Meter readings

Meter reading questions and answers

If you’ve still got questions about meter readings, there’s a fair chance you’ll find the answer here.

Do I need to give meter readings? 

You sure do! Giving us regular meter readings will make your bills more accurate, so you're paying the right amount for your energy use. It also helps avoid a catch-up bill later down the line.

Why are opening meter readings so important? 

An opening meter reading (for example the first reading you give when you join OVO Energy) is the starting point for your new account. Getting an accurate reading means you’re paying the right amount from day one. We also send them to your old supplier, so your final bill with them is spot on, too.

When should I give opening meter readings?

We need your opening meter reading within 5 days after you switch supply to us. We’ll send a letter or email at the time to remind you of the date. If you don’t give your opening meter readings when we ask for them, we’ll use estimated ones – usually based on homes like yours. Using estimated readings means your first bill could be higher or lower than it should be.

Thankfully, we’ve made it easy to give opening meter readings. It’s just a matter of seconds in your online account – or one of the advisers in our live online chat will be happy to help.

How often should I take meter readings? 

If you have a smart meter, you usually won’t need to worry about sending us a reading after you’ve given us your first one. However there might be times that we need one, for example if we spot a technical issue. We’ll let you know if that ever happens.

If you’ve got a traditional meter, you’ll need to send us a regular reading (every month or quarter, depending on how often you get bills). We’ll send you reminders to help you out.

Why do we need regular meter readings?

We need your meter readings to know how much energy you’ve used, and how much to charge you. Sending us your meter readings makes sure you’re paying the right amount for what you’ve used – no more and no less.

We like to get a meter reading from you on the final day of your billing period, so we know exactly what you’ve used. If we don’t get a meter reading, we’ll create your bill by estimating the amount of energy you’ve used since the last meter reading. 

We’ll take into account any meter readings given since the last bill, and estimate any missing days – even if it’s only one. Or, if we haven’t had a meter reading at all, we’ll estimate all your energy since your last bill.  

How do I take a reading for a Pay As You Go meter? 

If you’ve got a traditional Pay As You Go meter, you’ll need to take a meter reading when you move into your home, and send it to us. 

  • To read a traditional electricity Pay As You Go meter, press the A button, or blue button, until you get to screen H. If you have a 2-rate meter, you’ll find the off-peak reading on screen J.
  • To read a traditional gas Pay As You Go meter, the reading might be on dials on the front of the meter. If there aren’t dials, press the red A button once. Wait for “Please wait” to disappear, then press the red A button twice. The screen will show the meter index, which is your meter reading – make a note of the units.

If you’ve got a smart Pay As You Go meter, there’s usually one or more button you can press to scroll through different screens to get your reading. To find exactly how to do this on your meter, check out our Pay As You Go meter guides.

When you top up your meter, it usually sends us a reading. But if we haven’t had a reading in some time, we might get in touch with you or send our partner, Morrison Data Services, to take a reading.

How do meter readings help me manage my monthly Direct Debits?

Up-to-date meter readings show us exactly how much gas or electricity you're using. That way, we can make sure your Direct Debit is set to cover how much you spend on energy.

Your Direct Debit spreads your annual energy costs over the whole year. So you might be in credit in the summer (when we tend to use less energy) and have a negative balance in the winter (when we tend to use more). But this will even out over the year, with manageable, regular monthly payments.

Giving us regular meter readings helps us keep your Direct Debit on track, so you don’t need to make an unexpected top-up payment.

What happens if I’m worried about getting into energy debt?

We know sometimes you might not want to give a meter reading in case it makes your next bill higher. But it’s always best to know the cost of the energy you’re using. If you’re worried about your energy costs – we’re here to help. Please check out our advice on how to manage debt.

What should I do if I struggle to read my meter?

If you’ve got questions on how to read your meter, and haven’t found the answer here, just get in touch with us on our webchat

Or, if it’s physically difficult for you to reach your meter, see if you’d like to sign up to the Priority Services Register. Then we can arrange for a meter reader from our partner, Morrison Data Services, to come and read it for you.

If you need more help

There’s help available in the OVO Forum. And if you don't find the answers you need, feel free to ask a question. One of our forum users will be happy to help!

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