When did you last check your energy meter? Because, while people are sent bills by their providers for how much gas and electricity they use, a lot of the time, their supplier is just guessing.
Worse, when people decided to check their actual reading, compared with the “estimated usage”, it turned out a lot of them were owed cash back.
“Energy company estimates can often be imbalanced, so it’s a good idea to submit a meter reading every time you receive a bill to ensure you won’t be under or over charged,” said Peter Earl, Head of Energy at comparethemarket.com.
Research from the company found that 40% of people who sent in meter readings had been paying too much – which works out at an astonishing 8.7 million homes nationwide.
And on the other side of the coin, if it turns out you’ve been using more than they think you have, you could be landed with a rather big bill the next time someone is sent round to check.
“If you have been underpaying for your energy then you could be in for a nasty bill shock, however if you have been paying too much, then your provider should refund you the difference,” Earl said.
More than one person in four said they simply rely on their provider to calculate their bill, with one in eight saying they’ve never submitted a meter reading.
That means they could well be missing out on savings, or owed cash back.
“Meter reading problems will remain a major issue for many households until they have smart meters fitted, which should, in theory, consign this problem to the history books,” said Earl.
“Don’t wait for that moment to come though.”
He advised Brits to check their meters now to make sure.
To help people make sense of their energy bill and find the best deal, comparethemarket.com, has published a comprehensive Simple Guide to Energy you can download free here.