A very smart young man called Josh rang our bell today. He was wearing a transparent full face visor which was a nice touch rather than a mask as at least he didn’t look like a bandit.
He was very polite and said he’d been talking to our neighbour about utility companies ripping off their customers.
I thought ‘Here we go with the sales pitch.’
Apparently there has been a lot in the media about energy companies overcharging their customers.
As luck would have it, for us not him, we have just had our energy bill for the quarter. We are in credit with the good news that we are ‘on track’ with our budget and our monthly payments will be staying the same. This is great because it was our annual review and the first since we had our smart meters fitted last year.
I told Josh that we are on top of it before he could get into his spiel, that we are on a fixed tariff until September next year and that our usage is well below average compared to most households. He naturally asked who were we with, so I told him. He asked if we were aware that they had been taken over by another company, to which I replied yes.
He seemed very surprised at this, and asked me my name.
I said ‘You don’t need to know that,’
so with a tepid smile, he thanked me and went on his way….but not next door to our other neighbour.
We caught up on ‘the news’ after he left, and yes, many utility companies have indeed been overcharging their customers to the tune of some £24 billion over the past fifteen years by estimating bills, (source, note report dated 2019) so that is a lot of refunds. However, they probably get out of it by saying bills cannot be amended retrospectively. This was the excuse we were given when we moved here as the previous energy company had given the wrong reading to our new supplier which they couldn’t change. They couldn’t charge us either until we reached that figure on the meter. Works for me.
The added bonus of course, and something I should have thrown into the conversation with Josh, is that we have Smart Meters, and as such there are no estimated readings.
Now regular readers will know how much it went against the grain being backed into a corner to have a Smart Meter we didn’t want purely so as we could have a cheaper fixed rate tariff. I hate to say it, but I’m glad we’ve got them.
For years I have been checking our meter readings on a regular basis for two main reasons:
1. To make sure we are not being overcharged and keep to our budget, and
2. To pick up any strange hikes that might occur for no apparent reason.
Despite having the smart meters, I still check the readings every week, and when we received our bill today, I checked my own data to confirm their meter readings. All is good.
Above from our bill in January 2020 (gas would be high as it’s reporting the coldest months November to January)