Electricity meters: high bills or meter readings

What to do if you think your electricity bills are high or electricity meter is faulty.

Applies to England, Scotland and Wales

Dealing with high electricity bills

If your last bill was larger than expected there may be a reason:

  • your energy supplier (the company sending the bills) has increased the cost of its electricity
  • your usage has risen, for example due to cold weather
  • your bill is based on an actual meter reading, rather than an estimated reading

There are simple steps that might reduce your electricity bills:

  • switch to a cheaper tariff (buy your electricity for less)
  • run your appliances at times when charges are lower if possible
  • turn off your TV and computer instead of leaving them on standby
  • provide your own meter readings rather than accepting estimated meter readings

If you have considered the above and remain concerned about your electricity bills, contact your energy supplier. If you are unhappy with the outcome, you have the right to contact the Energy Ombudsman.

Dealing with faulty electricity meters

High electricity bills may be due to an electricity meter that is incorrectly recording the amount of electricity you are using, but this is unusual.

While there is no simple way you can test whether your meter is accurate, if you are concerned about your meter readings, contact your energy supplier. Your supplier will investigate and may install a ‘check meter’ next to your existing meter.

If you are unhappy with the outcome, you have the right to request an independent test of your meter.

Although the test is free, you may have to pay your energy supplier for organising it if your meter is found to be working correctly, which was the case for the vast majority of meters tested in 2021.

Electricity meters: independent testing of accuracy

Where to go for further advice

Citizens Advice

Published 2 July 2018