How To Submit A Meter Reading Before April 1 If The Website Has Crashed

Check your gas and electricity use before energy prices increase this Friday.
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People are being urged to take a meter reading on Thursday March 31, before energy prices increase significantly.

The comparison site, GoCompare, has asked households to take a gas and electricity reading on that day, so they can ensure customers are not charged higher rates for energy used before April 1.

Money saving expert Martin Lewis has echoed the advice, telling ITV: “That way you draw a line in the sand that says to your energy firm, ‘I’ve only used this amount at the cheaper rate. Don’t start charging me more on the higher rate and estimating I use some of it afterwards.’”

From Friday, the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem) is increasing the energy price cap, meaning those on duel-fuel traffics can expect their bills to increase by almost £700 per year on average.

A typical bill payer using a direct debit could pay £1,971 for their gas and electricity, whereas those on a pre-payment meter (which tend to be more expensive) will have to pay a shocking average of £2,017.

The surge in prices has led to more than 30 energy suppliers going bust since the start of 2021, such as Bulb Energy, whose collapse affected around 1.7million customers, Utility Point, Green Supplier Limited, and Avro Energy.

“The cost-of-living crisis is hitting everyone – so if there’s a way to shave money off your bills this April, we would urge all bill payers to take both gas and electricity meter readings on 31 March and make sure you submit these to your supplier,” says Gareth Kloet, GoCompare’s energy spokesperson.

The energy price cap isn’t a straight cap on bills, rather it sets a limit on the rates a supplier can charge for each unit of gas and electricity you use.

How to submit a meter reading

Sending regular meter readings is important as your energy supplier will estimate your usage and this could lead to you being overcharged.

A digital meter will show five numbers in black or white, and this could be followed by one or more red numbers.

You’ll need to send the first five numbers shown from left to right when you send a meter reading (ignore any red numbers) to your energy supplier.

This can be done over the phone, online or through an app.

Currently, the websites of numerous energy suppliers have crashed as people are rushing to send in their meter readings before prices hike up before midnight. British Gas, EDF, E.ON, SSE and Scottish Power all appear to be down.

Pages on the British Gas website are loading but refusing to accept readings, while EDF’s website says it’s down for “essential maintenance work” and that it will be “up and running again soon”.

If your energy supplier’s website has crashed, try not to panic. British Gas, for example, has assured customers that late submissions will still be taken.

And some energy providers are accepting meter readings via social media. These include Shell, Bulb and E.ON. Check with your supplier if you’re having problems and ask if there’s an alternative way to send your reading.