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Estimated bills

Sometimes we may issue your bill based on an estimated meter read. This may happen for example if we have been unable to access your meter. If you receive an estimated bill, you may send us your own reading of the meter. Read on to find out how.

Why is my bill estimated?

If the meter reader cannot access your meter, or has not provided Sumo with your meter data, your bill may be based on an estimated read. Estimated reads are identified on your bill.

How to prevent receiving an estimated bill?

Your responsibility is to provide safe and unhindered access to the meter on the day it is due to be read, which is shown on page 2 of your bill. To do this, you may need to:

  • Keep pets inside
  • Clear any bushes or trees away from the meter
  • Leave any gates unlocked
  • Provide us with access instructions at least 10 business days before the meter is due to be read to pass onto the meter service provider.

I’ve received an estimated bill, what do I do?

If you have received an estimated bill and you’re located in NSW, Sumo can reissue the bill based on a read taken by you. To arrange this, you will need to:

  1. For electricity meters, confirm that your meter is an ‘analogue’ meter, rather than a digital or smart meter
  2. Take a photo or take a read from the meter – follow the instructions below on how to read different types of meters
  3. Contact Sumo on meterread@sumo.com.au before the due date of the bill with either your self read and your meter number or a photo of your meter which clearly shows the read on the meter and the meter number. If accepted, we will reissue you an adjusted bill which will have new payment terms depending on when you provide us with the read. The new bill will show as an estimate, but will be based on your read.

It’s your obligation to provide access to the meter at least once in a 12-month period, so sometimes we may arrange a special read rather than accepting your read of the meter.

How to read the meter

Sumo will accept a self-read of your meter if you provide it to us before the due date on your bill.

There are different types of gas and electricity meters. Please see details below of how to read different types of meters:

Gas Meters

Gas meters display usage in either metric or imperial units. Metric gas meters are the most common. Imperial gas meters are an older style meter.

To take a meter reading, record the numbers and decimal point reading from left to right. When the bill is issued, the cubic meters (m3) will be multiplied by a factor, which varies slightly depending on where you’re located. You will find the factor on your bill.

Imperial gas meters measure usage in ‘cubic feet’ which will be displayed on the meter’s clock face. The dials on the clock face have hands that rotate in alternating directions. To take a meter reading, write down the number towards which the hand is pointing on the first four dials from left to right, if the hand is between two numbers always select the lower number. When the hand looks like it is directly on the number, look to the dial on the right. If the dial has passed “0” use the number that the hand is on. If the dial on the right has not passed “0”, use the number less than what the hand is on. The number below is “0151”.

The cubic feet will be converted to cubic metres. 1 cubic metre = 35.3 cubic feet.

Electricity meters

Read the meter from left to right. Include the number after the decimal point if there is one on the meter.

Accepting your read

Sometimes, a read that you provide does not meet Sumo’s requirements and we cannot adjust the estimated bill. The main reasons that we would not accept your read are:

  • You have provided a photo of the meter and the read is not clearly visible
  • You have provided a photo of the meter or the numerical read and the meter number does not match our records
  • The read that you have provided is less than the last actual read taken from your meter
  • If the request for the bill to be adjusted comes after the payment due date on the bill
  • We haven’t issued a bill based on an actual read for 12 months or over.

Reissuing your bill

If we accept your self read and issue an adjusted bill, it will be issued for the same billing period as the original bill, even if your read was taken after the original billing period. The bill will still show as an estimate even though it is billed on your read.

What happens if we don’t accept the read you have provided?

If we don’t accept your read, we will notify you in writing and specify the reason the read hasn’t been accepted. If you are dissatisfied because we did not accept the read, please review our Complaint and Dispute Handling Policy – Energy here.