Final meter reading issue

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simcroft
simcroft Posts: 24 Forumite
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Hi all. I’ve got a horrific issue with my electricity supplier and would really appreciate some advice please.

EDF sent me a bill with massive usage over the course of 7 months based on what I believe to be an incorrect reading when they fitted my smart meter in a December last year. 

My usual usage based on my meter readings averages between 10-15 kWh per day. The last reading I gave them was in May 2022 at 77188. Unfortunately for some reason did not provide a meter reading until they fitted a smart meter in December last year, where they have given a closing reading (which is written on the new meter) of 88011 kWh. This equates to a usage of approx 54kwh per day!! Since smart meter fitting my usage is back down at approx 10kwh per day. 

I believe they have mis read this figure from the writing on the new meter, and it is in fact 80011 kWh. Which is in fitting with our usual daily usage. Sadly I did not take a photo on the day (huge regret!). Please see photo of this figure written by the engineer.

I have been passed from pillar to post by EDF who have basically said there is no error and I owe them for 7 months of the hugely high daily usage. 

Does anyone know if they are obliged to take a photo of the final meter reading when the smart meter is fitted? Or can they just base the reading on what the engineer has input?

EDF are refusing to acknowledge that there is a massive discrepancy in my usage based on this erroneously high figure and have dug their heels in and are requesting £890 DD per month starting in April. 

Any advice on this matter (other than kicking me for not providing meter readings and taking photos for 7 months) would be greatly appreciated.


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  • pochase
    pochase Posts: 3,449 Forumite
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    When did you find that a wrong final meter reading was written on your meter? Did you complaint immediately, within a short time or only now when you got a huge bill?

    Also you are saying that you gave a meter reading last year in May. Did you give regular readings before this?

    When was the last reading taken by EDF and when was this? This will be the point that EDF will accept as proven data, all readings after that are just what you told them.

    There was a while back a thread where a user underreported on purpose because they could not afford their high usage. That was due to a relative staying with them who heated their room 24/7 using electrcity. 

    I am not saying at all that this is the case with you, but please realise that suppliers see scenarios where there are suddenly huge amounts of energy been used, and go down again. For example if the relative would move out again, so just lower usage is not really a proof to the supplier.

    The sooner you complained about the wrong final meter reading, the better. The same if there is a recent meter reading taken by EDF. 


  • simcroft
    simcroft Posts: 24 Forumite
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    edited 13 March 2023 at 8:57PM
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    Hi Pochase,

    Thanks for the reply. 

    I only noticed when we received the bill two weeks ago. It was astronomical and when i investigated the only conclusion i can come to is that the final meter reading is wrong. It could well read 80011, and that figure fits exactly into our average daily consumption pattern. I think the engineer has mis-read his own writing when inputting the figure in to whatever system he puts it in to. We have not changed anything about our household in that period to account for that extra electricity. It just hasn't happened. 

    I gave regular meter readings before May last year, averaging 10-15 kwh per day, and since the smart meter was fitted in December, we have been averaging about 11kwh per day. 

    The last reading taken by EDF was when the engineer changed the meter and wrote it as per the photo. I did not look at this until i started investigating the bill, and believe this is where the error lies. I however cannot prove it, which is why i was wondering if they have to take a photo of the final reading to save things like this happening? I have photographic proof of all the readings i took before May. I just very annoyingly did not take a photo of the meter before it was changed (or indeed since that May time).

    If they cannot provide photographic proof i feel they are not accounting for the possibility human error. As such it is a bit 'he said, she said' and bearing in mind they are asking me for 1000s of pounds extra, feel this is not right. And i wonder how the ombudsman would view it.....




  • pochase
    pochase Posts: 3,449 Forumite
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    I see one problem with your theory of the engineer misreading his own handwriting. On the photo the second digit is clearly a 8 not a 0. So he mist have entered the wrong figure twice, once when he entered it into the system, and when he put it onto the new meter.

    I don't think that they have to keep evidence, it would be up to the customer to check that the data is correct. This is something you would do if you have a handyman or similar doing work in your home, check that all is correct, so not easy to argue that you did not check for three month. 

    If you have photos from the old meter readings that will be helpful and can support your complaint. To play devils advocat they could turn around and say you did meter readings all the time and documented them, and just when you had a high usage you stopped to give readings and document your usage.

    Just be prepared to have a bit of a fight ahead of you.

    EDF has a very strong evidence with a written final meter reading left on your new meter visible to you. Long time since I had the last meter change, did you have to sign a statement of work when the meter was installed and was the final reading on it?
  • simcroft
    simcroft Posts: 24 Forumite
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    I disagree, as to me, when looking closely, it just appears that part of the first eight continues above a zero, making it look like an eight. So as far as I’m concerned there is ambiguity. I also know for a fact that we did not use that much energy, hence why I know 88011 is incorrect. 

    I am definitely prepared to fight it. I can’t afford to pay it and I know I didn’t use that amount of energy and will fight it as far as it will go.

    I see ur point re gaps in meter readings, which is very frustrating, and a huge oversight/mistake on my wife and i’s part. I do feel that EDF should have to offer more proof than just a scrawl on a piece of paper in order to charge the amount they are trying to charge me though, despite errors on my behalf. We are not in the energy business, they are, and as such they should have a responsibility to be as thorough as possible.

    I can’t remember whether we signed anything after the engineer did the work. I hope not as we probably won’t have a leg to stand on if we did. I do know he never confirmed the meter reading with us either visually or verbally before we did indeed sign anything. 

  • Swipe
    Swipe Posts: 5,111 Forumite
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    When I had a smart meter installed by Morrisons data services on behalf of EDF I had to sign to say I agreed with the old readings. Did the installer not ask you to do that? 
  • simcroft
    simcroft Posts: 24 Forumite
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    Hi swipe.

    I can’t remember signing anything to be honest. I definitely remember that we didn’t look at the meter or discuss any figures.
  • MikeJXE
    MikeJXE Posts: 3,117 Forumite
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    simcroft said:
    I disagree, as to me, when looking closely, it just appears that part of the first eight continues above a zero, making it look like an eight. So as far as I’m concerned there is ambiguity. I also know for a fact that we did not use that much energy, hence why I know 88011 is incorrect. 

    I am definitely prepared to fight it. I can’t afford to pay it and I know I didn’t use that amount of energy and will fight it as far as it will go.

    I see ur point re gaps in meter readings, which is very frustrating, and a huge oversight/mistake on my wife and i’s part. I do feel that EDF should have to offer more proof than just a scrawl on a piece of paper in order to charge the amount they are trying to charge me though, despite errors on my behalf. We are not in the energy business, they are, and as such they should have a responsibility to be as thorough as possible.

    I can’t remember whether we signed anything after the engineer did the work. I hope not as we probably won’t have a leg to stand on if we did. I do know he never confirmed the meter reading with us either visually or verbally before we did indeed sign anything. 

    simcroft said:
    I disagree, as to me, when looking closely, it just appears that part of the first eight continues above a zero, making it look like an eight. So as far as I’m concerned there is ambiguity. I also know for a fact that we did not use that much energy, hence why I know 88011 is incorrect. 

    I am definitely prepared to fight it. I can’t afford to pay it and I know I didn’t use that amount of energy and will fight it as far as it will go.

    I see ur point re gaps in meter readings, which is very frustrating, and a huge oversight/mistake on my wife and i’s part. I do feel that EDF should have to offer more proof than just a scrawl on a piece of paper in order to charge the amount they are trying to charge me though, despite errors on my behalf. We are not in the energy business, they are, and as such they should have a responsibility to be as thorough as possible.

    I can’t remember whether we signed anything after the engineer did the work. I hope not as we probably won’t have a leg to stand on if we did. I do know he never confirmed the meter reading with us either visually or verbally before we did indeed sign anything. 

    If you follow the line with your eye along the first 8 I agree the second figure is a zero 
  • simcroft
    simcroft Posts: 24 Forumite
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    Thanks Mike. That’s how I see it too. In my mind, he’s written the reading on the sticker, then stuck it on and then entered in the wrong figure into the system based on mis reading his own writing. Something I do all the time with my own handwriting!
  • MikeJXE
    MikeJXE Posts: 3,117 Forumite
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    simcroft said:
    Thanks Mike. That’s how I see it too. In my mind, he’s written the reading on the sticker, then stuck it on and then entered in the wrong figure into the system based on mis reading his own writing. Something I do all the time with my own handwriting!
    Blowing it up I would guess he doesn't take the pen off until the first 2 figures are written as they seem joined together, then he does the zero 11

    In my opinion your are definitely correct 
  • simcroft
    simcroft Posts: 24 Forumite
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    Thanks again Mike. 

    I completely agree. He writes the first two figures without taking the pen from paper, then does the 011.

    As u can imagine, I’ve written it again and again trying to copy how he used his pen on the paper, and I find myself doing the same as he did.

    Thanks for the support though, means a lot to know I’m not just seeing what I want to see and someone else can see it too.

    hopefully they’ve got a photo and I can soon forget all about this very stressful bill! Ive got a funny feeling it’s going to be a long drawn out battle though!
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