Back to basics on gas – imperial versus metric

Thousands of customers are due money back after energy firms calculate gas bills incorrectly.

You may think the recent reports of energy firms calculating gas bills incorrectly due to mixing up imperial and metric meters is a new problem, but it isn’t.

Here at CostAdvice, we’ve assisted HUNDREDS of businesses, large and small, in fixing billing issues caused by suppliers registering gas meters incorrectly since we first started in 1995. It’s been happening for years, you just might not have heard about it until it’s been in the news recently.

The problem arises when suppliers register meters as measuring in cubic feet, whereas it should be in cubic metres (or vice versa). If the issue goes unnoticed for a prolonged period of time, this can result in either a large credit being owed to customers, or more worryingly a large debit owed to the supplier.

Although only a small percentage of customers are believed to be affected, it represents thousands of customers across the country. Bearing in mind how many employees suppliers have, and how much they spend on their biling systems, we find it staggering that such basic mistakes can still be made in the gas industry.

Here’s our simple guide to making sure you’re being billed correctly:

Option 1 – perform the calculations yourself

  • Take a look at your gas meter. It will show on the front whether it’s measuring in cubic feet (ft3) or cubic metres (m3). If your meter is measuring in feet, it’s imperial. If it measures in metres, it’s metric.
  • Take a look at your gas bill. Whatever the metered consumption is (NOT the kWh), perform this calculation:

(Metered consumption x correction factor x calorific value) ÷ 3.6.

Here’s an example:

(245 metered consumption x 1.02264 correction factor x 39.6 calorific value = 9921) ÷ 3.6 = 2756 kWh.

  • If this matches what’s shown on your bill AND your meter is measuring in cubic metres (m3), then you’re being billed correctly.
  • If this doesn’t match what’s shown on your bill and/or you’re meter is measuring in cubic feet (ft3), then something’s not right.

Option 2 – ask us!

If you’re not confident in checking this yourself, please feel free to send us a photo of your meter along with a copy of a recent bill and we will be happy to advise on whether you are being charged correctly. Simply send us an email with the subject heading ‘Check my gas meter’ and we’ll get right back to you. Please include a telephone number so we can call you in case we need to clarify anything.

What to do if you think your bill is incorrect:

Call us on 0800 040 70 90 and we’ll help you. We’ll be able to calculate if any refunds are due to you and help arrange for the money to be sent back to you as quickly as possible.