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  • FIRST POST
    russ21282
    HUGE electricity meter reading
    • #1
    • 4th Mar 08, 7:44 PM
    HUGE electricity meter reading 4th Mar 08 at 7:44 PM
    Hi all,

    we moved house about 8 months ago and had a new meter put in by British gas. Since then they have estimated 2 readings, the first being around 700 and the second for February around 1800. This all seems fine as the bill was just over 100 for the quarter.

    However, after looking at the meter, the reading is about 8000! This would cost us around 800 for the quarter.

    In the old house we have had 5/6 people living in the house, in most the day, 4/5 comps on a lot of the day, 5/6 showers, dryer/washing machine/cooker being used a lot. our usage was 180 for the same quarter last year.

    In the new house we have 4 people here don't have a dryer and showers are heated by gas, cooker is gas and there everybody is out most of the time at work.

    British gas are putting in another meter for 4 weeks to see if the meter is inaccurate (it will cost us 50 if it turns out to be accurate)

    If it is accurate what else could it be? this seams impossible for how much we actually use!
Page 1
  • russ21282
    • #2
    • 5th Mar 08, 10:56 AM
    • #2
    • 5th Mar 08, 10:56 AM
    Anybody any ideas? If the meter is right the only things i can think of is somebody is stealing our electric or maybe something is draining it like a short in the house somewhere. Is this plausible?
  • ScoobyCanDo
    • #3
    • 5th Mar 08, 2:02 PM
    • #3
    • 5th Mar 08, 2:02 PM
    Don't panic .................... don't panic!


    First off, take a Meter Reading each day, at the same time to see how much energy you are using in any given 24 hour period (I'm guessing we are talking about Electricity?).


    Next work out WHAT appliances you are using during that 24 hour period (often where kids enter the equation - CHECK the immersion Heater is not being left SWITCHED ON .......... or any Electric Heaters, hidden in the depths of their 'SWAMP' ..... sorry, Bedrooms?) and try to calculate their kWh ratings, against the time they are in use and compare to your daily Meter Reading?


    OR just pop in to your local Maplins Electronics Store and buy a Plug In Energy Monitor (1 should do) and use it on each appliance in turn to get an actual reading of use for that appliance.


    Plug-In Mains Power and Energy Monitor


    Go to :-


    http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?ModuleNo=38343&criteria=Energy%20Monit or&doy=5m3


    They WHERE only 9.99, but have gone back up to 27.99 .......... or look on Ebay for a cheaper one.
    -------------------------------------


    If you think someone is nicking your power, wait until the evening and then switch the supply OFF ............... if you see your neighbours lights GO OUT .... you'll know??? :rolleyes:

    If as you say, you mainly use GAS .............. then your Gas part of your bill should be a LOT higher than the Electric part? ........... and without all the info in front of us, it's a bit of a guess.
  • russ21282
    • #4
    • 13th Mar 08, 12:12 PM
    • #4
    • 13th Mar 08, 12:12 PM
    Thanks for the reply scooby, yes it is electric i'm talking about and our gas bill was £200 for the quarter. I haven't been at the house to take readings each day but i have checked the meter again 2 weeks after speaking with british gas about the huge meter reading and it has increased by just over 200, now that would seem more reasonable compared to 700 for the same period!

    Now what concerns me is they are going to put a second meter in and it will show our current meter is accurate and then we will be liable for the bill.

    But i'm still 100% positive it can't be right as we haven't changed anything in the last 2 weeks.

    I think its strange how its come down after speaking to them. A guy from british gas mentioned we might not have been moved over from the prepay tariff when we started paying by dd, but i can't see how this would make the reading high.

    Any ideas?
    Last edited by russ21282; 13-03-2008 at 12:15 PM.
  • Cardew
    • #5
    • 13th Mar 08, 2:10 PM
    • #5
    • 13th Mar 08, 2:10 PM
    Going back to the beginning, are you sure that the 700 and 1800 on your bills are meter readings and not 700kWh and 1,800kWh consumed?

    e.g. Is it possible that the meter was not at zero(not all are set to zero) when fitted 8 months ago and could have been reading, say, 4000? so the first estimate for 700kWh would have been a reading of 4700 and the second correspond to a meter reading of 5800?

    Look at your bills carefully and they sometmes have a label on the meter saying "meter fitted on date xx/xx/xxxx meter reading yyyy
  • russ21282
    • #6
    • 2nd Apr 08, 8:21 PM
    • #6
    • 2nd Apr 08, 8:21 PM
    Thanks for the reply Cardew, the meter was installed and started at 0 or so it says on the tag thats attached to it.

    I have called british gas and told them the actual meter reading and they sent a bill out for around £800 for the 1/4.

    Needless to say i don't think i should be paying for this as it seems impossible to me. The woman from british gas even asked if i had a hot tub which might have been using a lot of electric!!

    I've been taking meter readings for a month and on average we're using 150 a week now. I find this a little suspicious as it has gone right down since i told them about the issue.

    Is there something they could have changed which has reduced the consumption? a chap i spoke to on the phone said something about still being on a prepay tariff, but i can't see how that would have an effect on the meter reading, we'd surely just have been charged at a higher rate.

    Has anyone any ideas of what would be the best action to take next as there must be a mistake somewhere, but i think they will soon be pushing us for the money!
  • Terrylw1
    • #7
    • 2nd Apr 08, 10:43 PM
    • #7
    • 2nd Apr 08, 10:43 PM
    Hi,

    If you are sure the meter went in on 00000 (engineers sometimes fill them in wrong, so keep an open mind on that) then if you believe 150 units is way to high, you need to go down the meter accuracy route.

    It sounds like they are fitting a "check" meter which will record alongside yours. This could prove that your meter is running faster than the tolerance guide i.e. speeding, as it's called.

    It's very rare, but considering it's happened on a meter fitting it could mean the manufacturer set the speed incorrectly.

    They can also do a Standard Load Test (SLT) which will prove this.

    Whatever happens, don't get that meter reaplced until its sorted or you lose any proof if it's speeding.

    Have you tried switching everything off to make sure the dials stop recording?

    They can't send any messages to the meter to affect speed, they are not that advanced.
    It's better to live 1 year as a tiger than a lifetime as a worm...but then, whoever heard of a wormskin rug!!!
  • SwanJon
    • #8
    • 2nd Apr 08, 10:47 PM
    • #8
    • 2nd Apr 08, 10:47 PM
    There is nothing they can do to the meter from their call centre to reduce how much electricity you are using.
    The only ways it would look like you were using more before and less now are
    1) You are. Someone else in the house has really cut back without telling you!
    2) the meter didn't go in at zero. Very difficult to prove. You could ask them to check if the meter had been in anywhere else before - give them the serial number and see what they can do.
  • whatatwit
    • #9
    • 2nd Apr 08, 11:46 PM
    • #9
    • 2nd Apr 08, 11:46 PM
    Are you all adults sharing a house, maybe someone has had an electric heater running that you were not aware of?
    Official DFW Nerd Club - Member no: 203.
  • russ21282
    They have installed a meter alongside ours today to see if it is speeding. I don't think there is a difference as of yet, which is bad news.

    We never checked the reading when the meter was installed, so we just have the tag on there to refer to, which is 0000. We haven't told anyone else in the house and we have been a little more careful but excessively so.

    150 a week seems reasonable to us as this is the sort of figure we were using this time last year, but there has been a massive difference in the last month that i have been checking, to the 8000 we have apparently used in the previous quarter.

    What would be the best way to approach british gas to sort this out as i'm still 100% sure there is no possible way we could have used that amount in such a short time. for the past 5 years it has ranged from 20 to 50 a month, so 4 times the highest we have ever used can't be right.

    thanks for replies so far!
  • russ21282
    After checking the tag attached to the wires again, the date on it is from 2002, so they haven't actually put a new tag on with the original reading for the current meter.
  • UtilityMan
    Hi

    What are the first four digits of your meter serial number (don't print all of it we can find out where you live!)

    If it is Z07E that means your meter was manufactured in 2007. Anything lower than that, would suggest it is a reconditioned meter and therefore would be more likely to have a higher than zero read.

    Also, is it a digital (lcd) reading or dials? The dial meters are more likely to be reconditioned.
  • russ21282
    the first 4 digits are A07X and it is digital
  • SwanJon
    That's a 2007 meter, so it's looking like it was new when it went in.
    You could see if you can get hold of OnStream (your meter operator) to see if they have any records that might not have made it to BG.
    They may not speak to you though, so be prepared.

    Any reason why you havn't told anyone else in the house? I assume they are going to be helping out with the bills?
  • russ21282
    Thanks for the reply SwanJon, bad news i guess. we've not told anyone on the basis we wanted to make sure the readings were accurate, so not change anything and take the readings. So far we've been averaging 129 units a week since i informed BG, which is round about what we have been paying for the past 5 years, taking into account price increases, so there still seems to be something a miss.
  • Poosmate
    Hi all.

    This is very interesting! I was going to post a comment about my new electric meter fitted by British Gas - well it's more about my bill.

    My new meter was fitted 23/01/08. I'm pretty sure it was at zero. A few days ago I received my latest electric bill. I was quite chuffed because my consumption has gone down and so my monthly payments are being reduced by 18. Yay!

    Whoah! Stop right there! Noooo!!!!

    I re-checked the bill (as it was estimated). The bill covers the electricity used for only 41 days of the 91 days of the last quarter!!!! NONE of the electricity used since the new meter was put in has been calculated or charged for, although they have put an estimate for the new meter of 392 (I think thats Khw). The actual reading is almost twice that.

    I have sent them an email asking why this electric has not been included on my bill - I have yet to receive a reply.

    From reading these posts I am guessing that they are having a bit of a problem with these new meters. If these meters are running fast, that's one thing but there surely is no reason why they couldn't do the sums and calculate the cost for me.

    I am really worried now as I don't want to face a bill in June of 6 months especially if I am (from May) going to be underpaying them!!

    I shall be reading my meter on a daily basis from now too. Thanks for that advice.

    What I would say to anyone who has had a new meter fitted is to make sure that your electricity consumption since it's fitting has been included in your latest bill.

    Hope you get it sorted.

    Poo
  • Cardew
    Hi all.

    This is very interesting! I was going to post a comment about my new electric meter fitted by British Gas - well it's more about my bill.

    My new meter was fitted 23/01/08. I'm pretty sure it was at zero. A few days ago I received my latest electric bill. I was quite chuffed because my consumption has gone down and so my monthly payments are being reduced by 18. Yay!

    Whoah! Stop right there! Noooo!!!!

    I re-checked the bill (as it was estimated). The bill covers the electricity used for only 41 days of the 91 days of the last quarter!!!! NONE of the electricity used since the new meter was put in has been calculated or charged for, although they have put an estimate for the new meter of 392 (I think thats Khw). The actual reading is almost twice that.

    I have sent them an email asking why this electric has not been included on my bill - I have yet to receive a reply.

    From reading these posts I am guessing that they are having a bit of a problem with these new meters. If these meters are running fast, that's one thing but there surely is no reason why they couldn't do the sums and calculate the cost for me.

    I am really worried now as I don't want to face a bill in June of 6 months especially if I am (from May) going to be underpaying them!!

    I shall be reading my meter on a daily basis from now too. Thanks for that advice.

    What I would say to anyone who has had a new meter fitted is to make sure that your electricity consumption since it's fitting has been included in your latest bill.

    Hope you get it sorted.

    Poo
    Originally posted by Poosmate
    Well if your reading is almost twice the estimated 392(it is kWh) you have been undercharged approx 40.

    So if you don't spend the 18 by which they have reduced your DD you will be OK.

    I don't think your "guess" that they have a problem with these meters 'running fast' has any foundation.
  • Poosmate
    Cardew, other people have posted that they feel these new meters are running fast - I myself have not tested their theories (yet).

    The foundation of my guess are the posts on this thread and the fact that my estimated consumption of electric through the new meter has not been calculated or charged on my bill.

    Why?

    There could be another reason - maybe someone forgot to press the button that does the calculation? Maybe they have discovered a major flaw in their software whereby it can't calculate from one reading how much electric is used on Economy 7 so it can't differentiate the high and low rates? Who knows?

    I just don't want to end up being in debit with them. I don't want to find that because of their incompetence my monthly payments will rise by 30 or more in the latter half of the year (coming up to Christmas).

    Poo
  • UtilityMan
    Hi

    ALL new meters are calibrated and tested prior to installation and that may be where the "speeding" lies.

    If the previous meter was running slow, the new one will "appear" to be running fast.

    My understanding of Poos invoice, would be a "final bill" on the old meter. Nothing sinister there, the next invoice should be from zero.
    Last edited by UtilityMan; 23-04-2008 at 6:26 PM.
  • Poosmate
    Hi UtilityMan,

    If that is right what you say about my bill being a "final bill" that is really scary!

    There is nothing on the bill to say this and nothing about the lack of charges for the electric I have used since Jan 23rd. As my next bill is due in June that means they would be charging for 6 months worth of electricity and if you're not careful you could end up way out of control by that time.

    It's a good job I re-checked my bill otherwise I'd be blissfully unaware of this timebomb.

    I have received a reply from BG stating they have estimated my useage to March 12th as 00392 (day) and 0392 (night). They are asking me to submit a new reading but there is only 1 number to read now. Which section do I enter it into? The Day rate section or the Night rate section? I don't have a clue what tariff I'm on now. Their website for tariffs is worse than useless! All it shows is how much I can save by doing this or that! I tried to find their actuall prices but all I get is a table showing everyone elses prices but not theirs!

    I'm getting scared and confused by it all now - and somewhat annoyed!

    I need to do some research!

    Thanks

    Poo
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