What is substitute data?

Put simply, substitute data helps your retailer estimate your bill when they don’t have access to actual data from your Meter Data Provider (MDP). It’s based on your past energy usage – and may be required when:

  • The system or equipment used to collect your metering data is faulty
  • Your metering data is wrong or incomplete

MDPs generally replace substituted data with actual metering data as soon as it becomes available – or they replace it with final substitution reads. In some cases, substitute data may be needed for more than one billing period.

What happens to your bill?

If your metering data is disrupted, Flow Power will estimate your bill based on substitute data – which may be higher or lower than what you’ve actually used. Once we have your actual usage, we’ll credit or debit your next bill to fix any variances.

If actual data AND substitute data can’t be collected

When substitute data is not available, your power bill will be based on:

  • Your past bills
  • The average energy usage of a customer that’s comparable to you

And if your actual metering data can’t be retrieved in the end? Your Metering Data Provider takes action – by conducting final data substitutions so we can estimate your bill as accurately as possible.

Five signs your bill is based on substitute data

If substitute data (or an alternative) has been used, you’ll notice one or more of the following on your bill:

  1. A statement that says your bill has been estimated (often in bold or a larger font)
  2. ‘Estimated’ as a line item under account details
  3. ‘Actual’ or ‘Estimated’ in brackets with either ‘Previous Read’ or ‘Current Read’
  4. An ‘A’ (actual), ‘S’ (substituted) or ‘E’ (estimated) next to your meter read
  5. Two asterisks under the Current Charges section of your bill – which indicates an estimated read

Have questions?

The Flow Power team is online Mon-Fri 9 am – 5 pm via the chat feature at the bottom of your screen, or you can get in touch below. 

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