Gas meter metric/imperial charging error

What is the issue?

Gas customers have either an imperial or metric meter installed in their property to record the amount of gas they use. Imperial meters measure in cubic feet and metric meters measure in cubic metres. Because of the difference in the way the gas use is measured, suppliers need to convert the meter readings to a common unit type so that bills are consistent. However, a mix up with industry records means that the type of meter in a customer’s home is not recorded correctly by the gas supplier. The mix up has meant that a customer’s gas usage may have been calculated incorrectly, resulting in customers either being overcharged or undercharged. We understand that fewer than 11,000 customers have been affected.

What should I expect from my energy supplier if my gas account has been affected?

The energy suppliers have confirmed the steps they will take to rectify the situation. They have committed to:

  • proactively making contact with the affected customers;
  • repaying any customers who have been overcharged and include an appropriate interest payment;
  • not seeking payment from customers who have been undercharged;
  • providing a goodwill payment in some cases, if appropriate;
  • where appropriate, providing support for undercharged customers in vulnerable circumstances to help ease the transition to accurate bills;
No exchange or visit to inspect the meter will be required. We consider these actions are reasonable in the circumstances.

What are the timescales for resolution?

Energy suppliers are aiming to make contact with and remedy the situation for the affected customers by the end of October 2016, so there is no immediate action for customers to take. While suppliers will attempt to contact all affected customers, this may prove difficult for customers who have previously switched suppliers and the accounts are closed. Therefore if you do not receive contact and have concerns, in the first instance you should contact the relevant supplier or Citizens Advice for assistance. If you subsequently register a complaint and remain unhappy with the energy company’s final response, or eight weeks pass and the complaint is unresolved, the energy ombudsman may be able to assist.