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Metric gas meters: are you due a refund?

Metric meter

The old metric vs. imperial debate is one that refuses to die down. It’s emerged yet again this week after it was revealed that E.on gas customers have been paying inaccurate bills due to misread metric gas meters…

Reading your meter is one of those annoying little tasks that crops up every few months. You get a short letter or email asking for your information so that your energy supplier can ‘provide you with an accurate bill’. So, off you go in search of the funny plastic key (if you have one) to open the box and take a look.

At least once you’ve put your reading in – something I now do via an app – that’s pretty much it. My energy supplier then turns my meter reading into a bill, and what I get is an accurate amount to pay. Job done.

Except this isn’t what’s been happening for thousands of energy customers.

Misread gas meters

Thousands of people have been over-charged for their gas because, unbelievably, the wrong units of measurement were being used. Customers had their old imperial measuring meters swapped out for metric ones, but E.on still read them as though they were in cubic feet rather than cubic metres.

One person had been overpaying for over 15 years without knowing it! On the flip side, others were found to have been underpaying by as much as 65%.

So far the mix up has been attributed to ‘human error’ on the part of the energy companies.

Ofgem has given all energy suppliers until Friday to identify other customers who may have been affected, calling on suppliers to issue refunds for overcharging.

Trust in the energy market

Whichever way you cut it, it’s not a boon for confidence in the energy market that expensive mistakes like this are getting made. It’s probably not surprising that Which? research has found people generally distrust energy suppliers.

That’s not to say the response has been all bad. E.on has announced that it will be offering a refund to those affected plus interest, and are waiving the extra charges for those who’ve underpaid.

This is exactly the kind of good treatment of customers that we’d like to see more of.

Following on from the Competition and Markets Authority’s two year energy inquiry, we think now’s time to start rebuilding trust in the energy market. Energy companies should improve their behaviour and deliver on the CMA’s remedies as quickly and effectively as possible.

Do you know if you’ve been affected by the metric gas meter misreadings? If so, how did you find out and what help have you been offered to fix the problem?

Comments

Has anyone experienced problems with receiving their FIT payments from EON? Having invested in ‘green’ solar power, the FIT payment offsets the original capital cost and becomes an important income stream. It appears that EON have decided to put minimal resource on the FIT payment team. This means that you cannot contact them or obtain the payments they owe you, which for many people, form an important part of their budgeted income. Any help or advice would be welcome.

George Sheard says:
16 October 2020

Do I have to go to a online account ? As I don’t understand the internet

My gas supplier overcharged me now they are refusing to give me this money back to my account. Because according to them I still got two years left in my contract so they are keeping the overpayment amount in my gas account.Is it legal?

Mike Campbell says:
1 March 2021

I have been a customer of PFP Energy since 2017 and found their service first class up until the end of 2020.
Since January 2021 I have not received a monthly bill from this Company. Every time I contact them by email they respond by saying they have a technical issue. In the meantime they continue to direct debit my bank account each.
Has anyone else experienced similar problems with this energy supplier