Meter Misery

Are you one of the millions of UK households paying too much for their energy? It might not just be due to the price hikes from the Big 6. For many of us, it’s purely as a result of inaccurate estimated bills. Our latest research revealed that 40% of people who submitted a meter reading discovered that they had been paying too much money to their energy company, equating to 8.7 million** households nationwide.

There’s a lot of mistrust within the market too so we’ve developed our Simple Guide to Energy to help you understand the industry and make sure you’re getting the right deal.

Do the maths 

To calculate household energy bills, companies either estimate your gas and electricity consumption or use your meter readings (if you supply them) to get to a more accurate amount. Therefore it’s a good idea to share your meter readings with your supplier on a regular basis, as this should ensure you’re not under or over charged.

However, we’ve found that there’s widespread mistrust around these meter readings. Unfortunately, almost half of you (45%) believe that your reading is inaccurate and over one in ten (11%) have claimed you’ve got no idea if the readings you send to your supplier are right. More concerning is that 53% of you have confessed to not fully understanding your energy meter readings. So what does this mean?

A nation overcharged? 

It seems that this mistrust of energy meters may be encouraging you to not take readings, which means that you could be paying too much for your energy. Our research showed that a quarter of those surveyed (26%) rely on their provider to calculate their bill without the aid of meter readings. More worryingly, over one in ten (13%) of you have never submitted a meter reading so it’s likely that you’re not paying the right amount for your energy.

The good news is that energy companies have started to make an effort to engage with you, their customers, to help you to keep track of your energy usage. We found that 68% of households had received a prompt from their energy supplier “often or occasionally” to submit a meter reading. But what more can be done?

Simple Guide to Energy

We’re concerned that so many of you find the energy market so confusing and we want to do everything we can to make it simples. So we’ve published a comprehensive Simple Guide to Energy to help those struggling to make sense of their energy bill or unsure of how to get the best deal. It covers everything from understanding your meter, paying your bill, getting a smart meter, reducing energy consumption and switching provider. It’s free of charge and could help to save you money. 

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Peter Earl

Head of Energy

comparethemarket.com

“Energy company estimates can often be imbalanced so it’s a good idea to submit a meter reading every time you receive a bill to ensure you won’t be under or over charged. If you’ve been underpaying for your energy then you could be in for a nasty bill shock, however if you’ve been paying too much, then your provider should refund the difference. Check your energy company’s credit refund policy to determine how to best be reimbursed. Meter reading problems will remain a major issue for many households until they have smart meters fitted, which should, in theory, consign this problem to the history books. Don’t wait for that moment to come though.” 

So if you’re still waiting for your smart meter, make sure you submit a meter reading to check you’re not losing out financially. And while you’re at it, why not compare energy prices to see if there’s any more that you can save? 

**Number of households in the UK is 27.1 million; 40% of which is 8.7 million
All data has been sourced from comparethemarket.com

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