a few days of each other.
    • matelodave
    • By matelodave 17th Oct 17, 9:57 AM
    • 3,189 Posts
    • 1,907 Thanks
    matelodave
    I do it myself rather than relying on guesses from the supplier). I've got records of my monthly meter readings going back over seven years since we moved in.

    From them, I can work out my average consumption per month and my average consumption per year, some years it's higher - mainly because it's been colder and others it's been less, either because it's been warmer or we've been away and not used as much.

    However from my info, I can work out my consumption profile and tell the energy company how much I estimate we'll use rather than relying on their guesstimates.

    It also means that my DD balances out at the end of my contract - unless the supplier starts trying to adjust it part way through.

    Like most people I use most of my energy in the winter (about 70%) and least in the summer (30%) and some providers (or their computers) seem unable to grasp this and try varying the DD midway (SP were the worst they tried tweaking it every three months).

    My last three quarterly bills have had projected annual estimates of 9847, 7682 and the last one 6425 - it's actually on target to be between 7000 and 7200 (my own estimate was for 7200 and that's what my DD is based on)
    Last edited by matelodave; 17-10-2017 at 10:09 AM.
    Love makes the world go round - beer make it go round even faster
    • brewerdave
    • By brewerdave 17th Oct 17, 11:28 AM
    • 4,602 Posts
    • 1,912 Thanks
    brewerdave
    I've experienced both over and under estimated future consumption of utilities in the last two years as shown on bills. I actually have the last 12 years consumption figures on a spreadsheet!
    Just before I left them,my previous supplier EON, actually had a higher value shown for expected gas usage than I had used at any time in the 10 previous years!
    My current gas supplier (Better Energy) are showing a much lower expected annual usage figure (000s of kwh less) -it MUST be a projection of their own ,made from the first 7 months with them ,not any historical data supplied by some data collector
    • SuiDreams
    • By SuiDreams 17th Oct 17, 1:44 PM
    • 2,221 Posts
    • 10,259 Thanks
    SuiDreams
    I do it myself rather than relying on guesses from the supplier). I've got records of my monthly meter readings going back over seven years since we moved in.

    From them, I can work out my average consumption per month and my average consumption per year, some years it's higher - mainly because it's been colder and others it's been less, either because it's been warmer or we've been away and not used as much.

    However from my info, I can work out my consumption profile and tell the energy company how much I estimate we'll use rather than relying on their guesstimates.

    It also means that my DD balances out at the end of my contract - unless the supplier starts trying to adjust it part way through.

    Like most people I use most of my energy in the winter (about 70%) and least in the summer (30%) and some providers (or their computers) seem unable to grasp this and try varying the DD midway (SP were the worst they tried tweaking it every three months).

    My last three quarterly bills have had projected annual estimates of 9847, 7682 and the last one 6425 - it's actually on target to be between 7000 and 7200 (my own estimate was for 7200 and that's what my DD is based on)
    Originally posted by matelodave


    My energy suppliers seem unable to handle my Electric usage being pretty constant throughout the year. The winter increase in electric tends to be less than 0.5 KWH per day on average. I do not have any electrical heating, immersion heater or tumble dryer and have Low energy LED bulbs etc and my routine doesn't really change from summer to winter. They all seem to think electric usage should at least double, well mine doesn't and never will.
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