11th August 2017 – Millions of UK households are paying too much for their energy as a result of inaccurate estimated bills. Research by comparethemarket.com reveals 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.
To calculate household energy bills, companies either estimate gas and electricity consumption or can determine the cost more accurately if regular meter readings are provided. Submitting meter readings frequently ensures households are not under or over charged on their bill.
However, there is widespread mistrust around these meter readings. Nearly half of households (45%) believe that their reading is inaccurate and over one in ten (11%) admit they have no idea if the readings they provide to their energy company are correct. A slightly higher number (53%) admit that they do not fully understand their energy meter readings.
On a more positive note, it does seem that energy companies are making active efforts to engage with their customers to encourage them to record their energy usage, with over two thirds (68%) of households admitting their energy company prompts them “often or occasionally” to submit a meter reading.
This mistrust in the accuracy of energy meters may be leading to households not bothering to take readings, which in turn is leading to some paying over the odds for their energy. A quarter of bill payers (26%) admit that they rely on their provider to calculate their bill without the aid of meter readings, and over one in ten (13%) have never submitted a meter reading. A proportion of households could not even name their energy provider (7%), which, although a small percentage, equates to 1.9 million households across the country.
To help those struggling to make sense of their energy bill or unsure of how to get the best deal, comparethemarket.com, has published a comprehensive Simple Guide to Energy. It covers everything from understanding your meter, paying your bill, getting a smart meter, reducing energy consumption and switching provider. The guide can be downloaded for free here.