/ 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

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.

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?

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.

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.

Alex DOW says:
11 July 2016

I have a similar arrangement to Roger.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Dawn says:
6 October 2015

Which app is it please?

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.

“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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Do they automatically fit a new meter with every contract ?

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.

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?

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.

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.

A. nonymouse says:
2 October 2017

Immersion heater ? Also check your times are still the same – any power cut might change the times. The problem isn’t that the times are different (to what the supplier contracts)- because once you know what the times are you can adjust usage (and mostly to your benefit). The problem is that the time slot can change and you not be aware of the new times.

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.

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?

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.

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

Julia garner says:
6 August 2015

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

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 ??

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?

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!!!

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.

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!

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 .

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