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SSE customer's £33,000 bill – is your smart meter accurate?

Fred Isaac

Fred Isaac
Mar 6, 2017

Malfunctioning smart meters left shocked SSE customers with bills that exceeded their daily budget by up to 3m%. 

One affected customer received a £33,000 bill for just one day’s power.

The Big Six supplier has apologised and launched an urgent investigation after dozens of households were quoted thousands of pounds for 24 hours of gas and electricity.

One was given bill estimations for two days of over £60,000 and tweeted SSE: “Prices certainly gone up YourSSE if my smart meter is accurate on my gas use over last few days! like it warm but.”

The average yearly bill for a typical household is around £830 (don’t believe us? Compare prices online).

Even if you’re running a small amusement park in your back garden, you’re going to question a daily bill for £30,000.

But what if a smart meter glitch added a tenner to your bill? Or a fiver?

You’d probably just pay up. They are called smart meters after all.

We’ve been told to trust these gadgets, which engage directly with our suppliers and help us monitor energy use in real time, making estimated billing unnecessary.


I’m worried my smart meter is inaccurate, what can I do?

We spoke to Smart Meter GB, the organisation behind the government's smart meter roll out.

If you’re worried about the accuracy of your meter, contact your supplier directly; arm yourself with copies of recent bills, your meter readings and your account number.

Here are a few things to check if you’re worried your bills are too high:

* What are you paying per unit? Has this gone up?
* Have you made any lifestyle changes that might affect how much energy you use?
* Is the amount shown on your in-home display consistent with your bill?
* Is your Wi-Fi working OK? Smart meters are wireless technology. If it can’t communicate with your supplier, your readings may be affected.


How did SSE respond?

SSE said it was investigating an issue affecting a “small number” of households.

“The issue,” the it said, “will be investigated as a matter of urgency and no customer will be charged the extra amounts resulting from errors with the smart meters.

“We would like to apologise to any customers if this has caused distress.”

By 2020, the government hopes every home will have a smart meter, with 4.9m already installed in UK homes.


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