Energy bills – live: British Gas website crashes as 40,000 meter readings received an hour, says industry boss

<p>Energy bills are set to rise at least 14 times faster than wages this year</p>
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Energy bills are set to rise at least 14 times faster than wages this year


British Gas, EDF Energy and other energy companies’ online services have stopped working properly on the final day for customers to submit meter readings.

Websites said they were unable to accept meter readings through their websites or apps, as a result of problems. Pages on the British Gas website loaded but it would refuse to accept readings, while EDF’s website said it was down for “essential maintenance work” and that it would be “up and running again soon”.

Other energy companies seemed to be suffering similar problems. Shell Energy’s website was down while customers reported problems with Scottish Power’s site.

It comes as Octopus Energy boss, Greg Jackson, said it is receiving 40,000 meter readings an hour, while a normal day is only a couple of thousand.

“I think with most companies, certainly with Octopus, you can give it any time in the next week and you know, we’ll apply it to the day when you took it,” Mr Jackson told BBC Radio 4’s World At One program.


Octopus Energy boss urges customers not to panic as 40,000 meter readings received an hour

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s World At One program Greg Jackson said: “I think with most companies, certainly with Octopus, you can give it any time in the next week and you know, we’ll apply it to the day when you took it.”

Mr Jackson said he was “pretty sure that’ll apply universally” and added: “Right now, just to put a number on it, we’re getting about 40,000 meter readings an hour, and a normal day is a couple of thousand. ”

He said while people should take the reading just before the price change, it did not have to be submitted straight away.

The chief executive of energy company Octopus has urged people not to panic about submitting a meter reading before April 1 as he said the firm was getting 40,000 meter readings an hour.

Thomas Kingsley31 March 2022 14:45


Reprieve for capping fracking wells as government considers its energy strategy

The UK’s only shale gas wells will not be sealed up at the end of June after regulators lifted an order for them to be capped.

Fracking firm Cuadrilla had been under instruction to plug its wells in Lancashire by the end of June 2022.

But the North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) said the firm now had until the end of June 2023 to evaluate options for the Preston New Road and Elswick sites.

The move comes ahead of the publication of the Government’s delayed energy strategy, with Boris Johnson under pressure from Tory MPs to end a moratorium on fracking.

Cuadrilla chief executive Francis Egan said: “I would like to thank the Prime Minister and the Business Secretary for seeing the light and realizing – just in time – how absurd it would have been to force us to pour concrete down Britain’s only two viable shale gas wells in the middle of an energy crisis.

“But this suspension will have a cul-de-sac ending unless we now reverse the moratorium preventing us from using the wells (and others like them) to get shale gas out of the ground and flowing into British households.”

Thomas Kingsley31 March 2022 14:35


Martin Lewis shares five tips to save hundreds of pounds on fuel as petroleum costs continue to soar

Money saving expert Martin Lewis has shared top tips to help drivers save thousands of pounds on fuel.

Mr Lewis estimates that for someone who drives 15,000 miles a year averaging 35 miles per gallon (12.4 km/L), just buying petrol at the average UK price would cost £2,963 annually as of March 2022. Cutting this by 25% could save £ 741/year.

ourreporter, Maryam Zakir-Hussainhas the full list below:

Thomas Kingsley31 March 2022 14:20


NEW: ‘Unprecedented demand’ to put reading submissions behind website crash – EDF

Energy supplier, EDF Energy has released a new statement on website and app crashes for customers submitting meter readings.

“We are seeing an unprecedented demand from customers trying to submit a meter reading either online or via the EDF mobile app, which has led to us experiencing technical issues, we’re continuing to resolve this issue as quickly as we can and we apologize for any inconvenience this has caused,” the statement read.

“We urge customers not to worry and want to reassure them, that they don’t have to submit meter readings to us today and can share these with us in the coming days. In the meantime, we would encourage customers who usually submit meter readings to either take a photo, or make a note of their meter reading. Customers who have a smart meter, or are on a fixed tariff, don’t need to do anything at the moment.”

Thomas Kingsley31 March 2022 14:10


Child poverty branded ‘stain on our nation’ as new figures show more than a quarter below line

The £20 uplift to Universal Credit introduced during the Covid pandemic and abolished by chancellor Rishi Sunak last autumn played a part in lifting 400,000 children out of poverty, new figures released today have indicated.

But charities said that the withdrawal of the uplift, coupled with the chancellor’s refusal to upgrade welfare benefits in line with soaring inflation, means that many of the same children will be thrust back into poverty this year.

The Child Poverty Action group accused ministers of “turning their backs on low-income families” after a mini-budget in which Mr Sunak cut fuel prices for motorists and promised an income tax cut for workers, but left the annual benefit increase at 3.1 per cent in a year when inflation is expected to reach almost 9 per cent.

Our political editor, Andrew Woodcockhas the full story below:

Thomas Kingsley31 March 2022 14:05


Energy UK urges customers to find alternate ways to submit meter readings

A spokesman for Energy UK, the trade association for the industry, said: “We’re aware that some suppliers are experiencing issues with their websites due to the volume of customers submitting meter readings.

“Suppliers do offer alternative ways of doing this such as through automated phone lines and apps so we’d recommend customers try those. Customers with smart meters do not need to worry as their readings are automatically sent to their supplier.”

According to Downdetector, E.ON, Scottish Power, British Gas and SSE have gone down.

Take meter readings before the end of the day

(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Thomas Kingsley31 March 2022 13:50


Watch: Martin Lewis explains why customers should submit energy meetings readings

Thousands of energy customers are posting about #MeterReadingDay as they push to submit their gas and electricity usage.

Watch as money saving expert explains why customers should make sure they submit today:

Thomas Kingsley31 March 2022 13:35


ICYMI: Britons borrow billions to cover energy price hikes

UK consumers have already borrowed almost £5bn to keep the lights on this year as a fifth of the population turns to credit to cover the cost of rising gas and electricity.

A fifth of bill payers are using credit cards and overdrafts, with some even taking out personal loans to manage mounting costs, a study by financial platform Credit Karma has found.

On average, gas and electricity bills have risen by 23 per cent since the beginning of 2021. At the same time, a third of UK households have lost income in the last year.

ourmoney editor, Katy Hugheshas the full report below:

Thomas Kingsley31 March 2022 13:20


Octopus Energy warn customers of busy phone lines amid rush to submit meter readings

Octopus Energy has warned its customers of long waits on phone lines as customers rush to submit their energy meter readings.

The energy provider made the announcements on its website and urged customers to submit their readings on Saturday.

“The best day to give us a meter reading is this Saturday (our standard variable prices don’t change until 00:00 Saturday 2nd April.) Make a note of your readings or take a photo of them on Saturday. When we receive this reading we will apply it to your account from 00:00 midnight on the Saturday. You will have a week to submit them to us, so please don’t worry if you can’t get it to us that day,” the statement read.

Similar to Martin Lewis, Octopus Energy insisted that smart meter and fixed tariff customers do not need to submit a reading.

Octopus Energy (Leon Neal/PA)

(PA Archive)

Thomas Kingsley31 March 2022 13:05


The eight biggest price hikes as cost of living rises

Many Britons are stepping into April with trepidation, as the cost of living crisis is set to worsen with a number of changes that will mean higher bills and prices.

With inflation already at its highest rate since March 1992, customers have seen the price of nearly everything increase – from food to clothing to furniture.

But some of the most significant increases will be put in place from Friday 1 April, as the energy price cap goes up and changes to national insurance and VAT come into effect.

ourreporter, kate nghas the full list below:

Thomas Kingsley31 March 2022 13:01

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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