/ Home & Energy

Are you losing money due to faulty electricity meter clocks?

Clock with light

They say time is money. But would you be surprised to hear that simply checking the clock on your electricity meter could save you hundreds of pounds a year? Clocks showing the wrong time are going unnoticed…

That’s the experience of a number of Which? members who have told us about problems with time-of-use tariffs, such as Economy 7 or Economy 10.

These types of tariff offer electricity at a cheaper rate during some hours and a higher one the rest of the time.

So, if your meter clock is wrong, you may find you’ve been charged over-the-odds for what you thought was cheaper electricity.

That’s what happened to Which? member Gary Day, who told us he found his own and his neighbours’ meter clocks were up to three hours out.

Thousands in over-payments

GaryRetired engineer Gary only spotted the problem when he went away for a few months, leaving just his heating on during the low-rate hours. When he returned he was shocked to discover a bill showing he had used most of his electricity at the higher rate.

Gary then found his and his neighbours’ clocks were all telling the wrong time and has told us how they won back about £2,300 in over-payments from supplier Swalec. He told us:

‘I have only checked four meters and every single one of them was wrong. I am horrified that there are probably hundreds of others that have these clock errors and don’t realise it.’

Checking your clock

Swalec said staff don’t have to check the clocks when they read meters – but added if they happen to notice any problems they must report them.

Unless the customer owns the meter, it is the supplier’s responsibility to ensure meter clocks are correct. However, current rules don’t require suppliers to check the clocks.

They do say suppliers must take ‘reasonable steps’ to ensure the accuracy of the amount and time the electricity was supplied – but this isn’t exactly the same thing.

If you suspect your electricity meter is faulty, the supplier must investigate. But this means the emphasis is on you to check.

And that’s not always simple. Peak and off-peak times vary between tariffs, regions and seasons. Add the fact that the clock can be hard to find on many meters and it can become a pretty tricky task.

Do you think it’s fair that suppliers don’t have to check the accuracy of clocks? Have you found that your own clock is inaccurate?

Comments
Profile photo of H
Member

Further to my comment on 2nd April. It was Npower not EON that Scottish Power contracted to change my timer switch. On 3 occasions Npower (on behalf of Scottish Power) did not turn up on the appointed day to change the timer switch. No reasons were given by Scottish Power for the non appearances. I’ve switched to OVO energy and they’ve replaced my timer this morning with a modern digital device, 20 days after the start of my new contract. What a difference a change of supplier can make.

Member
Steve Hone says:
25 June 2014

Hi first some Background – House is all electric (no oil or gas). Heating economy-7 (Duplex storage heaters in all rooms), Electric immersion heater for generating hot water and Electric AGA (main device for cooking which is on constantly). All devices are linked to Economy 7 so they can all charge up during the night using low night rate power and all have boosters separately linked to Day time (Normal Rate power supply) which are normally switched off and only manually switched on for top up/booster purposes. We have no separate timers on any of the devises to switch between night and day rates and have always relied on the meter supplied by the Electricity Board to do this.

Here’s the potential problem- I noticed some time ago that the low rate Economy 7 heating light on my immersion heater was still on at 10:00 in the morning which I thought was odd as it normally automatically switches on (subject to day light saving) around 11-12 pm and automatically switches off around 6-7 am each morning. I have been monitoring this and found that the Low Rate power is staying on ALL THE TIME ! so appear to be constantly top up all day long.

What are the implications?

Profile photo of David999
Member

What is terrible about this situation is the way that the multibillion pound energy companies have mathematical formulas designed to minimise their pay outs.

WHICH? Should pressure OFGEM to make the energy companies have to give a 100% refund for the period where a faulty time switch has been found. Energy companies have a duty of care to have 100% end to end accurate equipment and if you think it is difficult to test, think again. They can simply pass a pen over a wire coming out of the timer, if it glows ref the time switch is faulty.

When there is a fault suspected the energy companies send an engineer who is not independent. They will fix meters before a time switch is replaced and before any check meter can be fitted. We had records of meter readings that showed it was faulty for 5 years, the energy company bills were huge because storage heaters and hot water were on all day, but when queried they said they seemed normal because they use a percentage between day and night to determine what seems normal. Consumers hearing all the press comments about huge energy prices just accept the energy company’s word for it.

Anyone who has storage heaters knows that even on the lowest setting they leak heat all day so you would not realise that they were actually drawing power.

The impact of this is that a consumer is not given the ability to control their costs because no matter what they do the recorded units seem in the right percentage.

Yet when challenged the energy company say that it is up to the consumer to “prove” that a meter was faulty, anyone who knows electronics knows that a fault in one component can cause errors in those around it.

Then the energy companies start using the faulty readings as a basis for their calculations of refunds, this cannot be right, because if the time switch was working you would have the ability to adapt your usage, instead all you can do is turn everything off.

A consumer is automatically put under duress in these situations, there will often be a big outstanding bill and the energy companies make them low ball offers that they are under pressure to accept.

Appealing to the ombudsman and OFGEM seem fruitless because guidance is inadequate and many of the executives are from the energy industry.

So after the excessive electricity bills, you are offered a refund of £90 when a single bill before was £700 before the timer switch and £120 after the timer switch was changed.

If you had a car that had a faulty carburettor that affected your fuel consumption and/or speed readings but were continually told by your garage that it seemed to be fine and just the price of petrol was increasing, you would not be able to make economic adjustments.

If ANY of the equipment was faulty, readings cannot be trusted; in these situations the energy companies should just refund any bills as a deterrent to them not maintaining their equipment, especially when it is so simple.

A consumer should only be charged on the basis of the readings of their actual usage, if the energy companies don’t maintain their equipment they should lose the right to charge for the affected period.


The implications are that you have been overcharged for ages. You recently noticed but it could have been going on for YEARS as the energy companies do not routinely check their timer switches.

So the first thing to do is to make a call to get your meter readings, just say you are looking to economise, go back as far as they have them, even to previous owners or tenants.

When my timer switch was replaced I asked the engineer was was wrong and he said it was “blown” probably by an electrical fault caused by a storm. So do not assume that your meter is not affected.

At the very least you are entitled to what you would have been charged but it is not as simple as that, the energy companies will try to say “we charged you 16p a unit instead of 7p a unit but that is WRONG.

If the timer switch had not been faulty the electricity would NOT have been supplied to the Storage heaters, the Aga or the hot water DAY AND NIGHT.

The energy companies will then produce some convaluted formula BASED ON THE FAULTY READINGS to try and come up with a better offer, but this can’t be right.

The simple fact is that their equipment was faulty, had it not been faulty your usage would have been different, no mathematical formula based on the FAULTY readings can accurately predict that. Note that they will uses percentages to try to minimise their costs and load the cost on YOU.

Had you had the benefit of working equipment you might have adapted your usage but these situations create an artificial environment that make it hard for you to guage your usuage. This is especially true at the moment when energy prices have increased by over 300%, the news is full of it and we are told we have to choose to HEAT OR EAT.

If your equipment was supplied with electricity just at night, the environment in your house would have been different, as humans we adapt to the heat and get used to it, so we would not be so sensitive to excess. Whereas, if the equipment was accurate, when it got cold at certain times we would perhaps put a jumper on rather than the heat up.

If you analyse the bills you may find that there was abnormal usage, do not just look at the readings, put them in a spread sheet, put the dates in and work out the number of units per day, then look for variances compared to historic readings.

The energy companies say that 80% of electricity is used on economy 7 and they will try to apply that to your meter readings but that does not tell the whole story because it can’t accurate say what you would have used had your environment been changed by the fault in their equipment.

If it were me I would decline all offers except for a 100% refund and take it to the ombudsman, these abuses caused by the failure of the energy companies to maintain their equipment need to be STOPPED.

Member
Roger Lewis says:
29 October 2014

Very interesting, I had a similar problem where my storage heaters were on during peak times. just a small tip – I had an electrician change one of the off peak heater spur switches to one with a red light, which illuminates when the off peak circuit is in use.
so I can now monitor when it comes on and goes off.

Member
Alex DOW says:
11 July 2016

I have a similar arrangement to Roger.

Member
Paul Burnett says:
25 July 2014

Electricity meters, my meter is Digital and British Gas was saying my electricity was over £100 a month for over two years, I told them again and again, we have only now had the accuracy test done which has proved in our favour. What i would like to know now is, how far back can we claim, British Gas say to the last accurate meter reading, but as the meter is faulty how can they tell that reading was accurate? we had the meter fitted in April 2012, they didnt register it till we phoned and gave meter reading in August 2012.

Regards
P Burnett

Profile photo of David999
Member

Get a full history of readings, analysis of them may show it went back for years, either way put the onus on them to prove they were working right back to when you started with them.

They will monitor your usage once the fault has been fixed and then you can use those reading to work out how much you have been fleeced.

If you are not happy with what they offer, take it further till you get a deadlock letter and take it to a 3rd party.

In my opinion when they are shown to have faulty equipment they should be forced to give a 100% refund to the day to took over the service. That is the only deterrent that will make them take their duty of care seriously.

Member
tony says:
4 August 2014

i have two types of meters 1 for my nomal usage and a economy 7 meter there is a small grey digital meter also connected to the black economy 7 meter but the red light is always on is this right as i thought uf you were not using economy7 through the day the light would be out as im putting over 26 pounds in the meter a week

Profile photo of David999
Member

The way to test this is to check your meter readings for Economy 7, the number should NOT increase between 8am and 1am BST in the summer months or 7am and midnight GMT in the Winter (assuming you have an old switch, some newer timers adapt for daylight saving).

If you do not have access to your meter, the heating element on your hot water tank can help. This usually has a round black part the protrudes out of the tank, there may be a day one too wired to a separate switch for heating water in the day. If you feel the night time round black part it should be cold during the day and quiet.

To test the different sounds put on the day time water switch and listen, it will be a bit like a kettle and it will start to get warm, turn that off and check the night time one. If it is warm say an hour after it should have gone off at 8am then something is probably wrong.

Profile photo of David999
Member

What is terrible about this situation is the way that the multibillion pound energy companies have mathematical formulas designed to minimise their pay outs.

WHICH? should pressure OFGEM to make the energy companies have to give a 100% refund for the period where a faulty time switch has been found. Energy companies have a duty of care to have 100% end to end accurate equipment and if you think it is difficult to test, think again. They can simply pass a pen over a wire coming out of the timer, if it glows ref the time switch is faulty.

When there is a fault suspected the energy companies send an engineer who is not independent. They will fix meters before a time switch is replaced and before any check meter can be fitted. We had records of meter readings that showed it was faulty for 5 years, the energy company bills were huge because storage heaters and hot water were on all day, but when queried they said they seemed normal because they use a percentage between day and night to determine what seems normal. Consumers hearing all the press comments about huge energy prices just accept the energy company’s word for it.

Anyone who has storage heaters knows that even on the lowest setting they leak heat all day so you would not realise that they were actually drawing power.

The impact of this is that a consumer is not given the ability to control their costs because no matter what they do the recorded units seem in the right percentage.

Yet when challenged the energy company say that it is up to the consumer to “prove” that a meter was faulty, anyone who knows electronics knows that a fault in one component can cause errors in those around it.

Then the energy companies start using the faulty readings as a basis for their calculations of refunds, this cannot be right, because if the time switch was working you would have the ability to adapt your usage, instead all you can do is turn everything off.

A consumer is automatically put under duress in these situations, there will often be a big outstanding bill and the energy companies make them low ball offers that they are under pressure to accept.

Appealing to the ombudsman and OFGEM seem fruitless because guidance is inadequate and many of the executives are from the energy industry.

So after the excessive electricity bills, you are offered a refund of £90 when a single bill before was £700 before the timer switch and £120 after the timer switch was changed.

If you had a car that had a faulty carburettor that affected your fuel consumption and/or speed readings but were continually told by your garage that it seemed to be fine and just the price of petrol was increasing, you would not be able to make economic adjustments.

If ANY of the equipment was faulty, readings cannot be trusted; in these situations the energy companies should just refund any bills as a deterrent to them not maintaining their equipment, especially when it is so simple.

A consumer should only be charged on the basis of the readings of their actual usage, if the energy companies don’t maintain their equipment they should lose the right to charge for the affected period.

Member
Tony says:
22 August 2014

What horror stories, I really do feel that we should all take meter readings WEEKLY, I do this and log them on my ipad App. I can then spot anything untoward very quickly. Given some of the stories in this conversation I think this was money well spent (the app was about a fiver). I have 5 years readings now and can see from the graphs if my useage is following the pattern. I do this for Gas, Water, Electric, solar PV. This helps me control consumption

This assumes of course that your meter is OK at the start but at least if you are recording day and night units consumed and can see the difference the seasons of the year make or warm and cold spells you can spot on a graph if a reading looks out of the normal.

Profile photo of David999
Member

An app might be useful but why should you have to be wasting your unpaid time to monitor and verify the readings when it is the energy companies who have a duty of care to maintain accurate equipment.

As you say the App assumes the meter is right in the first place, it also does not compare your usage with the historic readings for the property.

The energy companies have these numbers, they could use them and write to consumers to tell them that usage is above average for the property and thus mitigate any overcharging, but let’t face it, they have an vested interest in you having higher bills.

History shows us that unless there is STRONG regulation, Corporate entities will abuse consumers for their own profits and deterrents need to be massive because they have so many customers that it can be worth their while to breach regulations if the fines do not exceed their potential profits.

Member
Tony says:
22 August 2014

I do not consider that I am wasting my time, and I am certainly saving money, it only takes 30 seconds a week every Sunday evening to walk to the meter and key in the data. Because I have been doing this for years I have historic data with graphs, bar charts etc to show up any unusual readings. All in the comfort of my chair as I watch TV

What I am doing is taking responsibility for what I am consuming and monitoring what I am paying BEFORE I get the bill and a potential nasty surprise. It is my money after all and better in my pocket than the big bad utility companies (though my supplier is a small friendly one) Stay ahead of the game, take ownership and it should be possible to spot problems when they are still small ones. It must also help if you have evidence such as this app to establish prior consumption. As you say corporate entities will abuse consumers for their own profits, the big utility companies are not to be trusted. You would not put your bank statement away without checking it against what you know you have spent so I feel that not monitoring your meter readings is as silly.

Because I monitor my consumption weekly I can modify my use and save money. This is worth doing whether or not you have a problem meter. I would spot a fault in my meter within 1 or 2 weeks. I do get economy 7 till 9.43am, I fault I am happy to live with.

Profile photo of Lee Beaumont
Member

I do pretty much the same as Tony (but without an app). I take my meter readings every Monday (Meter Reading Monday I call it), then add it to my spreadsheet, work out how much I have used and make a payment for that amount.

It means I don’t get any “shock bills”, plus I don’t get my account into a stupid amount of credit. I also like the feeling of how much i have used as if 1 week it is high the following week I can try and get it lower.

I’m lucky, Ebico/SSE/YorkshireWater (who I’m with) do not charge an extra for not paying via direct debit so I can do this my way without losing out.

Member
Dawn says:
6 October 2015

Which app is it please?

Profile photo of David999
Member

Well if you were paid for your time as I am you would begrudge spending it on constanting monitoring but you are both missing the point.

1. The energy company has a duty of care to maintain accurate equipment
2. Having equipment faulty for FIVE YEARS is unacceptable.
3. The issue is not about over consumption it is about FAULTY equipment, taking reading from a faulty meter will give you faulty numbers. When you take these numbers to the energy companies they say they appear OK.

It is only when you compare to historic data for the property that you can show the massive difference.

I believe that SSE definately DO charge for not paying by Direct Debit, £40 per annum.

I did not get any shock bills, because I was told “energy costs are higher don’t you know”

In these situations you use electricity you would not use and the energy companies are using calculation methods that are not fair to the user.

Again, I feel that the energy companies should lose the right to charge you for periods where they do not maintain accurate equipment.

Profile photo of Lee Beaumont
Member

“I believe that SSE definately DO charge for not paying by Direct Debit, £40 per annum”

That is correct. But as I said above I am with Ebico/SSE.

Ebico have no standing charge or silly direct debit fees. Ebico use SSE so all the bills come via SSE.

Member
chamomile says:
21 October 2014

I moved into a property two months ago and it is all electric storage heating. Recently I noticed that the off peak light on the heater was coming on at 12.12 a.m which was 42 minutes later than the off peak time of 11.30 p.m – 7.30. (yes for some reason we get 8 hours off peak as opposed to the normal 7, guess it is because it’s colder up north!) Anyway, upon checking the meter i found that sure enough it was 42 minutes slow and this meant all the electricity use, like the washing machine and charging electrical devices etc.. was started at 11.30 p.m and was being charged at peak rate until 12.12 a.m. I was peeved to say the least and phoned Scottish Hydro/SSE, to complain about the inaccurate clock and the unwitting use of peak rate electricity based on the off peak times I was given by them. I was put on to a manager, who informed me that because the meter was inaccurate by less than an hour, they would not come out and change the time clock to the correct time as they are allowed, by industry regulations, an error rate of up to an hour and as mine was 42 minutes they would be doing nothing. I asked what industry regulation he was referring to but he was unable to specify. I was also told that my meter does not account for the change of clocks in winter and spring, so now my off peak rate will change to 11.12 p.m – 7.12 a.m in the winter and back to 12.12 p.m – 8.12 a.m in the summertime!!! I was offered a reasonable discount on my bill but I am extremely unhappy that they have no responsibility to fix faulty meter time clocks unless they are at least an hour inaccurate. I smell the excretion of a male animal. they should be responsible for their equipment.

Profile photo of wavechange
Member

In the days of clockwork this might have been excusable but we are in the 21st century and accurate clocks have been with us for many years. The electricity supplier is within their rights, of course, but perhaps it is time to make it illegal to include unreasonable terms in contracts.

Whatever you do, please don’t run your washing machine when you are in bed. Appliances should not catch fire these days but there is still a risk that they will.

Member
Worldapart says:
7 March 2015

This may answer a question I’ve spent the last four months asking British Gas with no joy. (Along with several other more substantial issues where they as much as said I was lying or stupid and eventually admitted they were wrong.) My storage heaters come on at about 12:50. I am told by British Gas that my night rate is from 12:30-7:30. I get the same answer about it having to be at least one hour to be corrected, but they still won’t answer this question:

** Am I charged night rate according to the actual time or according to what time my meter ‘thinks’ it is? **

You’re saying the latter. This will make a difference to whether I shower at night or in the morning and when I have my immersion heating timer on.

Member
excosbloke says:
7 March 2015

I had a similar problem when I was with SSE. I changed supplier to Ovo and they fitted a new digital meter in less than a month from start of the contract.

Profile photo of Psav
Member

Do they automatically fit a new meter with every contract ?

Profile photo of malcolm r
Member

No. A new meter might be fitted if it did not match their requirements – mine was an Economy 7 type meter so had two readings that my supplier could not handle on a single unit tariff (don’t know why – I’d have thought they could have just added two readings together!) so they changed the meter (free of charge). But normally your existing meter will be used. Its serial number is held centrally where all energy suppliers have access to it.

Member

hi i have a problem with my economy 7 meter. during the time when the timer is on the pointer is pointing on the normal rate readings. funny enough at 8 am when the timer is still on the pointer switches back to low rate meter reading and then as soon as the timer is off at 8. 05 am it goes back to the normal rate. during the night both my low rate and standard rate has been used. during the day the meter does not act funny and stays on the normal rate until 12 a.m. i believe there is something not right but what could it be. the meter or the timer? i have recently been billed for £300 for electricity which raised my concern and a reason why i started checking the meter. what are the issues here? if there is one what are the possible actions should i take. do i still need to pay?

Member
Denise says:
18 February 2015

According to our meter, we get Economy 7, low rate electricity from 10.30am until 5.30pm. We queried this ages ago and were told this was correct. However, I have now found that the times for this region should be between something like 11.30pm and 7am (sorry can’t remember the actual times, but we are in the West Midlands). I am worried that the clock is 12 hours out. I do most of my washing/drying etc in those daytime hours (which I assume is called my Night Rate on my bill?) and yet my ‘daytime’ use (which is in fact at night) is high. Our heating and cooking is oil, so we only use electric for TV, lights, computers and sometimes an electric heater in the spare room. If I ask for this to be investigated will I end up with a huge bill? Or will the meter be deemed faulty and what will happen then? Thanks.

Member
Worldapart says:
7 March 2015

Unless you have electric storage heating for the majority of your home’s heat, economy 7 is very unlikely to be the right tariff for you. It doesn’t just charge less at night, it’s more in the day. Not sure what to say about your timer problem.

Member
Terence Coates says:
18 February 2015

Do you have a meter reader visit you, or have you got a Smart meter that is read remotely by radio:
I had the same problem which was due to a poor radio signal I had the meter changed several times at no cost, and eventually the meter was replaced with an ordinary one which was correctly timed,
We were with EDF but the meter belonged to SSE who did the actual replacing., We later changed to British Gas who installed a Smart meter with a better radio link and this has worked OK since.
It looks as if you are paying too much, so your provider should get your timing corrected and compensate you for all you previous over payments. About time the electricity suppliers did something about this, Perhaps it is time for our MPs to be involved.
Best of luck.

Member
Daphne Burke says:
5 May 2015

When I submitted my last metre reading I realised it was doubled what it usually is. I did realise Thai since the clicks went forward my radiators were coming on later and going off later. I read up on line and realise that this could account for the high bill. I checked the metre clock and found out it had not been adjusted. I called E-on and ask if they could amend my bill and they refused. They said that it is legal for the clock to but up to two hours out. I explained that as my hot water and storage heaters are wired up to the metre and comes on three times per day this means that as the metre clock is one hour behind I am been charged 1 X 3 hours per day at the high rate of electricity. The are saying that I would have been charged only 1 hour at high rate. I phoned them on the 30th April and they said they can only come and adjust my metre on the 19th of May between 8am and 1.00pm, meaning I have to take a day off work. E-on customer service later on phoned to say they will try to arrange for the technician to come a bit earlier and I am still awaiting confirmation of this, she went on to say that as the water and radiators are directly connected to the economy low rate metre, it would not be possible for me to be charged high rate, regardless of the fact that the metre clock is incorrect. I am very confused could this be the case?

Profile photo of John Ward
Member

Daphne – If your storage radiators and hot water heater come on three times every 24-hrs then they will not be supplied exclusively through the economy rate part of the meter [the ‘night rate’]. Any electricity taken outside the night rate period [usually Midnight – 7am but could be 11 pm – 6 pm or 1 am – 8 am depending on your supplier’s time bands] will be charged at the ‘day rate’ – significantly higher. Some meters or programmers automatically adjust to the time change in Spring and Autumn but some have to be reset manually. It will be useful to have E-On look at your set-up to make sure you have the most economical programme for your needs. If you are out most days it might be possible to alter the daytime charging of the storage radiators so that you only get an evening ‘boost’, but you might need an over-ride facility for weekends and colder weather. Unfortunately, storage radiators are not very flexible in terms of meeting the fluctuating space-heating requirement so more sophisticated controls are useful. This last Winter has seen frequent swings between mild and colder weather and there is a tendency to leave the settings on for cold weather all the time.

For your hot water it might be worth seeing if you could manage with just an overnight charge of the immersion heater during the night rate period. Again, a manual over-ride or boost facility would enable you to draw more hot water during the daytime if you needed to [some systems have a second immersion heater for this purpose in the upper part of the tank]. The problem is that, every time you run a hot tap after the night rate period has finished, cold water will enter the hot tank gradually lowering the overall temperature of the water in the tank so a boost later in the day is almost essential, but a one or two hour bosost of just the upper part of the tank might normally be sufficient. Controls are available that allow you to switch the boost on for upto one hour at a time after which it switches off – so fairly economical; and there should be a thermostat on the immersion heater(s) so that the water only heats up to the set temperature. Best of luck.

Member
Kate says:
15 July 2015

Hi all,

I have an economy ten meter that was installed at the beginning of December. I discovered in June that the clock did not move forward in March, hence my bills have probably been much larger than they should have been as the hot water etc is still on winter times. Edf are both refusing to offer a refund and also refusing to change my meter to the correct time (they say it is not possible- is this true)? This effectively means my off peak hours are 1-4pm, 8-10pm and 12-5-am in winter, and 2-5pm, 9-11pm and 1-6am in summer. The summer hours in particular are totally inconvenient, and most importantly are not the advertised economy 10 hours. Does anyone know if it is possible to have meters that change automatically in London? Or whether it is possible to have the off peak hours operate on summer time all year round (which makes the hours much more convenient as they would be 7-9pm, 11pm-4am and 12-3pm in winter)? Edf say the automatic clock change is only possible for Scottish economy ten meters for some reason, but I need to find a solution as the summer hours are pointless (mostly occur outside meal times and when people are in bed!). Thanks

Member
Julia garner says:
6 August 2015

just found my 20 20 meter clock is 2 hours wrong !!

Member
julia garner says:
10 August 2015

hi mine is wrong too had a letter through the door saying they want to check a potential issue ?? EDF say they no nothing about it ? Letter is from G4S

EDF are saying there is nothing they can do apart from change the meter in september ??

Member
N C Bone says:
8 August 2015

My digital economy seven meter provides no means for checking its higher and lower tariff switching times whilst npower have now given me, on three occasions, three different switching times. Nor will they tell me how to check the timings for myself. What rights do I have to this information?

Member
Norman Bone says:
9 August 2015

My Econ 7 meter appears to be radio controlled, provides no info re its time settings and my provider, npower, is totally disinterested in supplying this essential info so I can check the times for myself. What happens to the times during a power cut and when we switch GMT to BST?
There is also the much bigger matter of meter calibration which affects all users of energy but seems to be totally ignored by the suppliers. npower have just replaced my gas meter but could provide no evidence that the new meter had been independently calibrated. The meter it replaced was installed 25 years ago but no-one during that time ever came to check its measuring accuracy although that must have changed over a quarter of a century. There is the making of a great scandal if the suppliers of energy are now solely responsible for measuring what is delivered
I believe there are some big scams in this area waiting to be exposed and Which? should be taking up the whole matter of energy measurement with OFGEM and whoever else has any interest in protecting the consumer. I approached my local trading standards on this subject but they referred me to Citizens Advice!!!

Member
Margaret Greaves says:
5 October 2015

Just bought a brand new apartment with underfloor heating and economy 10 with EON . The clock is on winter time permanently but as the heating timer and water timer is set to the same time it works okay. There are two readings, one for low rate( night) and one for normal rate( day) and it uses the low rate 3 times in 24 hours. However when I gave my readings for my first bill they have switched the readings and are charging me the highest rate for heating and water and low rate for the rest. I have been taking readings every morning and the meter would appear to be correct it is just Eon they have somehow entered the readings the wrong way round on their records.
I have taken photos of the meter ( which is digital) showing both readings and hopefully they will now sort it out. The disturbing thing is that I have found out that quite a few of our neighbours have had the same problem and it has not been sorted out yet. It is possible that everyone is affected and some people haven’t even noticed that it is a problem. As it is an over sixties apartment block it is very disturbing.

Member

My clock is wrong but it works to my advantage because cheap energy ends at 10.08 or 11.08am depending on the time of year, when the clock then shows day rate units being used. I use washer, dishwasher, iron, cooker, lawn mower etc as much as possible in the morning which suits me anyway!

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There are various types of digital energy meters which can transmit data both using a carrier frequency via the power lines or radio transmissions . To save money the meter reader in some does not need to call to your house and can ping your meter externally . The transmission of data can occur several times a day and the spec. of the meter can be changed remotely . I dont want to be accused of causing any panic but facts are facts and so is the truth. Those that transmit do so on the same frequency as microwave ovens and radio amateurs now we are talking here very low wattage transmissions NOT 1000 Watts but it is unshielded . IN the case of microwave ovens -regulations limit the leakage to =5MW/CM Sq (BS5175) so to test the transmission radiation of your smart meter borrow a microwave leakage tester (they arent cheap ) in the US many commercial companies sell blocking material to stop their radiation from leaking it goes through walls etc . Other US citizens make up their own protection . Another aspect is -do you live near a radio amateur ? they use that frequency which can interfere with the meter reading – IN most cases you should be fine but that is not the case in the US where radiation from them can exceed safe levels . Any device that can be interrogated can be hacked no matter if they deny it our own security services could answer that. Your router uses the same frequency but its transmission is minute in comparison to health safety levels but in my book human life and health come first not profit .

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martin says:
22 October 2015

my view is with dawn although i`m confused,
my night meter runs 11am til 6pm which seems perfect as the house is always warm.
i give 2 readings to my electricity company from the 2 meters,
surely i`m paying low rate charge from the meter readings on the night meter which is running during the day, which must be perfect for my storage heaters

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I have an electric aga and 4 teenage sons who all get up early to go to school. I run all my appliances early in the morning to use the cheap electric. I am in an area which has regular electricity cuts. My meter clock has been goings backwards over the year and I am now over an hour out. EDF suggests that I will get the 7 hours cheap electricty and should be content, however my point is I should get it 1230 to 0730 therefore having the use of cheap electricity at peak family use. I have asked for a new meter but the new meter is larger than the old and will not fit. I was told that my house should have a standard space for a meter. This might be sno in a modern house when this legislation came out, but my house is over a hundred years old and space is at a premium. Why is this subject not covered in consumer programmes, its a scam and robbing people of money that they are entitled to and paying for.

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Bob Higgins says:
18 February 2016

Smart meters. having had one fitted to save me reading it regularly it was a surprise the when I changed supplier it stopped being smart. For the change over reading I assumed the two companies would know what was happening but they didn’t.

In fact the most useful thing the monitoring device might have told me was what the reading is, but it didn’t do that.

Both meters have a button A and button B along with numbers 0 -9 to get a manual reading I now know I press button 9 twice and quick read the screen before it scrolls through several other data points.

Smart meters really are not that smart yet?

Member
Miriam Davison says:
4 April 2016

I live with, and am carer to my 85 year old mother who has dementia and severe arthritus. We have solar panels and a low carbon print council bungalow. Our heating is from a main boiler on the estate which runs on pellets. Our first electricity bill with N Power was steep and they said we was on economy 7. I explained the meter was wrong as we did not have economy 7, we had a new system which was meant to lower bill excessively. They told me I was wrong and even though I was a minimal user, the tariff I was on gave me high bills. I kept ringing and even got the council involved. It took me from June last year until February this year to get them to realise I was right and they eventually changed my meter, We have received an electricity bill for 10 months for 1225.76. I have phoned and said we are not paying this as it’s not my fault the wrong meter was in. I was told I had to pay from the old meter and as I also used their heating, the bill was fine but they would knock 200 off as goodwill. We pay switch 2 for the heating and do not use N Power but the gentleman would not entertain this. I mentioned the solar panels and where was the rebate from that?He brushed that aside and told me the meter was correct. The energy is in my Mums name and she received 3 bills in one day, all with different amounts. As she has dementia, if I had not lived with her, she may have tried to pay all 3 as she is still fixated on all her bills being paid on time. I have wrote to OFGEM but think this kind of treatment to an 85 year old woman is absolutely disgusting and has caused us a lot of sleepless nights and my Mum becoming very upset.

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Miriam write or phone your MP this is utterly disgraceful and shocking !! Contact your local newspaper ,get it publicized I would like to see Which take up this case . Words cannot express my anger !

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HJ says:
6 May 2016

my meter clock is 1 hour behind and my electricity bill for winter 4 months is nearly £800 using only 2 night storage heaters and an immersion in the alleged off peak hours .operative said the clock would not make a difference ????

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HJ-Funnily enough Which had an article on this in the past , millions were overcharged because of the meter clock being out ,get onto your energy provider and complain –NOW !! .They have no right to put you off escalate it to a higher level. The Express had an article on it on February 23 rd -2014 an ex electrical engineer working for a power company got a large amount of compensation for his 3 neighbours and himself the meters had to be replaced and even then they still werent accurate- big profits for the enegy company.

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Anon says:
11 July 2016

Your time switch can be an hour out to reflect BST and GMT. Even if its an hour later starting in the evening, you get the extra hour in the morning and vice versa.

What I want to know is out within the hour taking into account BST, how much can a meter legally be out by? It can work to some peoples advantage i.e in my area, off peak starts at 11:30pm to 7:30am but my cheaper rate comes on a bit later which means I get the benefit of it in the morning turning my washing machine on at 8am gives me off peak rates. Some people with an external timeswtich who work nightshift switch them opposite way around to they get cheap rate during the day when they’re home and off peak at night when they’re out. I’m so confused.

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Ofgem approve and verify electric meters for accuracy . The owner of the meter has to ensure that the meter is accurate and in any dispute Ofgem will provide a service to test the meter. As this involves specialised equipment it is out-with the normal householder/owners abilities but if you know a friendly engineer ??? .Personally with modern meters more than a few minutes out is faulty.

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Nancy Smith says:
12 July 2016

We have a 2 bed flat and are on economy 7, lived here 10 years. Electric only here, electric heaters switched off and only switched on when needed. Always paid fairly high electricity, around £130 a month. I have queried it a number of times as on the bill our day usage is through the roof and night is low. My claim that something is t right has been continuously dismissed over the years. Told we have received a bill with a note to say the direct debit is going up to £185 and we have a debit balance of almost £500. Shocked and angry I called Edf. Was advised to take meet readers today and tonight and they are calling me in the morning to discuss. I can’t possible see how this is correct. We are both out at work during the day and rarely use the heaters in the evening when home. We also religiously turn off every socket when we go out apart from the fridge. Meter is also in a communal room at the other end of the block so wondering if we are paying for someone else’s supply? I am going to check the pm/am on the clock in the morning so I can get to the bottom of it then I’ll be looking to move the supply. Projected annual usage is 8439kw for day and 2771kw for night! Does this sound completely upside down to anyone or am I losing the plot over it!

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Nancy if that meter is at the other end of the block you can take it for granted it fed other places as well its very easy to run cable under the floor to anywhere . That meter should be available to you only if it is applicable to you in consumption NOT somebody else’s flat or corridor where it can be “got at “

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Nancy smith says:
12 July 2016

That’s what I though Duncan! The concierge holds the key but anyone in the block can get the key and we’ve had builders on site for most of the 10 years we’ve been here due to issues with the original design. First job in the morning before work is to check the clock and take readings again as I’ve taken a number this afternoon and evening. I’m on a mission to get this sorted now as it’s got out of hand. Thanks

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Nancy, unless you use at least 40% of your electricity off peak (probably after 11:00 pm or midnight) then you will be using an expensive tariff for heating; economy 7 has a higher daytime tariff than others. I’d suggest changing your meter to a single tariff one and getting a new tariff organised through Which? Switch.

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For those taking a different line to my reply to Nancy read on– in the next village is a community kirst ( local charity shop ) run by a lady I get on well with . All the money gathered in goes to into the community , she started complaining of electric bills being high so , in the end , we investigated . After some detective work it turns out the electric feed is via a store room housing two large commercial freezers and guess what ?? –they turned out to be connected to the electricity supply that fed the charity shop . The lady who ran the charity shop E (name ) knew who owned the freezers –the local grocer who used them to store produce . Being an executive type person and commanding she wasnt slow to visit the said grocer and “put him wise ” , he wasnt happy being found out but now has to contribute to the good of the community by paying for electricity used . This was so devious that the electric cable broke the law by going straight through a two foot thick wall instead of under the ground or via other means and then hidden under ceiling tiles !

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Scott Malcolmson says:
22 July 2016

So Energy always sort everything out very quickly too! I don’t think it’s about the BIG SIX anymore guys. Times are changing, markets are ever more competitive, go and get yourself a good deal!

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Balaji says:
22 July 2016

Hi, I have an Economy 7 meter. I am on Southern electric. I noticed that my ‘Rate 2’ reading is higher than than the ‘Rate 1’ reading. I am surprised to see that the clock is different. The time on meter shows 20:20 when it is 22:20 BST. This means it is 1 hour ahead i think. Am i correct? Do this affect my bill?

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Balaji- using an Economy 7 meter has two rates a day time one and a night time one so electricity used during a 7 hour period at night costs one third of the day time rate. But any electricity used during the day time on those meters could cost you more than on a standard tariff . The 7 hour period will be between 10 pm and 8.30 am depending on where you live and the type of meter and can change due to BST . There is a map of the different hours through out the UK – London- 23:00 until 07:00 . Look at your supply number and that will tell you your area from the map . As a result it shouldnt affect your bill if it is still in the 7 hour range . Southern Electrics website should have a downloadable PDF on how it operates. Just verified it I am right it doesnt matter if youre meter is registering a different time as it depends not on the suppliers but on the area and as your meter is radio controlled it is up to the regional controllers to dictate the time .

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Balaji says:
23 July 2016

Hi Duncan,
Thanks a lot for the detailed advise. Have a good day.

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I was wondering if i could get some advice please? Ive lived in my flat since March 2015. The boiler has not been heating water properly since moving in and now it has completely stopped (since June) unless i put the booster on.
Ive had countless people from Gledhill come and check the boiler, and have been told there is no problem with it. The last guy who came round checked my electric meter and i noticed that my low rate reading had not changed since i’d last checked. He then told me i probably have a faulty teleswitch, and that i should call scottish power to get it fixed and ask for a possible refund. Ive checked my bills and it seems that ive been using less and less low rate electric and the dial completely stopped in August and has stayed the same since. My electric bill is always really high, i hardly use the heating because i cant afford to and am sick of having no hot water! I called Scottish Power on 2nd November. They said they will arrange someone to investigate, and to allow 5 working days to hear back from them. I havent heard anything back and am getting abit fed up.
Do you think i could be entitled to a refund? Has anyone been through a similar thing?
Thankyou.

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Hi Kim – A good start would be to give Citizens Advice a ring for advice. I hope you can get the problem sorted out soon and maybe get some compensation. https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk

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Kim, i think you need to be persistent with Scottish Power. If you haven’t already done so, try emailing Dirsupp . I had prompt response from them in the past. I assume they will need to examine your meter, change it probably and then estimate how much off-peak you should have had recorded.

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KIm -the facts look like this ,and please correct me if I am wrong – #1- boiler checked okay – #2- boiler is immersion heater, heated – IE- electric source of power -#3- low use indicated on electric meter – #4- you have been informed by engineer/tech.guy that the tele switch is “not working ” -#5 – that presupposes that your boiler is controlled by your electricity supplier-IE- Scottish Power — VIA -radio wireless control – VIA the BBC transmitters – ergo — EITHER faulty telelink , which is micro processor controlled OR Scottish Power has INTENTIONALLY stopped it functioning which it is quite capable of doing as it is COMMAND controlled . Scottish Power are not stupid I have been in their buildings – they have digital displays that can tell if any telelink is non-functional – IE- FAULTY – so ?? IMHO- they have cut-you off.

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Yes all correct. I only have electric in my flat. The gledhill engineer told me it looks like the switch isnt going to low rate ever. So thats probably why my boiler isnt heating up at night, like its supposed to when its cheaper rate electric. He told me he knew someone with the same problem, and their supplier actually called and told them there might be a problem and sorted it straight away. When I called Scottish Power, the lady told me there was no way of them knowing if the teleswitch was faulty, which I thought was a bit odd. I will call them tomorrow again, and call citizens advice too. Just checked my meter and it is still on the same reading. Im paying on average £100 a month for electric but have no hot water, and the storage heaters arent working.

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Sorry for the name change. Slightly confusing.

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Thanks for the update Crimson , teleswitch operation is a bit secretive , the excuse being “commercial security ” which is really – dont tell the consumer that all your electrical consumption /data is being used for commercial gain. Your right it controls off-peak use and now you have told me that it doesnt heat during off-peak times only during peak times shows you are being lied to . A teleswitch is a radio receiver/computer that can switch up to 80 amps , well withing your boiler spec. , the micro controller decodes data from the receiver /provides switching time memory , it also has an infra-red interface which may be programmed with its ID and a FALL BACK or default set of switching times , fallback meaning NON off-peak it goes on in great detail which I wont bore you with as I have been criticised for being too technical , well I hope this isnt too “technical ” what you have been told is ******* I even have a document on Teleswitch MONITORING so you are being led up the garden path , they are just making use of the publics non technical knowledge to stop them finding a cause of action.

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Thankyou, Duncan. I called them again this morning, and was told someone will give me a call back by the end of the day. Noone has called unfortunately… I am going to send an email to them and speak to citizens advice tomorrow.

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Kim, I gave a useful email address above but for some reasons it seems to have disappeared. When I used it I got a reply that appeared to come from one of the directors. dirsupp@scottishpower.com

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Dawn Woodall says:
26 January 2017

I have a prepayment meter & am on economy 10 tariff with SSE. My weekly electricity usage is horrendous. I have just noticed that the clock on my meter is 9 minutes slow for both off peak & peak times. Could 9 minutes make a difference?

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That seems unlikely, Dawn. The top priority is to check that storage radiators, water heater and anything that involves heating is running only on cheap rate electricity.

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Your right Wavechange different power supply areas in the country operate different cheap-rate supply times, this was decided along with the government to spread out the amount of electricity used so that the whole area wasn’t using cheap electricity at the same time , therefore would use more of it than they would at other times. There is a map showing this somewhere on the web but I don’t remember the website . somebody already queried this in the past. For example have a look at NPower : https://customerservices.npower.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/179/~/what-are-the-economy-7-peak-and-off-peak-period

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In this day and age it ought to be possible to look this up with just the postcode!

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John-unlike an Economy 7 tariff which can be checked universally with a postcode input , Economy 10 is not widely supported by all power companies therefore customers will find the number of alternative tariffs are far fewer than other meter types. Economy 10 allows you to measure your consumed capacity between the set hours used and is used by customers with storage heaters at a discounted rate. Be aware your normal supply could be at a much higher rate than non- Economy 7/10 users. Having said that I found one website that you can input your postcode to compare prices for Economy 10 I take no liability for its information or results : https://www.simplyswitch.com/energy/guides/economy-10-tariffs/

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Having trawled through various websites, I have learned that suppliers have different off-peak times. It is obviously vital to know when cheaper electricity is available and setting the timers on storage heaters so that they only use electricity at these times.

If consumers are at all important, maybe there is a case for standardising off peak times across suppliers. There is simply no excuse that meter clocks are inaccurate and some users have reported some significant errors. Ofgem is supposed to be addressing the fact that prepayment can be the most expensive way of buying energy but perhaps they could look at standardising times and requiring suppliers to deal with inaccurate clocks.

Pre-pay customers are often those who struggle to pay their bills and common sense suggests that we prioritise their needs.

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Thanks, Duncan. I am not personally interested in Economy 10 but if the low-rate hours are different on a geographical basis irrespective of which supplier is used then it is surely not too much to expect the industry to make it easy for consumers [and people moving house or dealing with elderly relatives’ affairs] to find the relevant details for each specific area by reference to the property postcode.

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It’s not just storage heating, Wavechange. People with only electricity need to heat their water in the low-rate period as well as using washing machines, dishwashers, electric showers, and so forth, as economically as possible.

As Duncan says, the standard peak-time tariff is considerably more expensive than the low off-peak rate. Electric showers can be rated up to 7,000 Watts and it makes a big difference whether your morning shower will be inside or outside the overnight low-rate period merely by an accident of clock-setting. Admittedly the shower is not in use for long but the little wheel still sprints round the track and clocks up the units. If there’s a family in the property, getting the timing right will save money.

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Of course, and I mentioned all forms of heating in my first post. Obviously there are practicalities, especially for those who are working or out of the house a lot. The first priority, in my view, should be to ensure that the meter time clock is accurate and I do not know why the problem of inaccurate clocks has been allowed to continue.

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It is worthwhile estimating your off peak usage and your peak time usage. Some people assume that they’ll always benefit if they have cheaper night time electricity but because of the considerably higher daytime tariff that may be the wrong assumption. You generally need around 50% or more of your usage to be off-peak to get a benefit. Remember that in summer, when it is warm, you won’t be using storage heaters but your daytime usage is likely to be little changed.

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Yes, and switching to LED lamps and choosing A++ [or better] appliances when renewing them will also reduce peak-rate consumption. Doing any cooking during the daytime off-peak period on Economy 10 will also help.

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Stansdottir says:
4 February 2017

My house is all-electric and was converted to Economy 7 when I moved in 40 years ago. Great for doing all sorts of stuff other than heating – GMT 1-8 am and BST 7-9 am – as I get up at the crack of dawn anyway and do most of my chores on the cheap. It was hassle-free and economical until Jan 2016, when (like a fool) I was conned into replacing two dead Creda storage heaters with 2 hellishly expensive Fischer heaters, which were supposed to save money despite using very little E7 as they are low-input heaters, but use daytime boosters (on th expensive rate), having hone cold by 10 a.m.. I switched them off after a couple of months last winter because I couldn’t afford to use the extra daytime units and have this week replaced them with two of the modern Creda automatic heaters which only use E7. However, Fischer converted the old heater sockets from E7 to normal 13 amp use and this week my electrician had to return them to the original E7 only.
Now I have a problem – the new Creda heaters will not turn off when E7 switches off and are clocking up the expensive units while I watch the digital meter whizzing round. Got the electrician back – of course, everything worked perfectly normally while he was there and I’m sure he thinks I’m crazy – but he checked everything again and changed one of the switch covers to one with a neon so I can see when that circuit is using power. I had a whole day of perfect peace of mind as it all did what it should, but then this morning when I got up the house was far too hot (18C which most people find a comfortable minimum but is too much for me ) – so I switched the heaters off at the wall an hour before switchover time, which I’ve always done without problems, and anyway you have to do that in the summer. Later I decided to check them again and now I can’t get the heaters/circuit off unless I do the manual switch-off. I phoned the electrician who can’t believe it and has no idea what to do – suggested I contact the supplier.
Since the Fischer problem, I’ve taken daily readings of on- and off-peak usage and have noticed that every few days the night-time reading would be almost half the normal amount and the amount of difference has been added to the daytime reading, even when I’ve been out all day or used nothing more than fridge, freezer and kettle during the day. Perhaps the extra usage problem was not entirely down to the Fischer heaters, as this strange pattern is now continuing with the Creda storage heaters which CANNOT use off-peak power. But of course they could have messed something up when they changed two heaters from E7 to 13 amp. It doesn’t appear to be a problem with the mechanical clock (separate from the meter) which I can read and handle easily, but with the switching process. Perhaps I’ve done something by switching off manually at the wall while E7 is still on, but as I said I’ve always done this for the past 40 years with no problems. What can I do? The electrician’s given up and if I get another one, will he believe me either? Help!

PS Can only access library computer, so may not be able to reply immediately.

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I have the answer for you Stan – Right away I have to say Fischer , a German Company , whose heaters you bought are NOT Economy 7 but are connected to the normal supply but are TRICKLE CHARGED throughout the day with electricity , they are therefore connected to the MAIN electric meter . I may add for the sake of legal issues that claims made by Fischer on their advertisements to which many complained about and investigated by ASA.ORG (UK) were found to be genuine complaints and on EVERY count the complainers case was UPHELD . For those questioning that I have downloaded the appropriate ASA website statement put into the public domain so it cant be argued against. NINE issues ALL upheld Fischer were told to amend their advertising in the UK . Back to electricity — Economy 7 works on a separate meter with a separate fusebox , cabling goes from the E7 ONLY to the radiators and an E7 controller put in place , this CONTROLLER has BOTH non-E7 AND E7 supplies fed into it and an internal switch AUTOMATICALLY switches from day to night and STOPS you ever being able to accidentally or deliberately use both supplies at the one time . IF your heaters continue to operate DURING the daytime 24/7 then either of two things have occurred -#1- the electrician “isn’t up to the job of wiring it correctly ” OR -#2- the changeover switch is faulty . I hope I don’t need to repeat this ?

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Thanks for the pointers about what to do, Duncan. As I mentioned, I’ve been using storage heaters for 40 years or so, so I know how to operate them properly, and that’s not a problem. My electrician, who I’ve used for years, was apprenticed to the old electricity board and was in on the start of E7; he’s done innumerable repairs and installations for me, including storage heaters,, so I trust him to have done it right in this case. That leaves the other option, which I’d suspected myself but needed advice on – i.e. a faulty control switch. The day after the electrician fitted the neon on one of the heater fuses it worked well, but for the next three days everything went haywire again, and the heaters even switched themselves on 15 minutes after switching off normally at the end of the E7 period. Yesterday I contacted my supplier who agreed it sounded dodgy, so I have to take readings for 24 hours and report back – ironically, since I spoke to them everything has been working correctly and I don’t have a problem any more. Still, I thought that was the case last week, so I’m hanging on before phoning them again in case it does the occasional (every 3 or 4 days) trick of going out of control again. I’ll post news when this part of the procedure is over.

Yes – I know about Fischer heaters, but despite that I thought I’d make enquiries. I insisted to the salesman that I would never be able to use daytime power, only E7, and he actually reassured me several times that I could get perfectly good results and adequate heating from E7 only if I wanted. So I ordered them, thought better of it and phoned to cancel the order, but he again told me categorically that my proposed use would be quite satisfactory and not to worry, so like an idiot I let it go through. I used them for less than 2 months last winter. Not being a computer owner or regular user I was unaware of all the forums and other info available to prospective purchasers of anything, so I didn’t find the ASA judgments until I’d started a long (6 months) campaign to claim my money back on the grounds of mis-selling. It’s been a long and tedious process, with long letters back and forth in which they set out all kinds of technical-looking date which was incorrect when looked at carefully and claims about satisfied customers, none of which had anything to do with my mis-selling claim which they chose to ignore. Finally, as they offered only 20% of the purchase price if they got the heaters back in pristine condition and inspected them in their workshops(!), I settled for a smaller “goodwill gesture” and still have the heaters available for re-sale – in truly pristine condition. Incidentally, the ASA did reject one claim, which was my main point – that “compatible with E7” is not the same as “suitable for E7”, my point being that compatible means they can be used with E7 (plus day rate), but the additional day rate makes them unsuitable.

Thanks again for taking the time to reply. I’ll follow my plan mentioned above and hope I have a happy outcome to report.

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Just for the record Stan, Fischer must have read our posts , junk mail today included –Fischer heaters pamphlet , usual advertising rubbish.

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Just noticed big chunks of my reply to Duncan are missing. Basically saying I know how to use storage heaters after 40 years.

…for the next few days the heaters switched themselves on and off and on again at random, regardless of time of day – after the electrician (trained with old electricity board and in at the start of E7) had applied the neon and they’d behaved properly for 24 hours.

…I have to take readings for my supplier who will see what they can see.

… I told the Fischer salesman I’d never be able to use daytime power and only wanted to use E7, which he assured me that would provide perfectly adequate heating without using the trickle charge. When I had second thoughts and phoned to cancel the order, he again lied to me (as I know now) and said I need have no worries about the E7 charge being insufficient to keep me warm all day.

…finally, they made a stupid offer of 20% refund if they got the heaters back in pristine condition (! ) Imagine them manhandling them when taking them out, transporting and inspecting them in their workshops…

… ASA rejected a claim that “compatible with E7” is the not the same as “suitable for E7” – my main point.

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I have probably upset somebody Stan as I notice my posts get moved out of context with the posts they are applied to. Thanks for the additional info , life is always a battle but never give up!

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Stansdottir says:
14 February 2017

Good for you, Duncan! Since the start of this conversation I’ve been on to the suppliers, who asked for a daylong reading (v. expensive) and decided it must be my wiring. I got two more electricians to look at the whole wiring system – absolutely correct, nothing wrong with it – and they said it must be the meter/switch control problem, so get back to the suppliers. They’ve now agreed to send an engineer in two weeks’ time. The whole thing is now so confusing – sometimes the heaters switch off at 8 a.m , 10 minutes after the meter switches from night to day rate, sometimes they don’t and sometimes they switch off and on again 10 minutes later, etc. At present I’m having to keep them off at the wall socket all day, just in case, but be there at around 1 a.m. to switch them on next day. At least we’re not yet on BST when it would be 2 a.m. I’m crossing my fingers for the engineer’s visit and hoping the heaters don’t behave normally as they have done every one of the days when I’ve phoned someone or other for help!

You probably have upset someone – sure I have now. Mustn’t give in to pressure to keep quiet.

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AndyB says:
18 February 2017

I have economy 7 and my meter starts updating the night rate reading at 8am and the day rate at 3pm even though the clock timer is set correctly 12am to 7am. My storage heaters come on at 12am and switch off at 7am. It appears that the meter updates several hours later. Does anyone else have this problem?

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Although you have it set to -12am-7am it depends on the part of the country you live in as to what the switch on/off hours are . This is to make sure the National Grid has a more even spread of electricity , it can range from 10pm -8-30am but you will need to check with your provider as to their particular times of Economy 7. To save me any more detail Andy go to : http://www.businessjuice.co.uk/energy-guides/economy-7-times/ click on- Economy 7 By Region

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Many thanks Duncan. I have checked and the times are 0030 – 0730. However it is strange that the meter reading for night rate does not start changing until 0800 to 1500.

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Back at last, with a new (re-furbished) meter. It was supposed to arrive two weeks from my last complaint to the suppliers, but the contractor arrived a week early and was surprised I wasn’t home! Eventually he came back three weeks later and took out the old meter and the 1970s timer clock, so everything is all connected up inside the one box, and appears to be working accurately, switching over exactly in time with the BBC pips. I’m still crossing my fingers as I can’t quite believe it yet, but my daytime (expensive) units are now back to 3 daily as they’d been for 40 years instead of the terrifying numbers that had been clocking up. Only problem now is that instead of my monthly statement turning up a couple of days after a phoned-in meter reading, I’m still waiting a month later.

Good luck to all the others with problems and don’t be conned into having a smart meter – the chap who installed this new one of mine says they are not suitable for E7, and you do NOT have to accept one if you don’t want it. The government has only said that by 2020 all customers will have to be OFFERED one – so you can refuse.

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karen Gould says:
13 May 2017

Hi,

Nice article. I have written article on Six Reasons Your Electricity Bill is High. Kindly have a look on it – http://vswitchusave.co.uk/blog/six-reasons-electricity-bill-high