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25% of households wrongly billed by their energy supplier

In past two years, one-quarter of households have been billed improperly, while one-third have unexpectedly owing £154 on average after a meter read

25% of households incorrectly billed by energy supplierNew research from uSwitch shows that one in four homes has been incorrectly billed by their energy supplier in the past two years, and 13% of them have had discrepancies more than once.

On average, billing issues take just over a month to settle. Worryingly,  more than a third of households find they unexpectedly owe their energy supplier money following a meter read. This surprise expense cost 6% of them more than £500, while the average due is £154.

Ann Robinson, Director of Consumer Policy at, says: “Consumers are paying more for their energy than ever before, so the fact that millions continue to be plagued with inaccurate bills is simply unacceptable.

“Billing blunders are not just costly, but can also take time and effort to sort out, leaving consumers both frustrated and out of pocket.”

Paying the price

On top of the headache of sorting out incorrect bills, consumers risk running in to debt as a result of  surprise additional payments.

It is this sort of problem that has led to suppliers being voted by consumers as the worst industry when it comes to accuracy — falling behind credit-card companies, other utility companies and banks — for the seventh year in a row.

The silver lining

However, consumers continue to take billing into their own hands. 77% reported having supplied their own meter readings to their suppliers in the last six months. This reflects an increase of 3% from last year, and a 13% increase from 2009.

This is a change Ms Robinson wholeheartedly supports, stating that by aiming to provide meter readings once a quarter, consumers will help improve the accuracy of their energy bills and will “break the vicious circle of estimated bills that can so often lead to debt”.

  • Allan

    Why don’t people just read their meters? Am I missing something or are people just that lazy?

    On a positive note glad to see Ann Robinson is keeping busy, haven’t seen her on tele for ages so was wondering what she’s been up to. I bet Ann never gets bored of people saying that :)

  • Robert

    I am with Scottish Power for electricity only. They require a meter reading from me every quarter. They then adjust the direct debits to cover the usage. The only problem is, that in the spring after heavy winter usage, the direct debit soars upwards. I know how much my annual usage is and so would prefer to pay the same amount every month.

  • dave

    can anybody help me out with my problem? i wasnt at my address for 12 week and there was just a fridge freezer on in that time, would the electricity have used 700 units plus in this time?

  • ann

    i am with EDF,just asking about from family and friends are also with them, some have bigger propertys then i, and are paying less each month then i, i am omn standarad tariff ,check my meters also, and have now have gone into debt, they stated that they can infuse a per payment meter in, i live in private property and read in my tenancy that none of the eletric meters should be tampered with,just at my weits end now and cant switch until thie debt is clear, but what i can do to check if my meter hasn’t been tampered with or if there is a fault with it