Gas price increases have become so common that they are now almost a fact of life. While most people expect their gas bills to creep higher and higher with each billing cycle, some consumers are still left in a state of shock when their bills turn out to be much higher than they expected. Sometimes, however, these unexpectedly high bills have less to do with increased tariffs and more to do with other factors. Those who fail to analyze their gas bills carefully could end up paying much more than they should. In order to make sure consumers do not get any nasty surprises when their next gas bill arrives in the post, this article will look at three of the most common reasons why a gas bill might take an unexpected jump.
When a homeowner moves into a new home, it’s likely it will take him a while before he properly switches energy suppliers. If the homeowner takes a month before he switches suppliers, then that first month will be estimated and added to the first bill. As such, the first billing cycle will be much longer than normal and will, of course, correspond to an overall larger bill. In this case, there is little to worry about as one is not likely being overcharged. Likewise, for those who are leaving a house, the final bill will likely estimate the total cost of one’s energy usage up to the date of departure. To make sure that these estimates are more accurate, homeowners should give meter readings to their suppliers either on the day they move into a home or the day they move out, depending on their situation.
Unless a consumer has a smart meter installed on his property, it’s likely that he will be paying for gas usage based on estimated readings. Estimated readings can mean homeowners are either overpaying or underpaying, depending on how closely the estimated reading reflects the homeowner’s actual energy use. Underpaying, however, is not as advantageous as it may sound, as once a supplier catches on that the homeowner owes more than they’ve actually been billed for, then the next bill could rise dramatically to make up for the shortfall. The best way to avoid such a situation is to take regular meter readings and submit them to the supplier. Looking into having a smart meter installed would also solve this problem as readings would then be sent directly to the supplier from the meter.
Older meters measure consumption in imperial units, whereas newer meters use the metric system. A cubic metre, of course, is much larger than a cubic foot, thus if a supplier gets confused and mistakes an imperial meter for a metric meter, consumers would be paying quite a bit more. In other words, a consumer would be paying much more for five cubic metres of consumption versus five cubic feet, thus it is imperative to make sure the company is using the correct unit of measurement that is on the meter. Alternatively, many suppliers will offer to upgrade old meters to metric meters, which will ensure greater accuracy. The best option would be to go for a smart meter which will take the most accurate readings and do so automatically so there will be no need for manual readings either by the homeowner or the supplier.
An unexpectedly high energy bill can be a shock for any homeowner, and with tariffs rising so high recently, they can also put quite a strain on a person’s finances. Sometimes, however, high bills may simply be due to moving house, incorrect estimates, or an old meter, in which case steps can be taken to remedy the situation. By making sure the gas bill is accurate, consumers will better be able to avoid unexpectedly high bills in the future.
Source by Laura Ginn