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British Gas Bill Estimated even with Smart Meter?

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Pat38493
Pat38493 Posts: 2,690 Forumite
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I have just downloaded my BG bill for the last almost 6 months.

I am on the BG EV Driver Tariff.

They don't currently provide any details of the half hourly readings nor any detailed breakdown on the the bill or their website.  My meter is an old SMETS1 meter and it doesn't work with the app you can download on your phone (already tried it).

Since mid January, British Gas has stopped updating the detailed daily readings of electricity usage on their website, and even before that it was using wrong rates for the pricing on the website (wrong rate compared to my tariff).

I put all the data from the bill into a spreadsheet to see how it came out.

I then copied the spreadsheet and put in the rates that I would have got if I was on the standard tariff.  The total bill came out to be the exact same, almost to the penny (probably could get the same difference from rounding).  This makes me a bit suspicious and is either an amazing coincidence or they are just cooking the bill to make it the same, which would make a mockery of our efforts to learn how to charge the car and use the washing machine etc off peak.

Do I have the right to demand from BG a detailed breakdown of my half hourly usage and/or an explanation of why they are estimating my bill when I have a smart meter.

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  • Alnat1
    Alnat1 Posts: 3,338 Forumite
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    Just switch to a company that knows what they are doing with TOU tariffs - like Octopus.

    BG can't even handle E7 which has been around for decades.
    Barnsley, South Yorkshire
    Solar PV 5.25kWp SW facing (14 x 375 Longi) Lux 3.6kw hybrid inverter and 4.8kw Pylontech battery storage installed March 22
    Octopus Agile/Fixed Outgoing and Tracker gas
  • Pat38493
    Pat38493 Posts: 2,690 Forumite
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    Alnat1 said:
    Just switch to a company that knows what they are doing with TOU tariffs - like Octopus.

    BG can't even handle E7 which has been around for decades.
    I am thinking of doing this - have been for some time and this might be the final straw.  The main concern I have is that because I have a SMETS1 meter, it's not compatible with Octopus and if I switch and then they take ages to change the meter I won't be able to get a TOU tariff anymore.
  • [Deleted User]
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    Pat38493 said:
    Alnat1 said:
    Just switch to a company that knows what they are doing with TOU tariffs - like Octopus.

    BG can't even handle E7 which has been around for decades.
    I am thinking of doing this - have been for some time and this might be the final straw.  The main concern I have is that because I have a SMETS1 meter, it's not compatible with Octopus and if I switch and then they take ages to change the meter I won't be able to get a TOU tariff anymore.
    You can check here:

    https://smartmetercheck.citizensadvice.org.uk/
  • Alnat1
    Alnat1 Posts: 3,338 Forumite
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    Depending on what area you're in, Octopus can be pretty quick to get you sorted with new meters if needed.
    Barnsley, South Yorkshire
    Solar PV 5.25kWp SW facing (14 x 375 Longi) Lux 3.6kw hybrid inverter and 4.8kw Pylontech battery storage installed March 22
    Octopus Agile/Fixed Outgoing and Tracker gas
  • Pat38493
    Pat38493 Posts: 2,690 Forumite
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    Update on this topic - British Gas deleted the bill they sent me without me doing anything and replaced it with another one with identical electric usage but lower gas usage.

    They then sent me yet another bill yesterday for the period 4th March to 11th March, and increased my payments to £854 per month (this is partly because we had a burst pipe and had drying equipment running through the winter which will be reimbursed by insurance and a separate issue).

    This bill that they have issued for just one week, gives me the evidence that I need to prove that when my IHD malfunctions on random days and charges me the full peak rate instead of the overnight 12p rate, that is also the data they are using for billing.

    (by the way this is contrary to what I was told on this forum on a different thread and by BG themselves where I was told not to worry as the data used for billing is a different feed to what the IHD says).

    I know this because I am tracking all this on a spreadsheet, and it just so happened that during this week the device malfunctioned more than ever before - on 4 out of 7 days it charged me 47p per Kwh between midnight and 5am instead of 12p.

    On 2 of those days I charged the car and I have the data from our car charger that proves that the car took more charge during that time, then the entire off peak usage that British gas is charging for the entire week.

    According to BG's bill I only used 31KWh off peak electric in that week, which is not possible according to the data I collected on my spreadsheet - it would have been well over 30 on just one day alone and about 10 on most of the other days (the drying equipment was still there).

    I suspect I will have a hard time complaining about this and I am not sure whether to complain or just ditch British Gas and hope that Octopus upgrades my meter.
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 0 Newbie
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    edited 21 March 2023 at 11:15AM
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    Pat38493 said:
    Update on this topic - British Gas deleted the bill they sent me without me doing anything and replaced it with another one with identical electric usage but lower gas usage.

    They then sent me yet another bill yesterday for the period 4th March to 11th March, and increased my payments to £854 per month (this is partly because we had a burst pipe and had drying equipment running through the winter which will be reimbursed by insurance and a separate issue).

    This bill that they have issued for just one week, gives me the evidence that I need to prove that when my IHD malfunctions on random days and charges me the full peak rate instead of the overnight 12p rate, that is also the data they are using for billing.

    (by the way this is contrary to what I was told on this forum on a different thread and by BG themselves where I was told not to worry as the data used for billing is a different feed to what the IHD says).

    I know this because I am tracking all this on a spreadsheet, and it just so happened that during this week the device malfunctioned more than ever before - on 4 out of 7 days it charged me 47p per Kwh between midnight and 5am instead of 12p.

    On 2 of those days I charged the car and I have the data from our car charger that proves that the car took more charge during that time, then the entire off peak usage that British gas is charging for the entire week.

    According to BG's bill I only used 31KWh off peak electric in that week, which is not possible according to the data I collected on my spreadsheet - it would have been well over 30 on just one day alone and about 10 on most of the other days (the drying equipment was still there).

    I suspect I will have a hard time complaining about this and I am not sure whether to complain or just ditch British Gas and hope that Octopus upgrades my meter.
    Your IHD is not used in anyway for billing. The supplier pulls index readings and usage data from the 2 meters using a different network to that used by your IHD.

    Your IHD costs will only be accurate if the supplier has sent the correct tariff information to your meters. Along with usage data, this is where your IHD gets its data from. 

    That said, what you are seeing on the IHD MAY suggest that there is a problem with the actual smart meter.  You have the right to ask the supplier for a check meter. If this shows that your meter is functioning normally, there will be a charge for this check.
  • Pat38493
    Pat38493 Posts: 2,690 Forumite
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    edited 25 October 2023 at 9:41PM
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    Pat38493 said:
    Update on this topic - British Gas deleted the bill they sent me without me doing anything and replaced it with another one with identical electric usage but lower gas usage.

    They then sent me yet another bill yesterday for the period 4th March to 11th March, and increased my payments to £854 per month (this is partly because we had a burst pipe and had drying equipment running through the winter which will be reimbursed by insurance and a separate issue).

    This bill that they have issued for just one week, gives me the evidence that I need to prove that when my IHD malfunctions on random days and charges me the full peak rate instead of the overnight 12p rate, that is also the data they are using for billing.

    (by the way this is contrary to what I was told on this forum on a different thread and by BG themselves where I was told not to worry as the data used for billing is a different feed to what the IHD says).

    I know this because I am tracking all this on a spreadsheet, and it just so happened that during this week the device malfunctioned more than ever before - on 4 out of 7 days it charged me 47p per Kwh between midnight and 5am instead of 12p.

    On 2 of those days I charged the car and I have the data from our car charger that proves that the car took more charge during that time, then the entire off peak usage that British gas is charging for the entire week.

    According to BG's bill I only used 31KWh off peak electric in that week, which is not possible according to the data I collected on my spreadsheet - it would have been well over 30 on just one day alone and about 10 on most of the other days (the drying equipment was still there).

    I suspect I will have a hard time complaining about this and I am not sure whether to complain or just ditch British Gas and hope that Octopus upgrades my meter.
    Your IHD is not used in anyway for billing. The supplier pulls index readings and usage data from the 2 meters using a different network to that used by your IHD.

    Your IHD costs will only be accurate if the supplier has sent the correct tariff information to your meters. Along with usage data, this is where your IHD gets its data from. 

    That said, what you are seeing on the IHD MAY suggest that there is a problem with the actual smart meter.  You have the right to ask the supplier for a check meter. If this shows that your meter is functioning normally, there will be a charge for this check.
    OK but then can you explain how their bill for the period 4th March to 11th March, shows that I used 31KWh of off peak electric during that entire period, whereas I used more than that just for car charging alone (car is set on a schedule), and there were still dryers running in one room - there is no way that bill can possibly be right.

    I am a bit wary about asking for a meter check because they will just show up and say the meter is running normally - the issue is that randomly on some days, it doesn't switch to the off peak tariff at midnight.

    Edit - also, the % of off peak units for that week is much lower than even BGs own rough forecast data on the tariff information, whereas on the previous bill (where I had observed these issues on much less days maybe about once a week), the % of off peak units was much higher (usage pattern unchanged).

    I should also mention that this is a SMETS1 meter that according to the app that people recommend here doesn't exist, so maybe those work different?
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 0 Newbie
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    edited 25 October 2023 at 9:41PM
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    Pat38493 said:
    Pat38493 said:
    Update on this topic - British Gas deleted the bill they sent me without me doing anything and replaced it with another one with identical electric usage but lower gas usage.

    They then sent me yet another bill yesterday for the period 4th March to 11th March, and increased my payments to £854 per month (this is partly because we had a burst pipe and had drying equipment running through the winter which will be reimbursed by insurance and a separate issue).

    This bill that they have issued for just one week, gives me the evidence that I need to prove that when my IHD malfunctions on random days and charges me the full peak rate instead of the overnight 12p rate, that is also the data they are using for billing.

    (by the way this is contrary to what I was told on this forum on a different thread and by BG themselves where I was told not to worry as the data used for billing is a different feed to what the IHD says).

    I know this because I am tracking all this on a spreadsheet, and it just so happened that during this week the device malfunctioned more than ever before - on 4 out of 7 days it charged me 47p per Kwh between midnight and 5am instead of 12p.

    On 2 of those days I charged the car and I have the data from our car charger that proves that the car took more charge during that time, then the entire off peak usage that British gas is charging for the entire week.

    According to BG's bill I only used 31KWh off peak electric in that week, which is not possible according to the data I collected on my spreadsheet - it would have been well over 30 on just one day alone and about 10 on most of the other days (the drying equipment was still there).

    I suspect I will have a hard time complaining about this and I am not sure whether to complain or just ditch British Gas and hope that Octopus upgrades my meter.
    Your IHD is not used in anyway for billing. The supplier pulls index readings and usage data from the 2 meters using a different network to that used by your IHD.

    Your IHD costs will only be accurate if the supplier has sent the correct tariff information to your meters. Along with usage data, this is where your IHD gets its data from. 

    That said, what you are seeing on the IHD MAY suggest that there is a problem with the actual smart meter.  You have the right to ask the supplier for a check meter. If this shows that your meter is functioning normally, there will be a charge for this check.
    OK but then can you explain how their bill for the period 4th March to 11th March, shows that I used 31KWh of off peak electric during that entire period, whereas I used more than that just for car charging alone (car is set on a schedule), and there were still dryers running in one room - there is no way that bill can possibly be right.

    I am a bit wary about asking for a meter check because they will just show up and say the meter is running normally - the issue is that randomly on some days, it doesn't switch to the off peak tariff at midnight.

    Edit - also, the % of off peak units for that week is much lower than even BGs own rough forecast data on the tariff information, whereas on the previous bill (where I had observed these issues on much less days maybe about once a week), the % of off peak units was much higher (usage pattern unchanged).

    I should also mention that this is a SMETS1 meter that according to the app that people recommend here doesn't exist, so maybe those work different?
    I cannot explain it: that is something for you to discuss with your supplier. If you put your IHD in the bin, your billing will not change. Data is extracted from the actual meters. 

    SMETS1 meters do exist. The Data Communications Company has updated these over 10 Million of these meters with a firmware update which gives them connectivity to the National smart meter network.

    Have you checked the peak and offpeak times set by your supplier?
  • pochase
    pochase Posts: 3,449 Forumite
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    edited 21 March 2023 at 11:30AM
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    Are you sure that the registers for night and day are not mixed up? What did you use in day rates in the same period?

    The IHD is a toy, nothing more and has nothing to do with the meter readings for billing.
  • Pat38493
    Pat38493 Posts: 2,690 Forumite
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    edited 25 October 2023 at 9:41PM
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    SMETS1 meters do exist. The Data Communications Company has updated these over 10 Million of these meters with a firmware update which gives them connectivity to the National smart meter network.

    Have you checked the peak and offpeak times set by your supplier?
    Yes - it's midnight to 5am on the tariff details.  Also I have observed that on some days (but randomly not on others), the IHD does indeed charge my 12p per KWh during those hours.

    I know that SMETS1 meters exist - what I meant is that it's not registered so I cannot get any data from the app on the phone.  Also - Octopus told me that they can't use it when I sent them a photo.
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