- Estimating your usage and estimating your savings
Where you do not have a bill handy, or where you are moving house, we firstly use your household size to estimate how much electricity and gas you use per year. Household size uses industry averages for energy usage in the state you live in based on property type and number of persons per household. Our estimate of your energy usage is provided in the top right hand corner on the page where we provide you a range of energy plans from our partners that are available to you. You can validate our estimate by comparing it to your actual energy bills.
Once we have estimated your energy usage, the Switchwise calculator then takes the pricing structure of your current retailer’s market rates and factors in any discounts or exist fees you tell us that you have with your current plan.
We then compare this against our partner retailers in your location to provide you with an Estimated Annual cost and any Estimated Annual savings you may experience over a 12 month period if you switch retailers. Please note we assume the retailers on our panel do not change their prices in the first 12 months from the time of signup, even though this is a possibility depending on the plan you select. We also assume you will not have a fluctuation in energy usage and that you will have a peak only consumption meter if you do not provide us with your meter type. In some cases, if your current plan is more competitive (that is, you would not make any savings by switching to one of our panel retailer plans), we will display in red text (to ensure it is very clear) the estimated Additional Costs you may experience over a 12 month period.
It is important to be aware that we do not assume in our Estimated Annual cost and our Estimated Savings cost that you would prefer an energy plan that includes certain non-price features such as bill smoothing, renewable energy or ones that allow you to manage your account online. However using the filters on our results page you can filter to see energy plans that include certain features such as no exist fees, renewable energy and monthly billing. So if price is not the only factor that is important to you, please carefully consider other non-price features of energy plans before signing up.
- We annualise your energy use where less than 12 months usage data is provided (relevant only for customers who are not moving house)
If you provide us with details of your actual energy usage for a month or a quarter or other period of less than 12 months we annualise this usage in making our calculations. So if you tell us your usage for a quarter we will multiply that usage by 4 to get an annual figure. Similarly, a monthly usage figure would be multiplied by 12 to get an annual figure. If the usage figure for the period in question is unusually high or low then your annual usage may be over or under-estimated and the estimated annual cost of the plans of our partner retailers may be correspondingly over or under estimated.
Usually a household's energy consumption will change from month to month depending upon the seasons and weather patterns. For example, if you experience unusually hot weather one month it would be normal to expect that your electricity consumption in that month would be higher than normal (assuming you use an air-conditioner or fan to cool down).
- We assume you have a single-rate meter if you do not provide detailed usage data (relevant only for customers who are not moving house)
As we are unable to determine the type of electricity meter you have at your property we assume you have a single-rate meter and that you therefore pay the same rate for all your electricity consumption 24/7 unless you actually provide us with detailed usage data form your bills.
Single rate meters are currently the most common meter type. However, there are different meters such as a two-rate meter, where you have off-peak hot water heating for example, or a time-of-use meter, which allow for different rates to be charged across three daily time intervals. If you do have a different meter to a single rate meter, this will not be reflected in our estimated cost for the plans of our partner retailers. However, if you select a plan from one of our partner retailers, they will determine your correct meter type and send you as part of your welcome pack the pricing information for that meter type. Remember that you have a 10 business day cooling-off period to cancel should you be unhappy with the rates provided by your new supplier.
If you want to get the most accurate estimate for the cost of the plans offered by our partner retailers we recommend that you take the time to enter usage information from your energy bills into our search form.
Please note that using the usage estimation options provides estimates only - every household has a different consumption pattern depending upon many factors resulting in unique yearly costs and savings but the usage assumptions we make should still provide you with a good relative ranking of our range of plans from cheapest to most expensive.