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Warning: It’s Meter Reading Week So Act Now

Annie 2nd Jul 2024 No Comments

Reading Time: 4 minutes

It’s time for a meter read! Yesterday, the Energy Price Cap lowered – which means your energy bills could be going down. But if you don’t have a smart meter and you haven’t sent a meter reading, you could miss out! Here’s how to check your meter and decide if you need to fix your tariff now, too.

Read Your Meter

Submit Meter Readings

Think Your Bill Is Wrong?

Should You Fix Your Tariff Now?

Read Your Meter

While meters all vary a little between each other, there are a few common similarities. If you’ve never taken a meter reading before, here’s how to do a meter read.

Your meter will have a line of numbers. If it starts with a zero, you may not need to write that down. Some online submission forms require a zero though, so make a note just in case.

You may also have numbers after a decimal point that are in red. You don’t need to write those numbers down.

If you have a day/night rate, look for two visible rows of numbers, or  press a button to display the second row. Make sure you write down both as these are your day and night numbers.

Some may have older digital meters, especially if you’re on an Eco10 or Eco7 tariff. This is where you have two supplies, one for storage heaters and another for everything else. If this is the case, your meter will show four readings instead of two.

You need to cycle through the digital displays, usually by pressing a button that says ‘display’ or similar. It will tell you the time, the date, and the four different rates. It is likely that some of these numbers will look very small compared to the others, this is normal – your night rate on an eco tariff might be hardly used in the summer months, for example.

Make sure you take readings for both your electricity and gas meters if you have both types supplied to your property.

Always take a photo of your meter if you can. This will help with evidence if there is ever a bill dispute. Keep the photos in a separate folder to make them easy to find and compare.

Submit Meter Readings

When you have read your meter, most energy companies let you submit your meter reading online. Log in to your account online and submit the reading, making sure you have the day and night rate the correct way around before pressing submit.

You can also use live web chat on the website to submit the reading to an agent, if you prefer.

Many people like to speak to someone, especially if they have a complex meter like an Eco10 meter. Use the main contact phone number to get in touch, ensuring you have your account details and meter readings to hand. Make sure you ask the phone agent to repeat the numbers back to you, to check they have input them correctly.

If You Dispute Your Bill

If you haven’t submitted a meter reading in a long time (or ever), your energy bill could wildly change. This might go in your favour with a nice big refund, or it could land you with a big bill. This is because energy companies use estimates unless you give them accurate readings, so they could have been over- or under-estimating a lot.

If you think there is something wrong with your billing, the first step is to get in touch with your supplier. Sometimes, it can be something as simple as your day and night rates being input the wrong way around. However, it might be a more serious billing issue which needs investigating.

Your energy supplier should look into it and keep you updated of their actions. If you haven’t heard anything within ten working days, raise a formal complaint. This should escalate the issue to help reach a resolution. If, after eight weeks from the date of complaint, you haven’t reached a resolution, you can appeal to the energy ombudsman.

They will look at the evidence of both sides of the complaint and find a resolution. This could go in your favour, such as compensation for inaccurate billing, or it could go in the energy company’s favour, such as owing the debt they say you have. Make sure you have a strong case before you appeal to the ombudsman.

Should You Fix Your Energy Tariff Now?

With the Energy Price Cap at its lowest to date, until at least October, now is a good time for locking in a fixed price tariff for most people. This will secure a lower tariff for 12 months compared to if you stay on your current tariff or a variable one that can go up and down with the market.

If you want to switch tariff, contact your energy supplier to find out which rates are on offer and how to switch. There might be an exit fee if you’re still in a fixed-term contract, but usually you can get this waived if you’re staying with the same provider, so make sure you’re ready to haggle!

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Jasmine Birtles

Your money-making expert. Financial journalist, TV and radio personality.

Jasmine Birtles

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