ALMOST NINE MILLLION HOUSEHOLDS OVERPAYING ON THEIR ENERGY DUE TO INACCURATE BILLS

  • 40% of UK adults found out that they were paying their energy provider too much after submitting a meter reading
  • Nearly half (45%) do not trust that their meter readings are accurate
  • A quarter of bill payers (26%) rely on their energy company to calculate their bill instead of submitting meter readings
  • comparethemarket.com launches its Simple Guide to Energy to help people better understand their gas and electricity bills

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.

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Peter Earl

Head of Energy

comparethemarket.com

“Most of us have a ‘meter misery’ story to tell, and this is highlighted by our research. 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. Our research shows that many customers who submit meter readings discover that they have been paying too much, so it is highly likely that those who don’t trust their meter – or don’t submit readings – are losing out financially.


“If you have been underpaying for your energy then you could be in for a nasty bill shock, however if you have been paying too much, then your provider should refund you 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.”

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