British Gas and EDF Energy face backlash as Tory MP claims both websites down on 'meter reading day'

Consumers have been advised to submit a meter reading today to avoid paying higher rates for energy used before April 1

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Conservative MP Tom Tugendhat has claimed that both EDF Energy and British Gas' websites are down for maintenance, on the day that many will be looking to submit their meter readings.

With the energy price cap due to rise, consumers have been advised to record their meter readings today in order to avoid being overcharged for energy used before April 1st.

The hashtag #MeterReadingDay has been circulating online, reminding households to notify their energy supplier of their meter reading.

The consumer advice provider Which? advised users on Twitter to submit an energy reading if they are on a "variable tariff" in order to avoid the April 1 "price hike."

However, the MP for Tonbridge and Malling has claimed that two of Britain's biggest energy providers' websites are down for maintenance.

In a tweet he said: "Today’s the day to update your meter reading but @edfenergy and @BritishGas seem to both have their websites down for maintenance. I’ll take a photo of the reading and enter it later."

However one Twitter user replied to the Kent MP: "Tbf [sic] I think it’s [the] quantity of people trying, I tried yesterday morning and was unavailable, but managed in the evening."

Despite Mr Tugendhat's specific claim about EDF Energy and British Gas, the issue appeared to be an industry-wide problem.

A spokesman for Energy UK, the trade association for the industry, said: “We’re aware that some suppliers are experiencing issues with their websites due to the volume of customers submitting meter readings.

“Suppliers do offer alternative ways of doing this such as through automated phone lines and apps so we’d recommend customers try those. Customers with smart meters do not need to worry as their readings are automatically sent to their supplier.”

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

The message said customers could still submit readings but warned it could take “a little time to update your account with the meter reading you provided today”.

EDF Energy’s website also reported problems, apparently as many people tried to submit their meter readings on their account.

The main page of EDF Energy was working, but when customers clicked through to the MyAccount page they were unable to log in.

A message on the page reads: “Sorry… We’re carrying out some essential maintenance work on our site. We’ll be up and running again soon.”

A radiator at a home in north London.
A radiator at a home in north London.

E.On also seemed to be facing issues with letting customers log in to their accounts, while customers of So Energy reported that they were unable to either log in or get through on customer helplines.

According to Downdetector, E.ON, Scottish Power, British Gas and SSE have gone down.

Households will see the biggest rise in the cost of energy in living memory from Friday when bills increase by 54 percent, or almost £700, to just under £2,000 a year.

Gillian Cooper, head of energy policy at Citizens Advice, said: “We’d recommend sending meter readings to your supplier ahead of the price cap rise on 1 April. This means your energy company will have an accurate picture of your usage before higher rates come in.

“If you’re struggling to pay your bill, speak to your energy provider as they have to help you. Citizens Advice can also provide you with free, independent support.”