Really wrong estimated bills - huge backlog

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bobbadog
bobbadog Posts: 1,606 Forumite
Hiya

I don't think anything can be done at all, but i'm in a bit of a predicament...

I live in a rented flat, 1 bed, small, and have been there 18 months. When we moved in the inventory lady gave us our meter readings which we passed on to British Gas. I've always paid by DD (£16 a month elec and £26 gas), which hasn't changed for past 4 years (same as when we lived in a 1 bed flat somewhere else) and I get my bills online - always in credit.

Anyway, just read our meters for the first time since we moved in (converted flats, had to crawl in a spider-ridden dark cupboard to do this) and they've now issued our final bills - £440 Gas and £550 electricity! HUGE!

This flat DOES Have halogen ceiling lights, but we use lamps and energy saving lightbulbs, have the heating on only for an hour or two in the evening when it's cold (never overnight) - we do run a tumble drier (as no outdoor space) but again not often and only at night. I'm quite fastidious about turning plugs off etc.

So, working it out, i've paid: £42 a month for 18 months = £756
but we've actually used £1746 over the 18 months in total = £97 a month...

Is this normal? And do companies not have to come read the meter every 6 months or so anymore?

I rang British Gas earlier and they said when we do our actual final bill (moving next Monday) they'll arrange a repayment thing for us over 12 months - but still loads... :( xx
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  • sheraz2
    sheraz2 Posts: 1,637 Forumite
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    You say you haven't changed the amount you pay in the past 4 years, well given that fact, your bill sounds about right.
    God made man, man made money, money made man mad
  • bobbadog
    bobbadog Posts: 1,606 Forumite
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    Hiya - nope, never changed the amount - but they'd never asked me to and I just presumed as the estimated bills said credit that it was all ok. Should never presume! :) x
  • Premier_2
    Premier_2 Posts: 15,141 Forumite
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    British gas increased the unit price of their gas by over 50% in 2008 alone.

    Unless you have been cutting down on consumption, then your shortfall sounds about right.

    There's no legal obligation to read electricity meters regularly (although suppliers should attempt to do so), but there is a requirement for the gas meter to be 'inspected' every 2 years. During this 'inspection' which they claim is for safety reasons, they would take a reading (and not do much else usually)
    "Now to trolling as a concept. .... Personally, I've always found it a little sad that people choose to spend such a large proportion of their lives in this way but they do, and we have to deal with it." - MSE Forum Manager 6th July 2010
  • Gavioli_UK
    Gavioli_UK Posts: 183 Forumite
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    From Supply Licences
    Electricity
    –SLC 17(1)&(2): supplier must use reasonable endeavours to ensurethat once every 2 year period it inspects (domestic) meters (reading, inspection)
    –SLC18(1)&(2): supplier can arrange for installation of secondarymeter for purpose of ascertaining amount of electricity supplied

    (i) Legal Framework
    Gas
    –Gas Act 1986, Schedule 2B(3): must keep meter in proper working order
    –SLC 17(1)&(2): supplier must use reasonable endeavours to inspect (I&C/domestic) meters at intervals of not more than 2 years (reading, inspection, battery change)

    –SLC17A: supplier must adjust charges where meter has registered erroneously
    [FONT=CG Omega,CG Omega][/FONT]
    Premier wrote: »
    British gas increased the unit price of their gas by over 50% in 2008 alone.


    There's no legal obligation to read electricity meters regularly (although suppliers should attempt to do so), but there is a requirement for the gas meter to be 'inspected' every 2 years. During this 'inspection' which they claim is for safety reasons, they would take a reading (and not do much else usually)
  • Magentasue
    Magentasue Posts: 4,229 Forumite
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    Where readings are estimated, the customer is supposed to supply their own readings. Obviously, they can't force you to do this but it is your responsibility to take the reading and budget for any shortfall.
  • Fire_Fox
    Fire_Fox Posts: 26,026 Forumite
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    bobbadog wrote: »
    Hiya

    I don't think anything can be done at all, but i'm in a bit of a predicament...

    I live in a rented flat, 1 bed, small, and have been there 18 months. When we moved in the inventory lady gave us our meter readings which we passed on to British Gas. I've always paid by DD (£16 a month elec and £26 gas), which hasn't changed for past 4 years (same as when we lived in a 1 bed flat somewhere else) and I get my bills online - always in credit.

    Anyway, just read our meters for the first time since we moved in (converted flats, had to crawl in a spider-ridden dark cupboard to do this) and they've now issued our final bills - £440 Gas and £550 electricity! HUGE!

    This flat DOES Have halogen ceiling lights, but we use lamps and energy saving lightbulbs, have the heating on only for an hour or two in the evening when it's cold (never overnight) - we do run a tumble drier (as no outdoor space) but again not often and only at night. I'm quite fastidious about turning plugs off etc.

    So, working it out, i've paid: £42 a month for 18 months = £756
    but we've actually used £1746 over the 18 months in total = £97 a month...

    Is this normal? And do companies not have to come read the meter every 6 months or so anymore?

    I rang British Gas earlier and they said when we do our actual final bill (moving next Monday) they'll arrange a repayment thing for us over 12 months - but still loads... :( xx

    I am guessing by the spider references and how you signed off your post, you are female? It's not going to be any easier for a burly meter reader with no key to your block to crawl into a cupboard than it is for you who has 24/7 access to the building! :confused: I have to go into the basement to read mine, at one time dodging rats now begging the downstairs shop to let me walk right through their service area to get in. I still read my meter about every two months.

    Did you not realise from all the press coverage that energy prices have increased hugely in the last 18 months? Or think that, as it's been such a cold winter, you might have used your heating more than normal? Not sure why you are running your tumble dryer at night - are you on an E7 tariff? Why as you don't have storage heaters? :confused:
    Declutterbug-in-progress.⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️
  • Premier_2
    Premier_2 Posts: 15,141 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post
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    Gavioli_UK wrote: »
    From Supply Licences



    Electricity
    –SLC 17(1)&(2): supplier must use reasonable endeavours to ensurethat once every 2 year period it inspects (domestic) meters (reading, inspection)
    –SLC18(1)&(2): supplier can arrange for installation of secondarymeter for purpose of ascertaining amount of electricity supplied

    (i) Legal Framework
    Gas
    –Gas Act 1986, Schedule 2B(3): must keep meter in proper working order
    –SLC 17(1)&(2): supplier must use reasonable endeavours to inspect (I&C/domestic) meters at intervals of not more than 2 years (reading, inspection, battery change)

    –SLC17A: supplier must adjust charges where meter has registered erroneously

    With respect to gas supply:

    12.8 Unless the Authority otherwise consents, the licensee must take all reasonable steps to ensure that it inspects, at least once every two years, any Gas Meter and associated installation in respect of premises at which it is the Relevant Gas Supplier.
    ...
    12.10 In paragraph 12.8, the reference to "all reasonable steps" includes, in particular, trying to obtain a warrant under the Rights of Entry (Gas and Electricity Boards) Act 1954 in cases where the licensee could not otherwise comply with its obligation.
    ...
    12.12 An inspection under paragraph 12.8 must be carried out by a person possessing appropriate skill and experience.

    12.13 An inspection under paragraph 12.8 must include:
    (a) taking a meter reading;
    (b) inspecting the Gas Meter and associated installation for evidence of tampering;
    (c) inspecting the Gas Meter and associated installation for evidence that the meter has not continuously been in position for the purpose of registering the quantity of gas supplied;
    (d) arranging for information in respect of any gas leakage identified in the vicinity of the Gas Meter to be passed on in accordance with the Gas Safety (Management) Regulations 1996 as if the licensee had been informed of that leakage;
    (e) inspecting the Gas Meter for any evidence of deterioration which might affect its safety or proper functioning; and
    (f) where necessary, and subject to the consent of the owner of the Gas Meter, changing any batteries in the meter.



    "Now to trolling as a concept. .... Personally, I've always found it a little sad that people choose to spend such a large proportion of their lives in this way but they do, and we have to deal with it." - MSE Forum Manager 6th July 2010
  • Gavioli_UK
    Gavioli_UK Posts: 183 Forumite
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    The wording is very similar for gas and electricity meters

    With respect to Electricity Meters

    Inspection of Electricity Meters
    12.14 Unless the Authority otherwise consents, the licensee must take all reasonable steps to ensure that it inspects, at least once every two years, any Non-Half-Hourly Meter in respect of premises at which it has at all times during that period been the Relevant Electricity Supplier.

    12.15 An inspection under paragraph 12.14 must be carried out by a person possessing appropriate skill and experience.

    12.16 An inspection under paragraph 12.14 must include:
    Standard conditions of 28
    Electricity Supply Licence
    (a) taking a meter reading; and
    (b) a visual inspection of any Metering Equipment for the purpose of
    assessing whether:
    (i) there has been damage to the Metering Equipment or to any
    electrical plant or electric line;
    (ii) there has been interference with the Non-Half-Hourly Meter to
    alter its register or prevent it from duly registering the quantity of
    electricity supplied; or
    (iii) the Non-Half-Hourly Meter has deteriorated in any way that might
    affect its safety or proper functioning.

    http://epr.ofgem.gov.uk/document_fetch.php?documentid=13407

    Very similar to the requirements for gas meters quoted by Premier.
    Premier wrote: »
  • roddydogs
    roddydogs Posts: 7,478 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
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    Had the same thing with N-Power..its nothing to do with meter readings, its the increase last summer........they did not increase my monthly payments to take into a/c of this, of course i knew it would hit eventually, but then i had the money earning interest!
  • Premier_2
    Premier_2 Posts: 15,141 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post
    Options
    Gavioli_UK wrote: »
    The wording is very similar for gas and electricity meters

    With respect to Electricity Meters
    Inspection of Electricity Meters
    12.14 Unless the Authority otherwise consents, the licensee must take all reasonable steps to ensure that it inspects, at least once every two years, any Non-Half-Hourly Meter in respect of premises at which it has at all times during that period been the Relevant Electricity Supplier.
    12.15 An inspection under paragraph 12.14 must be carried out by a person possessing appropriate skill and experience.
    12.16 An inspection under paragraph 12.14 must include:
    Standard conditions of 28
    Electricity Supply Licence
    (a) taking a meter reading; and
    (b) a visual inspection of any Metering Equipment for the purpose of
    assessing whether:
    (i) there has been damage to the Metering Equipment or to any
    electrical plant or electric line;
    (ii) there has been interference with the Non-Half-Hourly Meter to
    alter its register or prevent it from duly registering the quantity of
    electricity supplied; or
    (iii) the Non-Half-Hourly Meter has deteriorated in any way that might
    affect its safety or proper functioning.

    http://epr.ofgem.gov.uk/document_fetch.php?documentid=13407

    Very similar to the requirements for gas meters quoted by Premier.

    Except for this bit I included regarding gas meters ;)
    12.10 In paragraph 12.8, the reference to "all reasonable steps" includes, in particular, trying to obtain a warrant under the Rights of Entry (Gas and Electricity Boards) Act 1954 in cases where the licensee could not otherwise comply with its obligation.
    I'm sure many people have an electricity meter that an authorised opfficial hasn't seen in years; their bills being produced either on estimates or by customer supplied readings.
    That shouldn't occur with gas and British Gas for one takes that responsibility very seriously and will go as far as applying for a Rights of Entry warrant in order to comply with their inspection requirement of the gas meter.

    Btw, welcome back Gavioli UK. Where have you been for the past 3 months? Nice to see you are back to antagonise me again. Sorry if I still seem to be adopting that 'superior "know it all" attitude' you accused me of previously :D
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showpost.html?p=16059793&postcount=216
    What do they say? Something about it takes one to know one? Or something along the lines of 'how ironic'?
    Now we have an official company representative of Ebico on the forum (Lauren). Are you back to hound her with your venomous comments about Ebico too?
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.html?t=93798
    Or is it just me you like to attack on a personal basis? :D
    "Now to trolling as a concept. .... Personally, I've always found it a little sad that people choose to spend such a large proportion of their lives in this way but they do, and we have to deal with it." - MSE Forum Manager 6th July 2010
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