A GRANDAD was horrified after his smart meter estimated he used £40,000 of gas – in one day.
Tom Barratt, 68, got the fright of his life from the Scottish Power gadget just days after the energy company hiked his monthly bills.
He rang up to complain but says his worries were ignored and customer services shrugged him off, saying it was probably a glitch on the meter's monitor.
The couple have been taking colder showers to try and save on gas.
Retired financier Tom told The Sun: “I almost had a heart attack, I thought it was probably an error, but what if they were actually going to charge me?
"I rang them up and they didn't care. I was genuinely worried what might happen to my account."
Tom and wife Stella, 69, from Cottingley, West Yorkshire, live in a semi-detached three-bedroom house, their home of 30 years.
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He found the astronomical smart meter estimate of £39,907.64 on his smart meter on Monday last week.
Cheeky grandad-of-three Tom has since started switching off the heating without telling his wife to save a few pennies.
Scottish Power raised the couple’s energy bill from £199 to £340 earlier this month.
Tom added: "Anything could happen to energy prices at the moment, so getting a good indication of how much money we are spending on gas is really important.
"So when the meter goes wrong and says I'm spending £40,000, I was horrified.
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"Stella and I are both taking colder showers and wearing jumpers and using blankets around the house.
“I get a stern telling off when I switch the heating off without telling the wife, but you've got to save every penny nowadays."
It comes as Britain faces the longest recession since records began with soaring inflation and energy bills.
Millions on Universal Credit and other benefits are getting a £650 one-off payment.
And in the supermarkets shoppers face a £682 yearly grocery bill hike as the price of food continues to rocket.
Grocery price inflation has hit a record 14.7 per cent and could still go higher, according to consumer group experts at Kantar.
A Scottish Power spokesman said: "We’re sorry for any confusion or distress Mr Barratt may have experienced due to the inaccurate information showing on his in-home display.
"This does not reflect his actual usage at the property or the readings from the meter itself.
"The issue is due to a software update required for the display unit and we are working with the manufacturer to implement this as soon as possible.
"We can assure Mr Barratt that he will only be charged for his actual usage, based on the accurate readings his smart meter is still providing to us."
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