• Mirka Karra

Here is how we help energy providers prevent bill shock

‘'Why is my energy bill so high?’'

It’s not uncommon for consumers whose electricity bills are based on an estimate and not on accurate meter readings to experience bill shock at the end of the year. A number of energy suppliers take a meter reading every 6 months, and then make a prediction of how much energy consumers will use the rest of the time. But sometimes they can get it wrong – particularly if consumers have just moved home, or if seasonal temperatures fluctuate - something rather frequent in recent years.

Customers who experience bill shock end up frustrated as the unexpected charges can have a real impact on their budget planning. Such customers usually need significant customer support, can delay bill payment, and quite often end up changing energy providers.

So what can utilities do to prevent bill shock in the first place?

‘Knowledge is power’

The key lies in giving consumers the power to monitor and adjust their energy consumption. At NET2GRID, we have developed Ynni, a user-friendly app, which empowers consumers to understand how much energy they consume and what it costs them in real-time. We provide bill itemization coupled with personalized advice, which allows them to understand where exactly costs arose and how high they were. What’s more, actionable insights enable consumers to reduce their energy consumption and make savings.

Additionally, bill itemization allows for the identification of energy guzzlers which if left undetected can be very costly and can contribute to bill shock. Here is an example of a happy E.ON Germany customer who was able to detect power guzzlers thanks to E.ON’s app which is powered by NET2GRID.

Energy budget monitor

Ynni compares the actual monthly costs to the fixed monthly instalment. In many markets, consumers pay a fixed fee each month that is projected to cover a full year of energy usage. But given the unpredictable weather patterns of recent years and other factors, it is hard for utilities to predict the fixed monthly instalment with accuracy for each consumer. At the end of a contract period, the difference between the fixed monthly instalment is corrected taking into account the actual energy consumption that occurred during that period. If the difference

means that the consumer needs to pay a lot more to cover the gap between the projected and the real consumption than we talk about experiencing bill shock.

The energy budget monitor serves as a unique bill shock prevention tool, providing users with a monthly consumption overview that doesn’t leave room for unpleasant surprises at the end of the contract period where the final financial consumption calculations are made.