Customers are rushing to submit meter readings before bills go up on Friday, causing energy websites to crash. Shell Energy and EDF, among others, stated that they were working to resolve issues with their websites and apps.
Experts have urged people to submit readings in order for their usage to be covered by the current lower rates.
The energy price cap – the maximum price suppliers in England, Wales, and Scotland can charge households – will be raised on Friday. By taking a meter reading, suppliers are prevented from estimating usage and potentially charging for energy used prior to April 1 at the higher rate.
“Our website is experiencing disruption as we deal with an increase in the number of customers attempting to access their accounts,” a Shell Energy spokesman said.
EDF also said it was aware of technical issues affecting its website and app when customers tried to submit meter readings, according to a spokesman.
“We are working hard to try and resolve this and would encourage customers to try again later and apologise for the inconvenience this is causing,” he said, apologizing for the inconvenience.
“some technical issues we’re trying to resolve as quickly as possible” according to a message on the British Gas website. Customers could still submit readings, but it warned that “a little time to update your account with the meter reading you provided today”
According to Downdetector, which tracks outages, E.ON, Scottish Power, British Gas, and SSE are also having issues with their websites.
The average home on a default tariff paying by direct debit will see a £693 increase, or 54 percent, to £1,971, causing widespread concern about the spiralling cost-of-living crisis.
According to experts, stubbornly high gas prices, exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, could push bills up to £3,000 when the next price cap decision is made in October.
As a result, some of the UK’s poorest people will “simply starve or freeze,” according to consumer expert Martin Lewis.