Energy websites crash as people rush to submit meter readings before price hike

The websites of numerous major energy suppliers have crashed ahead of the April price hike, customers say.

British Gas, EDF and E.On, Shell Energy, Scottish Power, So Energy and Octopus Energy were all said to be experiencing problems online earlier today.

British Gas’ website is still showing an error message, while some sites, including E.On and EDF, appeared to be functioning for some users.

It comes as as thousands of customers attempt to upload their latest meter readings ahead of tomorrow’s increase in rates, which is expected to cost hundreds and leave many people facing huge financial difficulties.

On what is known as ‘meter reading day’, the Money Saving Expert founder Martin Lewis urged people not to panic about being unable to submit their reading.

He tweeted: ‘To reiterate again you DON’T need to give a meter reading today if you’re on a fixed deal, or are in Northern Ireland, or anyone else who’s tariff is not on the price cap.

‘And again if on smart/prepay just take pic of your meter, no need to submit.’

Mr Lewis added: ‘The nearer to today you do it the less chance of mis-estimates, so don’t panic about missing it (either through your own or the firm’s issue) just get it in as soon as you can.’

The consumer champion organisation Which? tweeted: ‘Hearing lots of reports from people struggling to submit meter readings because their energy firm’s website is down.

‘If you can’t submit – take a photo of your meter reading so you can prove when it was taken.

‘Some energy companies also have automated phone lines you can use to submit meter readings, people can also try calling these numbers or emailing if they can’t submit readings online.’

This is a breaking news story, more to follow soon… Check back shortly for further updates.

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