British Gas customers warned they risk £175 ‘inequitable charge’ for wrong smart meter checks

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If a smart meter error is identified, the meter will be replaced free of charge

Temi Laleye

By Temi Laleye

Published: 04/04/2024

- 10:13

If a smart meter error is identified, the meter will be replaced free of charge

British Gas customers who incorrectly report their smart meter as faulty could face a penalty charge, according to reports.

Customers who seek an engineer callout due to fear of incorrect bills risk a £175 charge if their smart meter is not damaged.

If the engineer finds a fault, the meter will be replaced and the energy provider will cover the bill.

However, people are warned they could be charged if it is found to be working, The Telegraph reported.

As the cost of living crisis continues, and energy bills remain high, Britons are urged to remain vigilant to ensure their suppliers are charging them correctly for utilities.

The enquiry into a faulty smart meter follows the announcement last week that 3.9 million smart meters were found to be faulty at the end of last year, according to the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (Desnez).

Smart meter

Incorrect call outs about a faulty smart meter could cost British Gas customers £175


Lady Irvine, 89, who lives in Morpeth, Northumberland, told The Telegraph that when she discovered her energy costs were “far higher” than those of friends and neighbours she began to question her smart meter.

She said: “I called British Gas, and they said I could take a meter reading each month.

“My meter is outside on an outside wall, and it is outside the level or my perifocal so I would have had to sit on a stall outside with a magnifying glass.”

British Gas explained she contacted them in December 2023, and they confirmed to her usage had not increased.

They advised Lady Irvine on the cost of a meter accuracy test if she wanted this to be done.

In line with their policy, the energy supplier advised that should the meter be found to be inaccurate, then they would pay for the test to be conducted, but if the meter is found to be accurate, then there would be a charge for the test - which is £175.

Lady Irvine added: “It is an inequitable charge. A tremendous number of people who are old wouldn’t feel right taking the step to complain.”

British Gas said they will look into any issues on a case by case basis.

Those with a broken or faulty smart meter risk higher bills than usual.

Energy UK, the trade association for the energy industry, says suppliers must replace broken meters.

Britons should know if their smart meter is faulty due to unusual bills, sometimes caused by connectivity issues, and a blank screen.

Each bill should also contain information that could help people find out.


According to Which?, readings on someone’s bill should be marked "smart".

If they are marked with an "e", they're estimated readings, says Citizens Advice.

People can also use its smart checker tool to see if there is a problem.

According to Smart Energy GB, a non-profit organisation focusing on the benefits of smart meters, there are now almost 35 million smart meters in Great Britain and the 'vast majority' are operating as intended.

It said 88.6 per cent were operating in smart mode at the end of 2023, up from 87.3 per cent the previous year.

GB News has contacted British Gas asking for comment.

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