Rising Electricity And Gas Prices

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I have just looked at my letter from swalec advising me that they will be increasing their prices from the 25th August. the letter i received from them is dated septmber i received it about 3 weeks ago. The last meter reading i had was approximately 6 months ago. How will they work out from what reading my prices will increase. It seems a bit wrong that they did not send the letter requesting a meter reading before the prices went up, so they knew when to calculate it from.

Any advice anyone?

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  • Cardew
    Cardew Posts: 29,038 Forumite
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    It is obviously impractical for the company to read millions of meters on the same day.
    If the company sent out letters as you suggest, I suspect the majority would ignore the letter or ‘inflate’ the readings!!

    The companies use a sophisticated computer algorithm that estimates the meter reading on the day of the price rise/decrease and you are charged the new rate from that reading. This algorithm for some(all?) companies is written by someone who used to post on MSE and uses data from the Met Office for daily temperatures etc.

    We usually get post after post accusing the companies of ‘rigging’ the readings so you pay for more kWh at the increased price.

    Suffice to say that the computer program is audited, and any attempt by a Utility company to ‘rig’ the computer would be conspiracy to defraud. This would be very easy to discover and whoever was responsible would face a custodial sentence; it is pretty certain that a disgruntled employee would become a ‘whistle blower’ as well.

    However, if your meter has not been read for a while, and readings have been constantly under-estimated(as often happens), you will eventually pay for extra units at the increased price.

    Conversely if your meter readings have been constantly over-estimated(as often happens!) you will pay for less units at the higher price!

    If you believe the estimate to be wrong, you should have no difficulty in getting the company to adjust the reading as long as your request is reasonable; it just isn’t worth their time and effort to dispute your figures.
  • Canvey
    Canvey Posts: 60 Forumite
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    Are the gas and elec companies allowed to inform you of a price rise after the event ? Sounds a bit dodgy to me.
  • SwanJon
    SwanJon Posts: 2,333 Forumite
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    Yes, there are a few threads on this about here.
    As you can reject the price rise by moving elsewhere (and not pay the increased rate until you move). It does rely on people paying attention to minimise costs, but that is the same everywhere.
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