British Gas customer confused after meter error left £382 energy debt | Personal Finance | Finance


A customer was left confused over an unexpected energy bill for £382 after switching suppliers.

SJ emailed The Guardian to explain the situation and seek help over how to resolve the error.

After moving homes in January 2020, SJ switched providers from British Gas to Bulb.

 They paid British Gas £76 and have been making regular monthly payments to Bulb ever since.

However, in December 2020, SJ received a bill from British Gas demanding £382, be they realised this must have been an error.

SJ wrote: “We realised there must have been an error with the meter reading when we switched, so I contacted Bulb and provided photographs of what it showed at the time.

“Bulb assured me it would contact British Gas and get it corrected, and I was told the issue had been resolved.

“Then, in May of this year, a letter arrived from BW Legal stating it had bought a £382 debt from British Gas and we needed to pay up.

“I made several calls to British Gas and was initially told the issue had been resolved but I followed this up with BW Legal but it had heard nothing.”


SJ proceeded to contact British Gas in hopes of clearing the debt however no one got in contact with them.

Eventually British Gas got in touch to tell SJ the bill stands however they were confused as British Gas was using the old, inaccurate reading, even though they sent pictures to prove them wrong.

“I don’t know what to do,” SJ added.

The Guardian contacted British Gas and found that an administration error meant the closing meter reading was changed to an estimated one in December 2020, and its collection process took over.

British Gas said: “We should have resolved this sooner and have reassured SJ the bill will be cancelled.”

 To avoid having a large debt, British Gas suggests people should take extra care to ensure their meter reads are up to date.

On their website, it states: “If you have a smart meter we’ll take your readings automatically.

“If you’re worried your smart meter isn’t sending us readings, you can submit your meter read using a form

“If you have a non-smart meter (conventional) you can submit your meter read online.”

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