More than three million households may have been overcharged for their energy by £280m in the past 12 months, according to new research from uSwitch.
ScottishPower was singled out as the supplier which made the most billing mistakes, with more than one in six (16%) customers having received an incorrect bill in the past year.
EDF Energy and E.ON made the fewest mistakes, however, close to 8% of their customers said they were affected by billing errors.
Incorrect meter readings and energy tariffs
In 45% of cases, consumers said suppliers failed to use the correct meter reading when calculating their energy bill. Other common mistakes include billing for the wrong energy plan (28%), or an incorrect Direct Debit amount (24%).
These issues cost consumers time and money. One in five said they waited between two and four weeks before the issue was resolved. A tenth of overcharged consumers have yet to receive a refund from their supplier.
Energy bill mistakes broken down by supplier
|Rank||Energy supplier||% of customers receiving a higher bill due to energy supplier mistake in the last year|
‘Unacceptable that customers are picking up the cost of suppliers’ mistakes’
Speaking on the issue Tom Lyon, energy expert at uSwitch, said: “It’s unacceptable that customers are picking up the cost of suppliers’ mistakes. Households are already facing sky-high energy bills and simply can’t afford simple blunders.
“Correct bills are essential for people to stay in control of their energy and are the least customers should expect. Recent upgrades by some of the big six to billing systems have resulted in some teething problems, but the industry must do more to tackle these issues and reduce errors.
Lyon added that consumers should always check their bills carefully and immediately alert their suppliers if they spot a potential issue. He also urged people to provide frequent meter readings to avoid estimated bills.
*For more information on the results, refer to our press release.