Energy bills: Expert warns you could be overpaying thousands of pounds

The problem stems from a failure to record their consumption as people are asked to check their gas meter and energy bill for discrepancies.

Paul Hampson, managing director of CEL Solicitors, which specializes in mis-selling and mis-pricing cases, said the mistake could cost customers.

He explained: “The error occurs when gas and utility companies mistakenly believe that a customer’s meter reading is an imperial measurement – cubic feet – rather than a metric measurement, which is reported in cubic meters.

The Northern Echo:

“This is probably because a new meter has been fitted but the relevant paperwork has not been processed.

“Consumption is measured using one of these two scales, with actual billing being in kilowatt hours (kWh).

“To convert 100 cubic feet to cubic meters, how the conversion works, it’s multiplying by 2.82.

“But if an energy supplier mistakenly believes a customer is still using a UK meter, and the metric readings are unnecessarily converted, they are left with a bill almost three times higher than intended.

“Incorrect meter information can therefore cost customers hundreds if not thousands of pounds a year.”

Paul added: “The first step should be figuring out what measurement is being used, metric or imperial. Imperial displays terms like “ft³” or “cubic feet”, while metric meters display “m³”, “M” or “cubic meters”.

“You should do the same check to see if your supplier records metric or imperial readings. Look for the same information on your electricity bill.”

If the information isn’t listed on your invoice, you should contact your supplier to find out, he explained.

Another indicator that something is wrong would be if your meter gives you five digits to report to your supplier, but only accepts four digits when reporting the result.

This issue was highlighted by BBC Watchdog in 2008. In 2016, the issue of incorrect reporting of meter readings came up again.

In 2016, OFGEM stated: “The affected supplier has taken steps to identify affected customers and has informed other suppliers through Energy UK that they may be affected by the same issue.” Energy bills: Expert warns you could be overpaying thousands of pounds

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