Thousands of UK households are not paying for electricity and gas.
According to a report in The Times, around 20,000 properties have “ghost meters” – those that are not registered to an energy supplier.
Households with ghost meters continue to receive electricity and gas, with the cost passed on to registered recipients.
This equates to around an extra £15m a year paid for by consumers.
Speaking to The Times, energy watchdog Ofgem claimed that the oversight was due to “errors in the industry’s administrative process”, with the majority of the unconnected “ghost meters” installed in converted flats or new blocks of flats.
According to Scott Byrom, utilities specialist at moneysupermarket.com: “You would hope that Ofgem is doing something about the issue. The market is not good at tracking down these meters. If people are using energy it needs to be paid by someone. So it’s free for them - but the rest of us are paying.”