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  • FIRST POST
    • Kb0301
    • By Kb0301 30th Nov 17, 10:08 AM
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    Kb0301
    Cadent invoiced us for 6 Years of gas
    • #1
    • 30th Nov 17, 10:08 AM
    Cadent invoiced us for 6 Years of gas 30th Nov 17 at 10:08 AM
    Hi
    Just wondered if anybody can please assist on this urgent matter . We moved into our house in 1999 as second owners . The house was built in 1996. We tried to register with a gas supplier Bristish gas and not received any bills . We had no gas meter visible but on the property deeds it stated British Gas as our supplier . They denied this and after spending many hours contacting property developers , energy suppliers , gas transporters and distributors to resolve this in 2000 no one could solve the problem and it was clear a MPRN was never tagged to our property.
    After starting building work in March this year a meter was found buried about 1 metre in the ground covered in bristish gas stickers . After telephoning National grid they denied a gas supply at our property . After many phone calls and stress we now have a gas supply in place with a registered MPRN number as from May 2017 . The question is we have now been invoiced from Cadent ( formally national grid ) with an invoice for £3200 back dated for 6 years . They have quoted the Gas Act 1986 which states a gas transporter to the premises is entitled to recover the value of gas used prior to a consumer arranging a gas supply contract, in this case with British Gas. However our argument is we sourced a supplier as soon as the meter had a registered MPRN tagged to it . There is no written process how to source a MPRN on energy documentation on how to obtain a number and register a meter . We believe whoever fitted the meter/ pipework shoukd have tagged this with a MPRN. It is not our job to do this . We have tried to resolve this but no one seemed to want our money . We have saved the money over the years so this isnít in question. Of course we have the money to pay for gas and donít expect it to be free . We never agreed to sign up to a property with no registered meter. The system has failed us. We have lived in a danger zone for years and it has caused a lot of stress to the point it exhausted us so just continued to put money aside . We believe Cadent have failed us and do not accept their invoice . We tried to resolve this years ago . We would rather give the money to charity . Any help appreciated . Thanks
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    • Hengus
    • By Hengus 30th Nov 17, 11:29 AM
    • 4,632 Posts
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    Hengus
    • #2
    • 30th Nov 17, 11:29 AM
    • #2
    • 30th Nov 17, 11:29 AM
    Given the complexity of your situation, you need proper legal advice. In English Law, debts are Statute Barred after a certain period (usually 6 years); hence, the bill for 6 years of gas usage. Given that you will end up with 12 years of free gas, I would have thought that paying for just 6 years is a satisfactory outcome provided that it is in full and final settlement. New builds are often a problem as it involves developers, suppliers and transporters. I guess what is happening here is that as there was no registered supplier, Cadent - the gas transporter - is claiming back some of what it would had been paid had you had a properly registered meter and a supplier. This is not a Back Billing situation as the Code only applies to energy suppliers.
    • Cardew
    • By Cardew 30th Nov 17, 11:37 AM
    • 27,099 Posts
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    Cardew
    • #3
    • 30th Nov 17, 11:37 AM
    • #3
    • 30th Nov 17, 11:37 AM
    Welcome to the forum.

    You can take the matter to the Ombudsman, but the experience of many posters here is that it is usually a waste of time; and once you have gone down that road future action can be compromised.

    I cannot think of any other course but go to the small claims court.

    However it appears that you have not paid for any gas for 18 years and the invoice is 'only' for a statute limited 6 years.

    Unless you have documentary evidence of correspondence between yourself British Gas and National Grid IMO your court claim chances will be slim.

    A couple of points:

    1. 'we have the money to pay for gas and don’t expect it to be free' But that is exactly what you appear to wanting? Are you arguing that £3,200 is too much? If the gas is not to be free, how much do you feel is reasonable?

    2. 'We have lived in a danger zone for years' Had you written to National Grid, or the local council expressing safety concerns, IMO it is inconceivable that they wouldn't have investigated.

    3. As 2 above, how would/have you shut off the gas supply to your house if there was a leak?
    • footyguy
    • By footyguy 30th Nov 17, 11:41 AM
    • 3,863 Posts
    • 1,533 Thanks
    footyguy
    • #4
    • 30th Nov 17, 11:41 AM
    • #4
    • 30th Nov 17, 11:41 AM
    Hi
    Just wondered if anybody can please assist on this urgent matter . We moved into our house in 1999 as second owners . The house was built in 1996. We tried to register with a gas supplier Bristish gas and not received any bills . We had no gas meter visible but on the property deeds it stated British Gas as our supplier . They denied this and after spending many hours contacting property developers , energy suppliers , gas transporters and distributors to resolve this in 2000 no one could solve the problem and it was clear a MPRN was never tagged to our property.
    After starting building work in March this year a meter was found buried about 1 metre in the ground covered in bristish gas stickers . After telephoning National grid they denied a gas supply at our property . After many phone calls and stress we now have a gas supply in place with a registered MPRN number as from May 2017 . The question is we have now been invoiced from Cadent ( formally national grid ) with an invoice for £3200 back dated for 6 years . They have quoted the Gas Act 1986 which states a gas transporter to the premises is entitled to recover the value of gas used prior to a consumer arranging a gas supply contract, in this case with British Gas. However our argument is we sourced a supplier as soon as the meter had a registered MPRN tagged to it . There is no written process how to source a MPRN on energy documentation on how to obtain a number and register a meter . We believe whoever fitted the meter/ pipework shoukd have tagged this with a MPRN. It is not our job to do this . We have tried to resolve this but no one seemed to want our money . We have saved the money over the years so this isnít in question. Of course we have the money to pay for gas and donít expect it to be free . We never agreed to sign up to a property with no registered meter. The system has failed us. We have lived in a danger zone for years and it has caused a lot of stress to the point it exhausted us so just continued to put money aside . We believe Cadent have failed us and do not accept their invoice . We tried to resolve this years ago . We would rather give the money to charity . Any help appreciated . Thanks
    Originally posted by Kb0301
    Please post a legible image of the invoice you have received, and a full explanation as to why you do not accept it.
    • Kb0301
    • By Kb0301 30th Nov 17, 12:54 PM
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    Kb0301
    • #5
    • 30th Nov 17, 12:54 PM
    • #5
    • 30th Nov 17, 12:54 PM
    Yes 12 years of free gas is not what itís about . We just would like things done legally correct and fairly . It has caused a lot of stress over the years and at no point did we sign up for free gas at our property . We managed to register our electric , water and council tax when we moved into the property . We are not the first owners of this property either. There are arguments either way .We tried relentlessly to source a supply contract but with no MPRN this proved difficult . Cadent have a duty to investigate and maintain their Pipework . They never responded to any of our requests.
    • Kb0301
    • By Kb0301 30th Nov 17, 1:07 PM
    • 8 Posts
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    Kb0301
    • #6
    • 30th Nov 17, 1:07 PM
    • #6
    • 30th Nov 17, 1:07 PM
    Yes 12 years of free gas is not what itís about . We just would like things done legally correct and fairly . It has caused a lot of stress over the years and at no point did we sign up for free gas at our property . We managed to register our electric , water and council tax when we moved into the property . We are not the first owners of this property either. There are arguments either way .We tried relentlessly to source a supply contract but with no MPRN this proved difficult . Cadent have a duty to investigate and maintain their Pipework . They never responded to any of our requests. Apparently the money we are invoiced for would not be retained by Cadent, as this is then distributed to the suppliers that have already paid for the gas consumed for unregistered supplies. The revenue collected in these circumstances, would not be retained by Cadent, as this is distributed to the suppliers that have already paid for the gas consumed for unregistered supplies. Ombudsman Energy have recently investigated and have come to the conclusion that Cadent have invoiced us correctly . Itís a very complex case but we feel let down by the whole process . Cadent or formally national grid / Transco were never interested in our dilemma . With regards to Gas . Electric was and still is our main energy source .
    • Kb0301
    • By Kb0301 30th Nov 17, 1:36 PM
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    Kb0301
    • #7
    • 30th Nov 17, 1:36 PM
    • #7
    • 30th Nov 17, 1:36 PM
    We donít accept it as itís not our role to tag/ register a meter with a MPRN . I believe thatís up to the transporter or supplier when pipes are first put in place . We have carried out our duty to request a supply contract . We never entered into a contract with Cadent . We have written confirmation from British Gas they are working on setting a new supply up with Cadent in March 2017 . The GT also have duty to send out lettered staying a supply contract is not in place and I believe if within fourteens days you fail they would disconnect you . The reason this never happened as there was no supply in the first place . We donít feel we should pay them it should be paid to a charity .
    • Hengus
    • By Hengus 30th Nov 17, 2:13 PM
    • 4,632 Posts
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    Hengus
    • #8
    • 30th Nov 17, 2:13 PM
    • #8
    • 30th Nov 17, 2:13 PM
    We donít accept it as itís not our role to tag/ register a meter with a MPRN . I believe thatís up to the transporter or supplier when pipes are first put in place . We have carried out our duty to request a supply contract . We never entered into a contract with Cadent . We have written confirmation from British Gas they are working on setting a new supply up with Cadent in March 2017 . The GT also have duty to send out lettered staying a supply contract is not in place and I believe if within fourteens days you fail they would disconnect you . The reason this never happened as there was no supply in the first place . We donít feel we should pay them it should be paid to a charity .
    Originally posted by Kb0301
    Cadent believes that it has a claim against you for payment based on its understanding of the Law. If you refuse to pay, then no doubt Cadent will consider whether the claim against you should be pursued via the Courts. If you feel that the Law is your side, then get proper legal advice on how best you should counter the claim. Offering to play the money to charity just because you are miffed with Cadent is unlikely to make them rescind their claim against you.
    • Cardew
    • By Cardew 30th Nov 17, 2:23 PM
    • 27,099 Posts
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    Cardew
    • #9
    • 30th Nov 17, 2:23 PM
    • #9
    • 30th Nov 17, 2:23 PM
    We just would like things done legally correct and fairly .

    We tried relentlessly to source a supply contract but with no MPRN this proved difficult . Cadent have a duty to investigate and maintain their Pipework . They never responded to any of our requests.
    Originally posted by Kb0301
    As stated in post #3 going to the Energy Ombudsman, and getting an unsatisfactory result, will weaken your case in any court action.

    Obviously there has been an error in your case regarding the meter MPRN. However with regard to fairness, I suspect the majority of people would feel that getting 12 years of free gas is adequate compensation for that error.

    Do you have written correspondence from BGas/Cadent/National Grid to support your relentless efforts to get a supply contract?
    • Kb0301
    • By Kb0301 30th Nov 17, 5:21 PM
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    Kb0301
    We have written evidence with British Gas that we tried to register a supply with them back in 2000. We have evidence on our title deeds British Gas is our supplier plus there is photographic evidence of British Gas stickers installation on the gas meter buried underground . The reading is 8792.

    I have found this on exoserve documents

    Title ... gas governance ... shippless and unregistered sites

    A possible scenario ...

    Unregistered Site Ė ĎExpressí Supply Contract in Place (Shipper/Supplier failure to register Supply Point)
    6.3.1 In this scenario, we do not believe that it is appropriate for the Transporter to disconnect the premises or seek to recover the value of the gas consumed. This is on the basis that the consumer has entered into a supply contract in good faith and should not be inconvenienced by omissions elsewhere in the market arrangements.
    6.3.2 More importantly, we do not believe that the Transporter would have the right to recover the value of the gas taken as conferred by paragraph 9 of the Gas Code. The supply in this case has not been illegally reconnected (Gas Code Paragraph 9(2)) and we do not believe that gas has been taken in the course of conveyance (Gas Code Paragraph 9(1))22.
    • phillw
    • By phillw 30th Nov 17, 5:57 PM
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    phillw
    This is on the basis that the consumer has entered into a supply contract in good faith and should not be inconvenienced by omissions elsewhere in the market arrangements.
    Originally posted by Kb0301
    This covers if you were paying someone for your gas, but they weren't paying Cadent. Cadent can't then come after you. However you don't appear to have entered into a supply contract, you say that British Gas refused to enter a contract with you.

    Cadent seem to be acting in good faith. They have just realised that you've been taking their gas without paying for it and are trying to recover some of the cost. If you knew you weren't being billed then you could have just not used the gas.
    • Kb0301
    • By Kb0301 30th Nov 17, 6:20 PM
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    Kb0301
    We couldnít enter into a supply contract as someone along the line failed to register the pipework / a meter . Who is responsible for this ? Who maintains the database ?Our responsibility is to source a supply but no one seemed to understand the MPRN process and they still donít. When we contacted Transco in 2000 they informed us nothing was on their database and an independent transporter must have installed pipework which is common on new developments ??? To fair gas isnít our main energy source . Our gas fire was condemned in 2006 and paperwork completed by a gas safe engineer . National grid received a copy of this but no one contacted us regarding a gas supply ?
    • Cardew
    • By Cardew 30th Nov 17, 6:31 PM
    • 27,099 Posts
    • 13,217 Thanks
    Cardew
    Whilst things obviously went wrong in 1999, or probably 1996, the position is that you have been presented with a bill of £3,200 and despite your protestations the Energy Ombudsman has declared the bill is valid.

    What is your aim now?

    1. You agree that the gas for the last 6 years (of the 18 years)should not be free, but seemingly are objecting to the bill of £3,200. Would you accept a lower figure? if so how much?

    I suggest if you offer/solicit a lower sum you are admitting liability.

    2. If you default on the £3,200 bill you are likely to be taken to court. If you defend the action and lose, the bill with costs is likely to be considerably higher.

    3. You, or your lawyer, can put forward the points you have made above in contesting the case. However the decision of the Energy Ombudsman will doubtless be taken into account.

    4. You can put in a pre-emptive strike and attempt to get the bill squashed in the small claims court. That way you are safe from picking up the defendants costs; unless the judge considers your case frivolous.
    • brewerdave
    • By brewerdave 1st Dec 17, 10:59 AM
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    brewerdave
    I would suspect that £3200 for 6 years(£533 ave. pa) assumes that you are using gas for heating /hot water. Do you have a gas fired central heating boiler? Otherwise,what are you actually using the gas for ??
    If only cooking ,then you should be able to negotiate a massive reduction in the amount.
    • Kb0301
    • By Kb0301 1st Dec 17, 1:12 PM
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    Kb0301
    Gas for heating hot water only , cooking is electric and we have a wood burner . Our personal circumstances don’t really come into it however we are not high energy users . To be honest our gas bill since British Gas finally accepted us as a customer in May 2017 is so far £50 up to November 1st. All this is irrelevant . My point is we are very disappointed in the Ombudsman investigation . We feel we are not the only guilty party in this investigation . The gas industry system has failed us . In 1996 someone was responsible for registering and tagging the pipework and registering a meter supplying to our property . The whole process of trying relentlessly to set up a supply contract was very frustrating to the point no one seemed to want our money .

    The truth is we will probably accept their findings on the basis we are exhausted with the whole process . Yes we would like to stand up in front of a judge and defend ourselves over the gas industry protocols and processes . I’m sure there is a flaw somewhere in the system and some there must be some legal terminology in the gas act that favours us somewhere . We are not the only ones deemed responsible in this act. However we haven’t the time and energy to do so . It has caused a lot of unhappiness over the years. We believe defending ourselves in court would only add further anxiety to us and our family .
    • jackandcoke
    • By jackandcoke 1st Dec 17, 1:22 PM
    • 32 Posts
    • 18 Thanks
    jackandcoke
    I suspect even if they only asked you to pay for 1 year (meaning you had 17 years of free gas) you would still kick up a stink. Just pay and move on. Life's too short and you've had 12 years free gas!
    Honest? Probably......sort of.
    • Kb0301
    • By Kb0301 1st Dec 17, 1:51 PM
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    Kb0301
    It’s got nothing to do with how much we should we pay ! We’ve saved the money in a special account so that’s not the issue . It’s about what’s right and wrong and why this happened in the first place !! We never signed up to a property with the situation it presented . Some people may find receiving free gas fantastic . Personally I’m shocked that this can ever happen ? We tried our best to give people our money but no one wanted it . We didn’t feel comfortable with this process it seems you obviously see things differently !
    • JJ Egan
    • By JJ Egan 1st Dec 17, 2:11 PM
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    JJ Egan
    Whats right and whats wrong .
    the Ombudsman's verdict was wrong in your opinion as basically it found against you .
    Any complaints should be made against the Ombudsman .
    The only advice you get on this forum will vary from person to person .Hence the initial post saying you need Legal Advice .Bit pointless continually posting when you disagree with the replies given .
    • spiro
    • By spiro 2nd Dec 17, 8:09 AM
    • 5,861 Posts
    • 2,818 Thanks
    spiro
    We have written evidence with British Gas that we tried to register a supply with them back in 2000. We have evidence on our title deeds British Gas is our supplier plus there is photographic evidence of British Gas stickers installation on the gas meter buried underground . The reading is 8792.
    Originally posted by Kb0301
    Is the meter reading the final reading from the old meter or the initial reading of the new meter?
    If it is the initial reading for the new meter (unlikely) you can reading the meter now and determine who much gas has been used since the meter was installed. This will allow you to calculate an annual average and use this to negotiate with Cadent.
    If it was the final reading from the old meter (more likely) you will have to assume the meter was installed with a reading of zero. Again use this to see how much gas has been used to work out an annual average.
    IT Consultant in the utilities industry specialising in the retail electricity market.

    4 Credit Card and 1 Loan PPI claims settled for £26k, 1 rejected (Opus).
    • brewerdave
    • By brewerdave 2nd Dec 17, 9:15 AM
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    brewerdave
    Whilst I would be prepared to pay ,I would not pay £3200 !! If you only use gas for hot water then the amount will be considerably less than that -I would suspect about 20% of the £3200 is fair for 6 years worth. Try negotiating a substantial reduction on those grounds.
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