Billing Complaints Against Energy Suppliers

There are genuine reasons why your bill can be higher than before such as when there are price rises which you have been notified of and at certain times of the year when usage is much higher. But there are situations when bills can cause complaints against energy suppliers that you as the customer need to be aware of so these don’t affect you. We will look into some here.

Main billing complaints by energy suppliers

The main complaints against energy suppliers are that they make errors that cause a high bill. This is due to things like using outdated billing systems or incorrect records where electricity and gas meters are mixed up or faulty meters. They might put you on expensive tariffs. You should provide regular meter readings and keep records with you.

billing complaints against energy suppliers

Energy billing errors – causes and fixes

When your gas and electricity supplier sends you a bill, you expect it to reflect how much energy you use.  In most cases, the bills are accurate given correct readings, but sometimes they can be way off even if you, the customer have done everything they need to.  Here, we look at supplier errors that cause a high energy bill.

Bills are not sent on time

Because of internal errors, an energy supplier may not send a bill on time or even miss it completely, for example, if they have the wrong mailing address on their system.  So you end up having to pay a higher bill to make up for the missed one. 

To prevent this, always keep track of when you should receive a bill from your supplier and if they haven’t sent it within that timeframe, contact them.  Although, no one looks forward to getting a bill, doing this prevents a higher bill on the next due date.

Direct Debit errors

Direct debits can be cancelled by mistake, for example when you call to amend some details, or move tariff. Or, you may have made overpayments on your Direct Debit and feel they need to be lowered, but the supplier decreases it by too much and so doesn’t cover usage going forward.

Faulty meters

Many customers believe their energy meter to be faulty, in most cases this is not correct.  Meters can work reliably for decades.  But sometimes they develop a fault with meter readings that cause a higher bill.  Before contacting the supplier, check your usage carefully and compare with your previous bills over the years. 

If you genuinely feel the meter is faulty and needs to be checked, contact your supplier.  They will normally charge a fee for coming out which is refunded if the meter is indeed faulty.

Mixed up gas and electricity meters

Each property is given a unique meter number which doesn’t change even if you change supplier. 

But if there are errors in the national database which holds this information, you can end up being billed incorrectly and paying for another property’s usage and them paying for yours. 

This can happen when a supplier takes on a supply, either with a new customer or a brand new gas or electricity supply. 

This issue can also happen with flats and other multi-occupancy buildings being mixed up so always check your bill to see the meter number stated on it corresponds to the meter connected to your property.

Expensive tariffs

With so many tariffs offered by energy suppliers, it can be confusing to keep on top of the best tariff for you.  Usually, it’s an annual activity of finding a better tariff than the one you will be put on if you don’t take any action. 

You can sometimes be put on an expensive tariff by mistake, especially if the error isn’t noticed quickly by you as the customer.  You receive letters or emails about the new tariff and these are often ignored if you feel you have already done what you needed to.

Put on the wrong tariff

This was fairly common a few years ago when people were switching from electric storage to gas central heating.  The Economy 7(E7) electricity tariff was set up for storage heating making use of the cheaper night rate, but the day unit price was much higher than normal.  Sometimes, suppliers can mistakenly leave the tariff on E7 rate even after you have switched to gas. 

This means the electricity you use will be billed a lot higher than it should be. If your property ever had storage heaters, make sure to check you have the correct unit prices on your bill.

With a company supplying millions of customers and employing a large number of staff and computer systems to serve them, there is always the risk of mistakes being made somewhere in the chain.   

Another example is when a supplier’s internal system errors not allowing meter changes from prepayment to standard credit due to wrong information.

energy saving to cut bills picture

Other examples include:

  • Suppliers do not enter details correctly on their records, for example when you give them meter readings.
  • Billing issues where the customer is billed twice for the same period.
  • Accounts closed in error e.g. ‘deceased’ accounts where the customer hasn’t actually died, or home move accounts where the move didn’t take place or the wrong property was moved into or out of.

Summary

These are the main billing complaints against energy suppliers:

  • Bills not sent on time.
  • Direct debit errors.
  • Faulty meters.
  • Mixed up meter details.
  • Expensive tariffs.
  • Put on the wrong tariff.

With the average annual bill for gas and electricity being around £2400, it is important you keep a regular check on meter readings and what is on your bill. 

Make sure to check not only the readings but the tariff you are on, when will the tariff end, are the meter details correct etc.  If you find errors, It is always better to contact the supplier sooner rather than later to avoid a large aggregate bill. 

Ask for a timeframe of when the issue will be resolved and if you haven’t heard anything after that, immediately contact them again.

If you don’t have any luck with customer service at your current supplier, luckily there are many other suppliers in the market that are easy to find with a comparison site. 

*The information in this article should be used for general guidance only and not as financial or health advice.  Full details are on the link in the footer to our disclaimer page.  Always discuss your requirements with a competent and suitably qualified professional before undertaking any work.