Energy company "inspectors" asking to see meter readings in person?

Hi all,
Had a strange occurrence today - at least to me as I’ve not come across this yet.
We had a man knocking on our door at 2PM claiming to be an inspector for Spark Energy (now part of SSE) and asking to visually confirm our meter readings.

We upload our readings via the website every month and in 4 years have never had anyone come to verify them in person.

Of course I would not let the man in but he was happy to either have me take a photo of the meter and show him for him to update on his PDA or leave a card with a number I would then call to verify the readings to a customer support desk.

Sounds highly suspicious to me as what would be the difference between posting the meter reading online vs giving them over the phone to a representative?

Am I just being paranoid? Anyone come across this before?

Thanks

They visit us sometimes, I couldn’t tell you which energy companies we are with atm. I think the reason they come is to check that your self submitted readings are correct/honest.

IIRC we had a visit while self isolating and he accepted a fresh photo.

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Thank you Beige, appreciate the insight.

That puts my concerns to rest (they’ll still not be allowed into the house though, you never know…)

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We had someone come the other day to read the electricity meters unexpectedly. We have a communal corridor so I did let him in and he seemed to know the particular address he was looking for out of the flats so it seemed legit. I think as Beige says companies do come to validate meter readings. The guy who came to us was white, 50+, wearing glasses and a mask under his nose.

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we had a visit yesterday. Checked ID and showed them the 2 meters. They do their own check about once every 4 years or so in my experience.

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Interesting as I would expect a text or email from the supplier letting us know in advance.

Honestly there is no way I’ll let an unexpected visitor in the door, no matter what credentials they have (except a uniformed police officer). I tell my wife the same.

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Meters do have to be inspected every so often for safety.

If they are genuine they should have ID and will not object to you doing a call to check of the company are operating in the area.

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When I’ve asked for ID in the past they usually have some ID for the sub-contractor and nothing to do with my actual gas supplier. On that basis I’ve refused to let them enter in the past, which the energy supply didn’t seem to like.

One visited yesterday from Morrison’s Data Services.

I’ve been letting people in to read the meters ever since I first became a householder nearly fifty years ago. I always stand over them while they’re doing it and see them off the premises afterwards. Don’t see the problem.

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@Gdvirbh It was several years ago that energy firms stopped employing their own staff to read meters and contracted the work out to companies like Morrisons, as they are now doing with smart meter installations as well.

However last year I had reason to query with the energy supplier for an unoccupied house I’m responsible for why they had sent a bill showing their read for the electricity supply but an estimated reading for the gas supply when their meter reader had called the previous week. They advised they hadn’t sent a meter reader but after further investigations they advised it wasn’t a meter reader working on their behalf that had called but someone working on behalf of the industry body who were just checking the electricity meter was working properly. I then remembered that after “reading” the electricity meter the person went to leave until I queried that he would also need the gas reading as it was a dual fuel tariff. He did say at the time he’d only been asked to do the electricity meter but after persuasion from me did offer to read the gas meter as well and although I saw him enter the details on his hand held device it seems only the electricity reading was kept by the industry body and forwarded to EDF to verify the meter had been checked! Had it been explained more clearly by the person who visited the property that he wasn’t a regular meter reader I would have supplied the readings for both supplies when I left the property the next day as I had expected to do in the first place!

Thanks everyone, much appreciate the responses and you’ve certainly put my mind at ease.