Back to previous
Inspection of meters
There are two points to make about the inspection of meters which have been allegedly tampered with.
    A supplier is supposed to take all reasonable steps to read your meter at least once a year.1Condition 21B.4 SLC A supplier is also obliged to inspect your meter generally for the purposes of investigating, detecting and preventing potential theft or abstraction of supply as part of its requirements in condition 12A SLC.2Condition 12A.1(a) SLC If the supplier claims that the meter has been tampered with for more than one year (hence it can try to claim more than one years’ worth of stolen fuel), you can point out that this suggests it has breached its obligations to read the meter or take all reasonable steps to investigate, detect and prevent theft or abstraction of supply. You also cannot rely on the supplier’s obligations against back-billing in avoiding payment for more than one years’ worth of stolen gas or electricity. In normal circumstances, this is where a supplier is limited to billing you for energy use consumed within the preceding 12 months. This is because fuel theft is deemed as you behaving obstructively or manifestly unreasonably, which is exempt from the back-billing rules.3Condition 21BA.2(c) SLC
    In cases of alleged tampering or theft of fuel, suppliers often remove meters quickly. Electricity suppliers must keep meters they have removed because of tampering until Ofgem says otherwise.4Condition 12A SLC Meter providers state in their relevant code of practice the minimum length of time they will keep a damaged meter. In the event of legal action, you will need to have your own expert inspect the meter, so check that the meter is being retained correctly and, if necessary, quote the code of practice.
1     Condition 21B.4 SLC »
2     Condition 12A.1(a) SLC »
3     Condition 21BA.2(c) SLC »
4     Condition 12A SLC »