If you get an estimated bill, your electricity retailer should give you the opportunity to provide your own reading and to have a new bill issued on the basis of your reading. However, many companies retain an extremely wide discretion on whether to accept readings provided by their customers.

  • Contracts used by Energy Direct, Mercury Energy and Nova Energy state acceptance of any meter reading is at “our absolute discretion”.
  • Contact Energy, Empower, Energy Online, Just Energy and Tiny Mighty Power similarly state they may accept readings at their discretion.
  • Pulse Energy and Meridian Energy don’t have any terms in their contracts to allow consumers to provide readings when an estimate is sent.
  • Meridian says customers can do this – but there’s no provision for it in the company’s standard terms and conditions.

9 of the 15 contracts we reviewed also allowed the company to disconnect your electricity supply if you failed to pay an estimated bill. That’s unfair. You shouldn’t have to pay for something you may not have purchased, let alone have your electricity disconnected as a result.

If you get an estimated bill, we think you’re entitled to phone the company and give an actual reading – and you should only pay for that usage. 

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