Energy price cap: E.On, British Gas and EDF websites crash as customers rush to submit meter readings

E.On apologised to customers on Twitter after blaming money expert Martin Lewis for the rush in customers coming to its site

Energy firms have come under fire after customers were left unable to submit their meter readings ahead of a hefty price hike.

E.On, British Gas and EDF are among those companies who have seen their websites crash as a large number of customers attempted to submit their readings ahead of the energy price cap increase on Friday (1 April).

Energy prices are due to increase on this date by 54%, homeowners recommended to submit readings before 1 April to ensure that they are not being overcharged for their usage.

E.On found itself in further hot water after the company sent a Tweet in reply to a customer in which Martin Lewis was blamed for the websites crashing.

Are energy websites down?

Customers are having continued failure in trying to submit their meter readings.

Phone lines are also reportedly down as people attempt to update their readings.

Gillian Cooper, head of energy policy at Citizens Advice, said: “This is a frustrating situation for customers, many of whom are already incredibly worried about how they’ll cope with rising bills.

“We know some energy companies have put in measures to prepare for a surge of people sending meter readings, but clearly it hasn’t been enough.

“If you’ve managed to take a photo of your meter you’ll be able to contact your provider with proof of your usage on March 31. If you weren’t able to take a meter reading your energy company will use a reasonable estimate of your energy usage before the price cap rise to calculate your bill.”

Why are energy websites down?

The website crashes and jammed phone lines come as the energy price cap is set to increase.

The change will be made on Friday 1 April, affecting 22 million households in the UK.

The cap will increase 54%, taking annual bills from £1,277 to £1971.

For prepayment customers, bills are set to increase from £1,309 to £2,017.

As a result of the climbing price, customers were encouraged by Citizens Advice and Martin Lewis to send their supplier current meter readings to ensure that they will not be overcharged.

What happens if I can’t submit my meter reading today?

While energy customers may be stressing over whether they are able to send their reading, there is hope for those who are not able to do so by midnight.

Martin Lewis told his Twitter followers that a photo of current readings can be taken and often submitted within the next week.

Energy firms have also said this in an attempt to dampen the rush to their websites.

What did E.On say about Martin Lewis?

On Thursday 31 March, customers rushed to phone lines and suppliers’ websites to submit their readings however the heavy traffic led to sites and lines crashing.

E.On caused further anger after a staff member blamed Martin Lewis for “bringing down Britain” by instructing customers to rush to submit their readings.

The tweet read: “Unfortunately, the website and phone lines of every supplier are being hammered today. Martin [Lewis] has once again created unprecedented demand bringing down Britain.”

The company later apologised for the comments saying: “An ill-considered remark was made by one of our Energy Specialists and in no way reflects our position. We have an excellent relationship with Martin Lewis & his team. We apologise for any offence caused. We also have recently been advising customers to send readings by 1 April.”

The ITV money expert responded to the tweet saying: “I think it was someone trying to be funny - who forgot that you can’t do a wry smile in twitter. Rather than anyone actually suggesting I’m “breaking Britain’ I’m always forgiving of human error (as I make ‘em myself).”