Long running complaint, how to resolve? (Bulb/Octopus Energy)

Hi all, 

I have an issue where I'm basically not being charged for Gas since around May and also believe that I may not have been correctly charged for electricity and gas prior. I'm going to try and lay this out like a timeline but those are the two main issues: 

  • December 2022 - completed on purchase of flat. Flat moved from three occupiers to one (just me)
  • December 2022 - notified Bulb I was a new customer at the address. Took initial readings. Direct debit at £160/mth registered.
  • January 2023 - request Electric smart meter installation from Bulb.
  • January - April 2023 - Gas/Elec readings each month submitted to Bulb. Paying for both Gas and Electricity (though probably based on estimates including time prior to me completing).
  • February 2023 - Actually moved into the property, it was vacant (though occasionally being worked on before this date). 
  • May 2023 - Bulb transfers customer accounts to Octopus as part of acquisition by Octopus.
  • May 2023 - Smart meter install is completed, however engineer installs both electric and gas smart meters, not just the electric smart meter I'd requested. I didn't record the final gas reading on installation of the meter, but the engineer did (and stuck it on a sticker on the new gas smart meter).
  • May 2023 - Smart meter in-home device (IHD) records readings for both gas and electric. Only the electric smart meter displays anything on it's screen. The Gas smart meter screen is empty (this is the actual meter not the in-home device)
  • May 2023 - Believing I'm being overcharged (@£160/mth direct debit) I register support request to get £100 refund.
  • June 2023 - Refund not granted because Octopus systems don't register initial reading for Gas meter.
  • July 2023 - reduced direct debit to £120/mth
  • July - August 2023 - Multiple calls to Octopus energy stating the Gas smart meter is showing blank, sending images to prove this. Octopus say they're working on solution, nothing changes.
  • Auguest 2023 - Octopus opens a complaint on my behalf stating it should be resolved quicker, says compensation may be offered at resolution of complaint and will take around 4 weeks.
  • October 2023 - Octopus suggest Gas smart meter is missing from the 'National Database' needs adding before complaint can be correctly resolved. 
  • May - October 2023 - Only paying for Electricity on monthly bill, no Gas charges.

This is pretty much the full timeline. I'm quite patient about this because I'm continuing to pay the direct debit and any resolution should see me getting money back, but I have a few questions/concerns. 


  1. How do I confirm with Octopus that I was paying the right amount before the smart meters were installed in May? I always though the direct debits and estimated usage for this period was high considering the flat is now single occupancy. I want to make sure reconciliation of the correct charges for this period isn't lost in the smart meter issue. Another problem here is that the period before May is when I was paying and sending readings to Bulb which complicates things.
  2. What do you think should be reasonable compensation for this scenario? I've been very patient here as I'm in the fortunate scenario where this doesn't impact me massively financially, however on the count above and in terms of the time spent to resolve this over several months I feel I should be compensated correctly. 
  3. How do I know that Octopus have any idea what they should have charged me for Gas since May? If the Gas Smart meter screen appears blank, isn't on the National database and isn't generating usage charges for me in Octopus billings systems then surely it's impossible for them to know how much Gas I've been using, even if this in-home display is recording usage.

Any help with this is appreciated, thanks in advance.
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Comments

  • If you have made a formal complaint then you have the right to escalate it to The Energy Ombudsman. Energy companies do not pay compensation as such, they will usually offer a goodwill payment. Ombudsman directed goodwill payments are usually well below £200. If you want more, then you will probably have to sue.
  • Netexporter
    Netexporter Posts: 1,033
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    I don't know what gas meters Octopus use but you usually have to press a button to activate the display on smart gas meters. The screen is normally blank to preserve the battery.
  • @Netexporter this is the meter I've got.



    Are you suggesting I press one of the buttons marked A/B to view the reading?


  • Gerry1
    Gerry1 Posts: 9,758
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    edited 4 October 2023 at 1:55PM

    To read your Landis and Gyr Smets2 gas meter, press either 'A' or 'B' to wake up the screen. This should automatically come up with your gas reading.

  • Netexporter
    Netexporter Posts: 1,033
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    @Netexporter this is the meter I've got.



    Are you suggesting I press one of the buttons marked A/B to view the reading?


    Press button B.

    You won't get your 4d back, though (old folks joke).
  • Ok so having pressed the A button on the Gas Smart meter I can see a reading on it.

    Looking at the in-home display I can see amounts recorded for both electricity and Gas all the way back to May when the smart meters were installed. 

    I feel like this is a strong suggestion to me that up until the smart meters were installed I've been overpaying massively for Gas and Electricity given that since May recorded £300 of charges on the smart meters (roughly 2 to 1 electricity to gas) but have paid a £160/mth direct debit between December to May. 

    Does anyone know of any procedure for reconciling my real usage over this period so I can go back to Octopus and ask them to recalculate my bills for that period when I wasn't on a smart meter?

  • Ok so having pressed the A button on the Gas Smart meter I can see a reading on it.

    Looking at the in-home display I can see amounts recorded for both electricity and Gas all the way back to May when the smart meters were installed. 

    I feel like this is a strong suggestion to me that up until the smart meters were installed I've been overpaying massively for Gas and Electricity given that since May recorded £300 of charges on the smart meters (roughly 2 to 1 electricity to gas) but have paid a £160/mth direct debit between December to May. 

    Does anyone know of any procedure for reconciling my real usage over this period so I can go back to Octopus and ask them to recalculate my bills for that period when I wasn't on a smart meter?

    Provide them with manual meter readings and they should amend your bills using estimates for any tariff change dates.
  • Netexporter
    Netexporter Posts: 1,033
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    Forumite
    You can reduce your DD yourself, to reduce the credit over a few months, or you can request a credit refund. Just look at you account. It'll have all the bills and payments recorded.
  • QrizB
    QrizB Posts: 13,634
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    edited 25 October 2023 at 8:41PM
    Dolor said:
    Ok so having pressed the A button on the Gas Smart meter I can see a reading on it.

    Looking at the in-home display I can see amounts recorded for both electricity and Gas all the way back to May when the smart meters were installed. 

    I feel like this is a strong suggestion to me that up until the smart meters were installed I've been overpaying massively for Gas and Electricity given that since May recorded £300 of charges on the smart meters (roughly 2 to 1 electricity to gas) but have paid a £160/mth direct debit between December to May. 

    Does anyone know of any procedure for reconciling my real usage over this period so I can go back to Octopus and ask them to recalculate my bills for that period when I wasn't on a smart meter?

    Provide them with manual meter readings and they should amend your bills using estimates for any tariff change dates.
    This is the answer.
    Log on to your Octopus account and give them your Actual readings for both meters.
    https://octopus.energy/dashboard/meter-readings/
    N. Hampshire, he/him. Octopus Go elec & Tracker gas / Shell BB / Lyca mobi. Ripple Kirk Hill member.
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  • QrizB said:
    Dolor said:
    Ok so having pressed the A button on the Gas Smart meter I can see a reading on it.

    .....

    Provide them with manual meter readings and they should amend your bills using estimates for any tariff change dates.
    This is the answer.
    Log on to your Octopus account and give them your Actual readings for both meters.
    https://octopus.energy/dashboard/meter-readings/

    Ok coming back to this message after a while I guess I should provide the manual readings but having missed the whole summers worth of readings isn't there the issue that I'll basically be overcharged because a reading submitted now will be based on increased usage now the temperatures have dropped? 

    I was under the impression that once the smart meter was installed I wouldn't need to submit readings again and according to the Octopus site the meter I've got should be capable of submitting readings to the provider. 

    Now I can see a reading on the Gas smart meter it makes sense to submit it though I'm concerned it'll just be another complaint if the estimate based on my first submitted gas reading since May comes in too high.

    That said I've taken a video of the in-home display (including meter serial numbers) that appears to have costs for Gas and Electric so we'll see.
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