We all rely on our gas and electricity meters to accurately measure hundreds of pounds’ worth of energy a year. But have you ever stopped to wonder whether you really can trust your meter?
Our exclusive research has revealed hundreds of thousands of meters across the country could be faulty.
We’ve analysed government figures, our own survey results and looked at confidential industry reports to investigate the scale of the problem.
How common are faulty meters?
Faults are rare, but meters can and do go wrong. Government figures show:
- On average 24% of the gas meters tested every year since 2006 were faulty
- And 7% of electricity meters tested since 2003 were faulty (or installed incorrectly or not an approved type)
These are disputed meters – only tested because an error is already suspected – so not representative of the UK’s 53 million meter population as a whole.
And there are other ways meters can go wrong. We’ve found hundreds of thousands of clocks could be wrong on time-of-use meters, such as Economy 7. These types of meters are used by people on a tariff which offers cheaper electricity at certain times of the day.
And we have also found almost 9% of smart meters could have lost their ability to send automatic readings back to suppliers.
Checking if your meter is faulty
So how do you know if your meter is faulty? Unusual bills or meter readings are usually the best clue. If you have suspicions, then record regular meter readings to help prove your case.
Energy suppliers have to ensure all gas and electricity meters are accurate. So if you suspect your meter is faulty, contact your supplier – it must investigate.
Suppliers can charge for removing and replacing the meter, although the actual testing is free.
So should you be worried?
Meters don’t often go wrong. But with 53 million of them in Great Britain, there could still be hundreds of thousands of inaccurate meters out there. And don’t be fobbed off by energy firms telling you that meters never go wrong.
We’ve also heard from Which? members who have found their meters running at double speed, dials turning when the gas supply is isolated and smart meters unable to communicate.
Do you think your gas or electricity meter is faulty? Or have you had your meters tested?