Energy suppliers overcharge UK gas consumers after mistake in meter readings

first_imgEnergy companies have been ordered to refund thousands of customers after they were overcharged because of basic mistakes in gas meter readings.The industry’s regulator Ofgem said it had written to firms about the error, which saw companies confusing old imperial gas meters, which measure usage in cubic feet, with newer metric ones, which measure it in cubic metres.The error is said to have affected about 0.04 per cent of all 27 million customers in the UK, which amounts to more than 10,000.The news comes just weeks after the competition watchdog warned that customers are paying £1.7billion more than they should every year by not switching supplier.Some customers are now likely to have been undercharged if their metric meters were read as imperial, while others will have been overcharged if the reverse happened.Industry insiders told the Financial Times that some could have been undercharged by around 60 per cent while others have been overcharged by 130 per cent or more.Energy UK, the industry body, said it was working with companies “to investigate and address a gas metering issue” which had potentially affected “an extremely small number of accounts”.Regulators believe all of the “big six” suppliers are affected and an Ofgem spokesman said: “We have written to suppliers and asked them to refund affected customers.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img