Martin Lewis has been urging every energy customer across Scotland and the rest of the UK to take meter readings ahead of Ofgem’s energy price hike coming into force on Friday, April 1.
However, the nation has heeded the consumer champion’s advice and now one energy company is ‘blaming’ him for their website crashing due to the increased volume of customers trying to submit a final meter reading.
Birmingham Live reports that E.ON Next is attributing the website crash to his advice, going as far as to accuse him of ‘bringing down Britain’ as its energy customers flock to Twitter to complain about not being able to access their online accounts.
User Kate Baldock said: “Just tried to submit my meter readings the day before the new energy price cap comes in and the @eon_next website is down. Can’t login. Not happy.”
E.ON Next @eon_next replied saying: “If you still need to chat with us, please respond to our private message.”
Kate then said: “I would say this isn’t a DM issue judging by the reaction from other customers my tweet has caused.
“When will your website be up again? Will people be able to submit readings today via the website? There’s no tweets by you acknowledging the issue. Thanks.”
E.ON Next replied saying its websites was being ‘hammered’.
They replied: “Unfortunately the website and phone lines of every supplier are being hammered today.
“Martin has once again created unprecedented demand bringing down Britain.
“If you respond to our private message providing the details requested then we can assist you.”
According to DownDetector, a UK website which reports UK services experiencing issues at any given time, British Gas, E.ON and Scottish Power websites are all currently experiencing issues.
Compared to the typical volume of reports for issues on the Scottish Power site, 325% more users were reporting issues at 10.15am on Thursday, compared to the same time on Wednesday.
Customers at Shell energy have also reported issues accessing the energy site and on the customer service phone line.
From April 1 there is set to be a big hike in energy tariffs – and today Martin Lewis also took to This Morning to explain exactly why people should take a reading today – and why not doing so could cost them money.
Holly Willoughby read out a message from one caller who said: “I pay my gas and electric by direct debit I did my normal meter readings on the 18th of March and I had my meter read on Tuesday as Martin said a second meter reading is needed for Friday however Shell energy told me that I needed to give my meter reading on Friday – is this correct I’m a bit confused?”
Martin responded: “Ok so let’s ignore everything energy companies are saying – they’re not saying it’s ‘meter reading day’, I’m saying it’s meter reading day.
“The reason I’m saying it is because if you’re on a price cap tariff which is 75 per cent of people your rate is going to go up 54 per cent tomorrow.
“If you don’t do a meter reading.”
He continued: “Let’s say you did your last meter reading a month ago and you do your next meter reading in a month then you’ve got a two month period where in the middle the energy price goes up they’re going to look at your usage across that period and they’re going to proportion some for when it was cheap and some for when it’s expensive.
“I want everyone to take the estimation out of that and the way you take the estimation out of that is you give a meter reading today as late in the day as possible because that draws a line and says to the energy company that every one of these units should be charged at the cheaper rate not at the more expensive rate.”
He added: “It’s me telling people to do a meter reading today to ensure that the energy firm doesn’t estimate that your cheaper March usage was in fact in April and charge you more.
“If you have a smart meter you don’t need to do a meter reading because it’s automatic – but just in case there’s a dispute later take a picture of your meter.”
Energy bills will rise by £693 for 22 million households.
The price cap on standard and default tariffs will rise by 54 per cent.
On ‘typical’ energy use, this means the price cap will rise from £1,277 per year to £1,971 from April 1.
Pre-payment customers will see a bigger jump, with their price cap going up by £708, from £1,309 to £2,017.