Posted: Thu 28th Mar 2024

10m homes should read their energy meter this weekend

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales

Nearly ten million households need to submit their meter readings this bank holiday to make sure they benefit fully from lower energy rates from 1 April, research by Uswitch.com, has found.

All households on standard variable tariffs (SVTs) will start paying cheaper rates for their energy usage from 1 April, when the new price cap comes into effect.

Households on an SVT with average usage are expected to spend £127 on energy in April, compared with £205 in March.

The reduction is down to a combination of cheaper rates and lower usage over the spring.

Yet, those on SVTs who do not have a smart meter and do not submit meter readings on or around 1 April risk having some of their usage charged under the older, more expensive March rates.

The difference between a week’s worth of energy at March’s rates compared to April’s is £4.65 for the average household.

Therefore, if those ten million households neglected to read their meter by April 1, and were incorrectly charged by just a week’s worth of energy, they could risk overpaying by £44.6 million in total.

Nearly a fifth (18%) of households who don’t have a smart meter haven’t submitted their meter readings in the last three months, and 4% haven’t for a whole year.

Not submitting meter readings means suppliers have to base bills off estimated usage — meaning some households could be over-paying, and others may not be paying enough.

A quarter (24%) of those who have not submitted their readings in the last three months say they forget to, and nearly a fifth (17%) say it is too much hassle. Meanwhile, 14% of those who have not submitted readings do not know how to read their meter, and 12% do not even know where their meter is.

A fifth of households (22%) have admitted to making a mistake when submitting their meter readings, with mixing up gas and electricity meters and writing digits in the wrong order the most common errors.

Uswitch.com is urging households to read their meter this bank holiday weekend and offers tips on how to keep energy bills low this spring.

Ben Gallizzi, energy expert at Uswitch.com, comments: “We urge any households without a smart meter to submit their meter readings this bank holiday weekend, so their supplier has an updated – and accurate – view of your account on or around 1 April.

“This is when the next energy price cap comes into effect, which will see the rates that households on standard variable tariffs pay for their energy fall for April, May and June.

“If you delay submitting your readings, some of your energy usage could end up being charged under the higher rates we’re currently facing.

“All households without a smart meter should ideally submit a meter reading every month to improve the accuracy of their bills.”

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