Energy firms feeling the heat as websites crash in meter reading rush

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British Gas, EDF, E.On, SSE, So Energy and Octopus Energy were among the companies that went off-line. Experts including Citizens Advice and MoneySavingExpert founder Martin Lewis had urged household ers to submit readings to avoid being overcharged for usage after the 54 per cent increase to Ofgem’s price cap comes into effect today.

Gillian Cooper, head of energy policy at Citizens Advice, said: “We know some energy companies have put in measures to prepare for a surge of people sending meter readings, but clearly it hasn’t been enough. If you’ve managed to take a photo of your meter you’ll be able to contact your provider with proof of your usage on March 31. If you weren’t able to take a meter reading your energy company will use a reasonable estimate of your energy usage before the price cap rise to calculate your bill.”

Which? consumer rights editor Adam French said: “Energy companies should have been prepared for higher numbers of customers getting in touch and should support any customers trying to submit their meter readings today.”

Energy firms described the situation as “unprecedented” and several said customers can submit a date-stamped photo of their readings at any point over the next week.

A message on the British Gas website told customers it was facing “some technical issues we’re trying to resolve as quickly as possible”.

Trade association Energy UK said customers with smart meters “do not need to worry as their readings are automatically sent to their supplier”.

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