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Meter readings and decimal places: why they can make a difference to your bill

Meter readings and decimal places: why they can make a difference to your bill

The information below only applies to customers whose account begins with A-.

When you look at your meter, the reading shows up to five decimal places.

Your smart meter and our estimated readings include all the decimal numbers. We use this full meter reading when we work out the cost of the energy you've used.

However, your bill only displays meter readings to one decimal place. Your energy use for the month is also displayed on your bill to one decimal place.

That means you might get a slightly different total to your bill if you try to calculate the cost of the energy you've used.

Here's an example of how decimal places can affect the total on your bill

Your smart meter reading shows you've used 500.99999kWh of electricity. We use this figure to work out the cost of this energy:

Units used X Unit rate = Cost of units used

For example: 500.99999kWh X 32.100p per kWh = £160.82


Your bill displays your electricity use as 500.9kWh of electricity. You would use this figure to work out the cost of this energy.

Units used X Unit rate = Cost of units used

For example: 500.9kWh X 32.100p per kWh = £160.79

Because your calculation didn't include all the decimal places, there's a 3p difference in the total.

Does that mean I might pay too much?

When we get your meter readings from your smart meter, we'll be using your exact meter reading. This means you'll be paying for the exact amount of energy you use.

Any estimated reading might be a little high or a little low — but this will sort itself out next time we get a reading from you or your smart meter.

What happens if I submit my own meter readings?

You don't give any numbers that appear after the decimal place when you submit a meter reading. That means we'll use the same figure that appears on your bill.

For example, your meter readings shows you've used 500kWh of electricity; your bill displays this too.

We use this figure to work out the cost of this energy — and so would you.

Here's an example:

  • Units used X Unit rate = Cost of units used
  • 500kWh X 32.100p per kWh = £160.50