Energy websites crash as people rush to give meter readings ahead of price hike

31 March 2022, 11:16 | Updated: 31 March 2022, 12:31

Energy websites appeared to falter today as customers rushed to submit meter readings.
Energy websites appeared to falter today as customers rushed to submit meter readings. Picture: Alamy

By Sophie Barnett

A number of energy websites crashed as customers rushed to submit meter readings before Friday's price jump.

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British Gas, E.on and EDF Energy were among the sites to falter on Thursday, just hours before Ofgem's price cap is set to soar in a devastating blow to families.

It came as experts urged people to submit their meter readings for gas and electricity to their supplier to show exactly how much energy they have used.

This will prevent them from being able to take estimates - potentially charging for energy used before April 1 at the higher rate.

British Gas told customers it was facing "some technical issues" it was trying to resolve.

A message on its website said customers could still submit readings but warned it could take "a little time to update your account with the meter reading you provided today".

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E.on also seemed to be facing issues with letting customers log in to their accounts, while customers of So Energy reported that they were unable to either log in or get through on customer helplines.

The main page of EDF Energy was working, but when customers clicked through to the MyAccount page they were unable to log in.

A message on the page reads: "Sorry... We're carrying out some essential maintenance work on our site. We'll be up and running again soon."

Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis hit out at energy firms saying the volume of people heading to their sites "isn't unexpected".

He wrote on Twitter: "Firms really should've been better prepared. It's not good enough. @ofgem please can you look into this."

Mr Lewis said many people are struggling to submit their meter readings because of the websites crashing.

He advised: "If you can't get to do a meter reading today, do it tomorrow, or Sunday, or Monday.

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"The nearer to today you do it the less chance of mis-estimates, so don't panic about missing it (either through your own or the firm's issue) just get it in as soon as you can. :)"

A spokesman for Energy UK, the trade association for the industry, said: "We're aware that some suppliers are experiencing issues with their websites due to the volume of customers submitting meter readings.

"Suppliers do offer alternative ways of doing this such as through automated phone lines and apps so we'd recommend customers try those. Customers with smart meters do not need to worry as their readings are automatically sent to their supplier."

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10% of disposable income could be spent on energy when price cap rises

Citizens Advice also urged customers to send their meter readings ahead of the price cap rise on Friday.

Gillian Cooper, head of energy policy at Citizens Advice, said this means your energy company will have an accurate picture of your usage before higher rates come in.

"If you're struggling to pay your bill, speak to your energy provider as they have to help you. Citizens Advice can also provide you with free, independent support," she added.

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According to Downdetector, E.on, Scottish Power, British Gas and SSE have gone down.

Households will see the biggest rise in the cost of energy in living memory from Friday when bills increase by 54%, or almost £700, to just under £2,000 a year.