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Energy Advice Line urges customers to check meters
Domestic consumers on economy electricity tariffs, as well as business electricity customers, have been urged to check their meters to avoid being overcharged.
Julian Morgan, managing director of the business electricity rates comparison, switching and advice service for energy consumers, said customers could be being overcharged due to faulty equipment. Julian Morgan, managing director of the price comparison, switching and advice service for energy consumers, said customers could be being overcharged due to faulty equipment.
"Domestic customers on these economy tariffs benefit from paying a lower tariff if they use electricity between certain hours, with energy more expensive at some times than others," Mr Morgan said. "It's come to our attention that some households might not realise that their meter clocks are out, and therefore they could be paying more than they need to. We would encourage all consumers to check their meter clocks for accuracy and contact their supplier if they believe there is a problem. Suppliers must take reasonable steps to ensure the accuracy of the amount of electricity supplied and the time it was supplied. Business customers also need to remember that they can request to have their meters assessed and a check meter installed to confirm the accuracy of the readings."
Recent newspaper reports have highlighted problems experienced by several households in south Wales who saved themselves £2,300 after discovering their meter clocks were out by several hours. One customer had his meter replaced three times in two years after finding his clock was two to three hours out and behaving "erratically".
"We also get calls from businesses every day to say they are sure their meters are inaccurate and are malfunctioning," Mr Morgan said. "We explain that it's their right to contact their supplier to tell them that their meter is inaccurate and that they want a check meter installed." "We explain that it's their right to contact their supplier to tell them that their meter is inaccurate and that they want a check meter installed."
Other measures included regularly checking the latest energy tariffs to ensure they were still on the most competitive deals; checking eligibility for schemes like the Warm Home Discount and cold weather payments (if you receive a state pension or some other social security benefits); paying by direct debit; and regularly providing meter readings instead of relying on estimated readings. "The cost of energy is rising and there is little that consumers can do about this, but there are numerous things they can do to reduce the impact of this on their bills," Mr Morgan said.