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# BG and imperial-to-metric meter change

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Posts: 78 Forumite
Call me slow but the recent price hikes finally prompted me to scrutinise my bills to see what savings can be found. I have British Gas bills going back to April 2006 after which they changed my meter from imperial to metric. Looking at the figures I am now wondering if I have been overcharged because my kWh consumption on the imperial meter appears to be ~30% higher than any comparable period since going metric. We were billed on the imperial meter for over six years so this discrepancy may represent a significant sum. Anyone else been in a similar situation?

• Posts: 29,042 Forumite
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A unit on an Imperial meter is approx 31kWh and on a metric meter is approx 11kWh.

If you have taken that into account, are implying that your Imperial meter was reading fast(over-reading) it is highly unlikely. The principle of a meter is simply a vane turned by the gas and it is difficult to envisage how it could read fast. I did read somewhere that there has never been a case of them over-reading.

A more likely scenario is that it is reading slow-under reading- (although that is very rare)so could that be the fault with your new meter????
• Posts: 464 Forumite
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To convert from imperial to metric multiply the cubic feet by 2.83 to get the cubic meter equivilent (virtually the same as Cardews post). A 4 dial gas meter should be imperial and a 5 dial meter is metric (this excludes the red/decimal point figures)
• Posts: 78 Forumite
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Cardew, thanks for the reply. The imperial/metric conversion may be a point of confusion for me so please sanity check my reasoning: the conversion is done so charges can be made in kWh and the conversion ensures like-for-like comparison regardless of imperial or metric. IOWs (for my benefit) if I had both meters side-by-side then same "kWh" represents the same amount of gas delivered through each meter and hence same cost. Correct? So if I take total kWh over a period of days and calc the average per day then, all else remaining the same, consumption should be roughly the same for the same time of year? Variations expected but 30% would be exceptional.

PS: yep, I have considered I may be being undercharged but I like the alternative better, especially if there was a chance of a refund :-)))
• Posts: 29,042 Forumite
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deker wrote: »
Cardew, thanks for the reply. The imperial/metric conversion may be a point of confusion for me so please sanity check my reasoning: the conversion is done so charges can be made in kWh and the conversion ensures like-for-like comparison regardless of imperial or metric. IOWs (for my benefit) if I had both meters side-by-side then same "kWh" represents the same amount of gas delivered through each meter and hence same cost. Correct? So if I take total kWh over a period of days and calc the average per day then, all else remaining the same, consumption should be roughly the same for the same time of year? Variations expected but 30% would be exceptional.

PS: yep, I have considered I may be being undercharged but I like the alternative better, especially if there was a chance of a refund :-)))

Yes you are correct, in that gas units are converted to kWh on which your bill is based, and so for the purpose of your 'problem' the Imperial/metric meter is not the issue.

Variations in consumption of 30% would be highly unusual unless your pattern of usage has changed,(stopped having baths) or you have a new boiler, etc

I take it that in your comparisons that you haven't used bills based on estimated meter readings? They can be widely out.

As said above, in the unlikely event a meter is faulty, it is more likely to be under reading than over reading.

However what do you think any utility company will do? Your old meter will be destroyed so cannot be tested.

I honestly think that if there is a meter fault, it is more likely to be the new one.
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