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How to submit a meter reading

So, you’ve sussed out your gas and electricity meters – now to submit the meter readings to your energy provider. Here’s how (and why) to go about it. 

So, you’ve sussed out your gas and electricity meters – now to submit the meter readings to your energy provider. Here’s how (and why) to go about it. 

Peter Earl
From the Energy team
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Posted 7 FEBRUARY 2020

How can I submit a meter reading?

This depends on your energy supplier. Most have made the process really convenient, by allowing you to submit meter readings online, via your online energy account or smartphone app. Others allow you to do it by filling in a short online form and, of course, you’ll always have the option of calling the supplier’s meter line directly. If a meter reader has called and you are out, they may also have left you a card you can fill in and return via the post.

If you’re unsure on how to go about reading your meter, see our guide How to read an electric or gas meter.

How often should I submit my gas and electric meter readings?

To make sure your bills stay accurate, it’s recommended that you submit a meter reading to your energy supplier every month, two days or so before your payment date. How often you submit readings will also depend on how you’ve chosen to pay your bills. Those who pay via quarterly cheque payments, for example, will only need to take meter readings every three months.

If your supplier needs a reading, they often will send reminders in advance of a bill that you need to supply a reading – especially if you have an online account or app. Your supplier should be able to help you if you have more detailed questions.

What happens if I don’t submit meter readings to my energy supplier?

It’s not compulsory for most tariffs, but it’ll probably benefit you if you do. But there are some tariffs where submitting a meter reading is compulsory within a set period of time. If you don't supply the necessary reading, you could be moved to a different, and more expensive, tariff.

For most tariffs, if you don't provide a meter reading, your supplier will most likely estimate your energy usage, then bill you based on that best guess. This means there’s a chance you’ll be paying more than you need to. Regular meter readings keep your bill as accurate as possible.

I’ve been submitting regular meter readings – why is a meter reader still coming by?

Most energy suppliers still insist that their meter readers stop by at least once every two years, to make sure everything’s in order. They’ll always carry official ID, so be sure to ask for it before letting them in. 

I have a smart meter – do I still need to submit meter readings?

No – that’s the benefit of a smart meter. They automatically send your meter readings through to your energy supplier/s, so you don’t have to.

My meter reading’s quite high. What can I do?

If your meter reading is higher than usual, there are lots of ways you can try to bring it down in time for your next bill. See if you can work out why it is high in our guide to which appliances use the most energy. Aside from exploring other tariffs with your current supplier and adopting a few energy-saving tactics, there’s the option of switching energy providers, by comparing suppliers with Compare the Market. Give us a few details and we’ll provide quotes from a range of UK energy suppliers, to suit your needs and pocket.

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