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How to submit a meter reading

So you’ve sussed out your gas and electricity meters – now you need to submit the meter readings to your energy provider. Here’s how and why you should do it.

So you’ve sussed out your gas and electricity meters – now you need to submit the meter readings to your energy provider. Here’s how and why you should do it.

Written by
Dan Tremain
Energy and business energy expert
Last Updated
31 JANUARY 2023
4 min read
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Do I need to submit meter readings?

If you have a smart meter, the good news is that no, you don’t need to submit meter readings. But if you have a traditional meter, you’ll need to send your energy supplier regular readings.

How do I submit a meter reading?

Most energy providers offer a choice of ways to send your readings, so you can choose the one that’s most convenient for you. 
You can usually submit your readings through:

  • Your online account
  • Your energy supplier’s app
  • Your supplier’s online-chat service
  • Text message
  • Your supplier’s automated phone service.

If you don’t know how to read your meter, see our guide on how to read an electric or gas meter.

Why do I need to submit meter readings?

Sending regular meter readings is the best way to make sure your bills are accurate. If you don’t send your energy supplier a meter reading, they’ll estimate your energy use, which could mean you end up paying either too much or too little.

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

Unless you have a smart meter, you should submit a meter reading when your supplier asks for one. This will normally be a few days before your bill is due every month.

Your energy supplier should send you reminders – especially if you have an online account or app. If you still have questions, get in touch with your supplier.

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

In most cases, if you don't provide a meter reading, your supplier will estimate your energy usage and base your bill on a best guess. This means you could pay more than you need to. Some tariffs require you to submit a meter reading within a certain time period. If you don't, you could be moved to a more expensive tariff.

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

Most energy suppliers still have their meter readers stop by occasionally to make sure everything’s in order. Meter readers always carry official ID, so be sure to check this before letting them in.

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

No. The beauty of smart meters is that they automatically send meter readings to your energy suppliers, so that you don’t have to.

My meter reading is high. What can I do?

If your meter reading is higher than usual, there are ways you can bring it down in time for your next bill. To find out where you could cut your energy use, read our guide to which appliances use the most energy. And take a look at a few energy saving tips.

We’d normally recommend switching energy providers if you’re unhappy with what you’re paying. But right now the energy crisis means we’re unable to compare deals. We’re continuously monitoring the market and will go back to offering a comparison service as soon as we can.

How to submit meter readings to the major energy companies

Each energy supplier has its own preferred way to receive meter readings. Here are some of them:  
 
British Gas
British Gas encourages customers to send readings automatically via a smart meter. If you have a traditional meter, it suggests submitting your meter reading on the app or online.  
 
EDF
EDF wants you to log into your account and submit your meter reading. You can also take a photo of your reading and upload it onto the app.

E.ON Next
The quickest way to submit a meter reading to E.ON Next is in your online account. If you don’t have an account, you can email your reading or give it over the phone.

Scottish Power
Scottish Power has videos on its website showing you how to read all types of meter. To send your reading, log into your online account or use the YourEnergy app.

OVO
You can submit meter readings using your online account.

SSE
The quickest way to submit a meter reading is through the My SSE app. Alternatively, you can give a meter reading through your online account.

If you’re with one of the other energy companies,  visit their website to find out the best way to submit your meter readings.

Do I need to submit a meter reading if I have a prepayment meter?

No. If you’re on a prepayment meter, your readings will be sent to your energy supplier automatically each time you top up.

Frequently asked questions

How can I get a smart meter?

Both the government and the UK’s energy suppliers are extremely keen for us all to switch over to smart meters. This is partly so they can upgrade the UK’s ageing energy system, but also to help the UK reach its net-zero targets by 2050.

Your energy provider will likely give you a smart meter free of charge. Simply visit their website and register to have one fitted.

Should I get a smart meter?

Smart meters use mobile technology to automatically send meter readings to your energy supplier. Not only do they give you more accurate bills, they also help you keep a closer eye on your energy use. This makes it easier to cut back, which is good news for both the planet and your bills.

Smart meters allow energy companies to see exactly how much energy you’re using and when. In the future, this will allow them to offer you more flexible tariffs.

New energy deals are available now. See if you could switch to a better deal. Compare energy