Electricity companies across the UK are bracing themselves for a flood of compensation claims resulting from problems with electricity meters. The Express newspaper highlighted yesterday that problems with the clocks on Economy 7 and Economy 10 electricity meters may affect up to 3.9 million households on time of day tariffs.
The problem is largely down to the clocks on the meters not changing for GMT or BST at the appropriate time of year and, as a result, time of day tariffs won’t be charged correctly. The Southern Electric website says that some of their meters will automatically change for BST and GMT but others don’t and advise customers to contact them to determine if their meter is one of these.
Energy Companies Must Read and Inspect Electricity Meters
The Guardian pointed out in their article that OFGEM state that suppliers must read and inspect meters at least once every two years. It appears however than many meter readers are reading the meter but not checking the clock to make sure it is correct. In my experience, there have been occasions when I haven’t even had my meter read in a two year period.
Compensation Claims Could be High
The levels of compensation that could be due might be considerable. Which? The consumer association said that one customer managed to claim more than £2,300 back from Swalec for himself and three neighbours when he discovered the problem.
This raises the question as to how energy companies are going to deal with this problem. First, they are going to need to deal with an increase in enquiries from customers who suspect they may have a faulty meter. Then, they are going to have to visit customer homes to check the meters and finally, there will be compensation payments to make. All of this is going to place an additional financial burden onto the energy companies and, whilst a lot of them have healthy profits, it does make you wonder if energy bills will rise as a result.
Get Your Electricity Meter Checked
So, if you are on a time of day tariff, you may want to contact your energy company to find out about getting your meters checked. It may not be immediately obvious that you are being overcharged from your energy bill as these are notoriously tricky to understand and, if the problem has been occurring for some considerable time, you records may not show any sudden increase in prices.
Find out more about faulty electricity meters here:
The Guardian reports that households could be paying out extra on their energy bills because of faulty electricity meters:
The Express reports on faulty meter clocks resulting in overcharging:
Which? reports on the overcharging caused by faulty electricity meters: