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Energy Billing Discrepancy -off-peak and peak times are consistently misaligned

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  • Energy Billing Discrepancy -off-peak and peak times are consistently misaligned

    Hello everyone! I'm dealing with a persistent issue regarding irregularities in my energy bills due to discrepancies in the smart meter readings provided by my energy supplier. The off-peak and peak times are consistently misaligned, with a significant gap of approximately 90 minutes.

    Submitted Proof:
    I've provided photographic evidence of both my home unit display and smart meter readings, highlighting the inconsistencies. As per their suggestion, I conducted a calibration test to verify the meter's time accuracy.

    Site Visit Denied:
    Despite my efforts, the energy supplier declined a site visit, stating a time-switch discrepancy of less than 2 hours, leaving me in a frustrating situation with no resolution in sight.

    Energy Supplier's Suggestion: The energy supplier advised, "configure your appliances to work with the time switch that is currently on the meter (i.e. switch the time they charge their car, turn any machines on). Unfortunately, with this information at hand, they claim an inability to conduct any further action on the account.

    Ombudsman Intervention:
    Taking matters into my own hands, I've submitted the case to the ombudsman, including all communications with the energy supplier and relevant meter reading photographs showing the glaring discrepancies.


    Seeking advice:
    Has anyone else came across with a similar energy billing nightmare? I'm seeking your advice on how to make my case stronger in the eyes of the ombudsman. What additional documentation should I submit?, your insights would be immensely valuable in navigating this complex issue.

    How to handle a situation like this? Any tips on ensuring my case is strong and compelling? Your insights and suggestions are a beacon of hope in this challenging situation.

    Your support means the world to me!
    Tags: None

  • #2
    I would send the energy company a SAR, make sure you get Proof of Postage. A 2 hour allowable time difference is 'ridiculous' (even if it's in their T & C's), it might not seem 'material' to them, but it will make a huge difference to you financially. See what further evidence your SAR request provides.

    https://legalbeagles.info/library/gu...ccess-request/

    See what the Services Ombudsman has to say. If they comeback with 'nonsense' Appeal their decision, if you still aren't refunded. Work out what they owe on a speadsheet, send them a letter before action, follow CPR protocols, take them to Court.

    No doubt you won't be the only customer effected by this.

    Comment


    • #3
      Thank you echat11 so much for your valuable input and the suggestion to send a Subject Access Request (SAR) to the energy company. I've actually received a file in the evidence section of the case from the energy supplier that includes billing details, consumption information, and conversation records, all compiled into one Excel file. I believe this is essentially the SAR document you mentioned.

      I'm currently in the process of awaiting the ombudsman's review of the case. While I'm hopeful for a fair resolution, I am curious about how they calculate compensation and what the maximum compensation they can provide is. I haven't specified a demand amount in my request, as I trust the ombudsman to reasonably assess and calculate any compensation owed.

      Your insights have been incredibly helpful in navigating this challenging situation. If you have any further advice or experiences to share regarding the ombudsman's process or maximising compensation, I would greatly appreciate it.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by myvbpro View Post
        Thank you echat11 so much for your valuable input and the suggestion to send a Subject Access Request (SAR) to the energy company. I've actually received a file in the evidence section of the case from the energy supplier that includes billing details, consumption information, and conversation records, all compiled into one Excel file. I believe this is essentially the SAR document you mentioned.

        I'm currently in the process of awaiting the ombudsman's review of the case. While I'm hopeful for a fair resolution, I am curious about how they calculate compensation and what the maximum compensation they can provide is. I haven't specified a demand amount in my request, as I trust the ombudsman to reasonably assess and calculate any compensation owed.

        Your insights have been incredibly helpful in navigating this challenging situation. If you have any further advice or experiences to share regarding the ombudsman's process or maximising compensation, I would greatly appreciate it.
        To be honest the Services Ombudsmen isn't great regarding compensation. For example say you have an issue with the energy company. The energy company will try to head you off going to the Services Ombudsman, they will offer for example 150 and tell you that the Services Ombudsman will only offer 100, each other are aware of this. The energy company has to pay the Services Ombudsman monies to look into your case. So there is an imbalance there.

        Comment


        • #5
          its a very long story, but I have a lot of knowledge in this area of time based tariffs because of an energy issue like yours. Just to make sure, you say you have a smart meter? If that is the case and even if it only sporadically connects to its 3g network, the time will be accurate to within millionths of a second as they, along with all other computing devices, have to synchronise with a reference time source using what is called the Network Time Protocol (see wikipedia for mor info).

          NTP reference sources are a members of an exclusive network of atomic clocks that are synchronised to within 16 decimal places of a second and by general consensus use the GMT time standard now superseded by what is known as UTC . Now that is not to say that the time you are presented with on the display will always be UTC because it has to account for differing time zones and daylight saving, so in the UK during British Summer time your clock MAY read UTC + 1 hour and during the winter when we BST has ended the clock will display to UTC +0. Notice I say MAY display because not all tariffs switch for summer and in my case my tariff is always in GMT and the time switch clock should also read in GMT, so for example what would be a 13:00 start during the winter is a 14:00 start during the summer. the next thing to understand is that the when these meters are produced that have a limited and randomised offset built in to the time switch and this is necessary to prevent everybody's immersion heater coming on at the same time and the power draw making all the light across the country go dim. So as you can see they should be accurate to within plus or minus 5 - 10 minutes max. The key point is to ACTUALLY KNOW if your tariff switches between GMT and BST and there is no point asking the utility providers call center staff because most of them think that GMT is a boy band that they havn't heard of yet !! and I'm not joking.

          I know it seems a bit longwinded but its knowledge you need because your electricity company will try and convince you that the sun comes up at night and sets at dawn and pulling a 2 hour acceptable variance out of the air should really be called what it is............ an outright lie.

          The next thing to factor is what effect this has on your usage patterns and an offset as low as 20 minutes can have a massive impact on efficiency and your provider is well aware of this because thats how they make extra money. In my case for a time i was able to actually able to measure what was my actual usage during a winter period with the time switch being accurate. My usage was averaging about 78% cheap rate and 22% high rate. The colder it got the more energy i used and the more efficient it became for me and the best i recorded was a 87% 23% split. During the summer i had to estimate but it worked out about 70 - 30 but the actual consumption was pretty minimal. Your provider will tell you that the average user has a 50 - 50 split and will offer to settle at 70 - 30 probably to include any compensation. NB. 70 - 30 is THEIR calculated break even point, it has nothing to do with your efficiency.

          Also be aware of agreeing to having the meter assessed by the independant meter examiner, on the face of it it sounds like a sensible and positive way forward, but in these cases its a sham thats used to remove your meter for testing. But don't get me wrong, the examiner will test it against known standards in a calibration facility, but nowhere in those standards does it look for timing accuracy (Electricity Act 1989, schedule 7 para 7 etc ). So by virtue of what seems to be a sensible thing to do, your meter that has an inaccurate time switch has now disappeared for ever and the report you will be presented with will be 100% accurate but of no relevance whatsoever, oh except that it will find the the meter measured the actual electricity flowing through it accurately which allows you provider to actually charge you for the testing. During my issues I did write to what was the Govt BEIS dept who confirmed in writing that they have no remit to interpret the accuracy of time switches which they recognise to be a billing issue rather than a physical national standard matter and they are correct, the weakness is in the electricity act itself and for the life of me i fail to understand why OfGEM and our lawmakers continually look the other way and allow this travesty over time based tariffs to hide in plain site.

          to recap 1) check if your tariff switches between BST and GMT. 2) try and understand how and when you consume electricity and at what rate. 3) decide in your own mind what would be a suitable negotiated usage split 4th and most importantly just be aware that everything your electricity provider does or says in this matter is not designed to be to your benefit, most of it will be deliberately misleading so if you get an immediate answer to a problem, its unlikley to be because of their expertise or massive intelect, but more likely its just been made up

          Comment

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