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Martin Lewis: Couldn't submit a meter reading on 31 March? Don't panic, there IS still time

Martin Lewis: Couldn't submit a meter reading on 31 March? Don't panic, there IS still time

Customers of British Gas, E.on, EDF, Shell and Octopus have been unable to submit meter readings as people rush to do so before the Friday 1 April price hike. But if you can't do so, DON'T panic – just make sure you take a picture of your reading and submit it as soon as you can.

MoneySavingExpert.com has seen hundreds of complaints on social media from customers of all the energy firms listed above, who say they haven't been able to provide meter readings online or via an app this morning because of high demand and technical problems, although issues related to British Gas have been ongoing for several days.

The technical problems come as MSE founder Martin Lewis urged people to submit a reading before Friday's price cap rise of 54%, to ensure all energy used up until that date is charged at the current cheaper rate.

In the video below, Martin explains who does and who doesn't need to take a meter reading today and what to do if your energy firm isn't currently accepting a reading.

Martin Lewis talks you through meter reading day in three minutes
Embedded YouTube Video

'Trying to submit a meter reading, but the website is down – what can I do?'

Here are just a few complaints we've seen about the problems on social media:

Martin Lewis: 'If you can't submit a reading today, don't panic'

As people continue to struggle to submit a meter reading, Martin tweeted to tell people not to panic, and to try to submit a reading tomorrow, Sunday or Monday. We've included Martin's tweet below:

Make sure you take a picture of your meter reading and keep it as evidence

If you can't submit a reading online or through your energy firm's app, try calling them and see if they'll accept a reading over the phone.

But if you can't get through over the phone or by any of the above routes, take a picture or a screenshot of your meter reading as evidence, including some proof of the date, and make sure you submit it as soon as possible. Doing so means that if you do end up receiving a higher than expected bill, you have evidence of what your reading should be.

If you're unhappy with the service you're getting from your energy firm, you can submit a formal complaint. Here's how:

  • First raise a formal complaint. You can submit a complaint on the British GasE.onEDFOctopus EnergyScottish Power and Shell Energy websites, or you can try the free Resolver tool.

  • If necessary, go to the ombudsman. As a last resort, if you've already tried contacting the firm and it's been more than eight weeks since you lodged your formal complaint (or you've received a deadlock letter), you can then take it to the Energy Ombudsman, an independent body that handles disputes between consumers and energy firms.

    You can raise a complaint to the ombudsman for free by filling in this online form. Just make sure you select the new supplier as the supplier you want to complain about and not your previous firm.

What do the energy firms say?

British Gas told us that no one will be left out of pocket as a result of this system issue, adding that if a customer takes their meter reading for today, they can submit it later with today's date on it.

A spokesperson for E.on added: "We are seeing unprecedented volumes of customer traffic to our website and app. While we work to resolve this, we can confirm to our customers that any meter readings they take today can be updated to their account online in the coming days."

EDF, Octopus and Shell Energy all said they are working to resolve the problems.

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