Utilities including British Gas, E.ON and EDF Energy had their sites plummet today as customers rushed to submit their meter readings as the price cap hike kicked in.
The 54% increase in the price cap was announced by energy regulator Ofgem and means the average household will add £693 to their annual energy bills.
Customers have reported problems logging into their online accounts when attempting to enter meter readings. This comes after advice from Money Saving Expert founder Martin Lewis, who urged Brits to take a meter on March 31 to show their energy supplier exactly how much they were using before prices went up.
Submitting a meter reading before the new prices are applied can prevent suppliers from charging customers additional fees for energy they used before the price cap increase.
Some websites, such as B. British Gas were shown as offline and could not be loaded. EDF has reported that a large number of meter readings will be submitted today and suggests customers enter their readings via an online form, advising people to only call the company if they have an urgent question.
SSE is currently unable to allow customers to log into their online account, but does offer the ability to submit a meter reading through their website.
What can I do if I can’t submit a meter reading today?
If you are unable to submit your meter reading due to the high volume of traffic on the site, do not panic. Take a photo of your meter reading in case you need to prove to your suppliers what the meter reading was.
For some companies, the measured value does not have to be transmitted today. Therefore, ask your provider what they allow. For example, Octopus Energy will accept meter readings up to five days after the price cap increase.
Octopus announced via Twitter that they recommend submitting a reading on April 2nd, the day prices change. They also added that customers can add and backdate readings late, so make a note of your readings.
Customers who have a smart meter do not have to submit a reading as your smart meter automatically sends readings to your energy supplier. If you would like a record of today’s reading in case you need to dispute this, simply take a picture of your smart meter.