Woman incorrectly charged £900 for energy bill due to faulty smart meter | Personal Finance | Finance newsbhunt


New data shows around three million smart meters across the UK are not working properly.

The issues are leading to customers being charged the wrong amount for their energy bills.

Paula McCracken is one of the many customers who have received problems with their device.

She said her smart meter had never worked properly and, despite taking regular manual readings, she was overcharged.

It was only when she went to buy some food and her card declined, that she realised her energy company had taken a huge sum from her.

Ms McCracken told BBC: “I thought ‘what on earth is going on?’ I just broke down into tears.”

EDF had taken more than £900 out of her account on two occasions with no warning, leaving her with £500 overdraft.

Eventually, she was refunded each time but not immediately.

Ms McCracken continued: “If I had no family and friends around me to lend me a bit of money for shopping and things, I would have been completely penniless with two children for a week.

“They have mentally taken me into the darkest place. It didn’t help it was on my mind constantly – I couldn’t sleep.”

EDF Energy said it was sorry to hear about the problems and acknowledged it “fell short in finding a solution for the issues faced by Mrs McCracken”.

“Having taken actions to diagnose and resolve the issue remotely, which were unfortunately unsuccessful, we set up an appointment to reattempt commissioning but could still not receive reads due to further technical issues on site that could not be resolved.”

A total of 2.7 million of around 33 million meters are not in smart mode, according to figures from the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ).

The DESNZ said the majority of meters were “modernising energy for millions”. It added: “We understand a small proportion are suffering from technical issues and are working with Ofgem, energy suppliers and data experts to solve these issues.”

According to Elizabeth Blakelock, principal policy manager at Citizens Advice, there are three things that need to be working so the smart meter gives the information required:

  • The meter itself, usually on your wall or cupboard
  • The in-home display unit or app showing how much energy you’re using
  • Communication between the meters and the system they use to send readings to your energy supplier. For most people, this will be the DCC. Others may use local networks.

If any of those things are not working, you may be getting estimated bills.


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