1st Bill - In 3 Years

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I am after some advice if possible.

We moved into a new house in October 2005. We were never informed of who was supplying the gas and electricity and were (perhaps naively) waiting for our first bill.

As time went on it never arrived and in fairness it become one of those things that just got forgot. Afterall, 3 years is 3 years.

We have now received our 1st bill from Eon who are charging us £900 (for the Electricity) and £1600 (for the gas). They state that there were estimated readings in 2006 and 2007 and an actual reading in December 2008. Our bill was dated 19 March 2009.

Naturally I have some questions and would be grateful if there are some knowlegable people out there who could provide some answers:

1) The first question I have to ask is "Can they do this?"

2) Secondly, if anyone has found themselves in a similar position, and complained - Have they managed to have the bill reduced.

3) Thirdly, are there any laws/rules which state that they cannot recover any account that they have not invoiced and is say over 12 months old?

Any thoughts would be grately appreciated.
I have dealt with Motor & Personal Injury Claims for 20 years.

I joined the forum to offer the benefit of my experience and the views expressed are those solely of myself.
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Comments

  • Magentasue
    Magentasue Posts: 4,229 Forumite
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    When did you make attempts to trace suppliers and inform them that you had moved in? Who did you contact and what were you told?
  • kazwookie
    kazwookie Posts: 13,872 Forumite
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    You did put so much a month / week away to cover these bills didn't you?

    How did you try to trace your suppliers.

    and yes I think they can do this, the best I would suggest is ring them up in a calm manner and try and negiogate a discount.

    Good luck, come back and let us all know how you get on.
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  • foxglove666
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    I think this is right, if a supplier doesn't bill you and it's their fault they can only charge you for the last year of usage. but only if it's their fault. you moving into a home and not finding out who your supplier is, I would say it's not their fault but yours.
  • olly300
    olly300 Posts: 14,736 Forumite
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    I think this is right, if a supplier doesn't bill you and it's their fault they can only charge you for the last year of usage. but only if it's their fault. you moving into a home and not finding out who your supplier is, I would say it's not their fault but yours.

    I would contact the http://www.energy-ombudsman.org.uk/ and check the rules.

    But I am sure Foxglove is correct that if the energy company doesn't bill you - even a bill addressed to the occupier counts as billing you - then you don't have to pay.

    Also I am sure electricity and gas companies have to do a meter reading at least once a year, and if they don't do it within 2 years they are allowed to get a court order to force you to allow them to read the meters to check you have not tampered with them. (I would check this also as this is important ammunition to use to show that they have not acted correctly.)
    I'm not cynical I'm realistic :p

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  • Cardew
    Cardew Posts: 29,042 Forumite
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    Welcome to the forum.

    It really would be refreshing if people simply stated that they thought/hoped they could get away with not paying their gas and electricity bills, rather than just forgot about paying for them for 3 years!!!

    There is no clear cut answer to your specific questions as it depends on factors that are not known by us and probably yourself.

    Clearly they can charge you for 3 years under certain conditions. EON are well aware of the 12 month rule and presumably would not have raised bills for 3 years had those conditions not been met.

    In most cases with new occupants, and particularly new builds, you will be liable. The supplier has no idea if the property has been occupied or not – some remain unoccupied for years. How would they know who was the occupier? – owner or tenant.

    As soon as you use any gas or electricity you have entered a legally binding ‘deemed contract’. If for instance you have ignored any correspondence addressed to ‘The Occupier’ you are liable. Incidentally the company don’t have to prove it was delivered, only that it was sent.

    Frankly you have nothing to 'complain' about - although you might get away with some reduction.
  • E.ON_Company_Representative
    E.ON_Company_Representative Posts: 806 Organisation Representative
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    Hi RedAdmiral,

    Firstly, yes E.ON can bill you.

    For points two and three, there are situations where if the supplier is deemed to be at fault a reduction would be applied, sometimes this means you only have to pay for the last year’s worth of usage. This is called the Billing Code.

    It’s difficult to say for definite whether or not your case would be one of those that gets a reduction. Each case varies and many different factors will need to be looked at before a decision is made.

    If there hasn’t been a bill for a sustained time frame, and for one reason or another a reduction is not applicable, I’d ask for a payment arrangement, E.ON should agree to let you pay the bill back over an extended time frame.

    Remember there is no harm in asking! :)

    Brian
    Official Company Representative
    I am an official company representative of E.ON. MSE has given permission for me to post in response to queries about the company, so that I can help solve issues. You can see my name on the companies with permission to post list. I am not allowed to tout for business at all. If you believe I am please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com This does NOT imply any form of approval of my company or its products by MSE"
  • dogshome
    dogshome Posts: 3,878 Forumite
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    Hi Red Admiral - Interesting reply from the EON rep - Without asking you for further details, Brian's first statement is that, 'Yes Eon can bill you', and his last is to give you phone number to negotiate Easy Payments of the whole bill
    From the info. you have given it would appear than Eon have screwed up and are in breach of the 'One year Only' condition of their licence. You moved into a new property which had new meters, which were registered by the installers with Eon.
    It may not have been wise not to chase down just who supplied your Gas & Elect., but with no information from the builders what were you supposed to do - phone every distribution Co.in the UK to see if they had you on their books?
    Write to Eon, head the letter 'Complaint', asking for a re-issued bill that only covers the period 20 Mar 08 - 19 Mar 09
    Good Luck
  • 1carminestocky
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    dogshome wrote: »
    Hi Red Admiral - Interesting reply from the EON rep - Without asking you for further details, Brian's first statement is that, 'Yes Eon can bill you', and his last is to give you phone number to negotiate Easy Payments of the whole bill
    From the info. you have given it would appear than Eon have screwed up and are in breach of the 'One year Only' condition of their licence. You moved into a new property which had new meters, which were registered by the installers with Eon.
    It may not have been wise not to chase down just who supplied your Gas & Elect., but with no information from the builders what were you supposed to do - phone every distribution Co.in the UK to see if they had you on their books?
    Write to Eon, head the letter 'Complaint', asking for a re-issued bill that only covers the period 20 Mar 08 - 19 Mar 09
    Good Luck


    Have to say I also got the impression our E.on rep was trying to pull a fast one here. But, of course, maybe we don't know enough about this case :confused: . Whilst I also agree that you shouldn't really have 'ignored' this problem for this length of time, neither should the energy supplier. If I was you, I wouldn't enter into ANY agreement on the whole bill just yet without checking out E.on's rights in charging you for the whole period of the bill.
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  • E.ON_Company_Representative
    E.ON_Company_Representative Posts: 806 Organisation Representative
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    Hi Guys,

    I know the advice I have given is sketchy to say the least, but this is purely because the information available from the post doesn’t give us me the confidence to respond accurately. :D

    When I say E.ON can bill, I mean they will create a bill for energy used whether the consumer has to pay it or not. A statement of the charges must be generated.

    I know a fair bit about the billing code, and I know that without seeing all the details a decision can not be made. :)

    I didn’t want to advise the OP that it will or will not apply on the thread because none of us actually know.

    Wouldn’t want to be responsible for building false hopes!!! ;)

    That’s why I have suggested that it if it doesn’t apply the OP should not forget to ask for payment assistance. This I can advise on accurately because the OP will be allowed a payment plan to help.

    Brian
    Official Company Representative
    I am an official company representative of E.ON. MSE has given permission for me to post in response to queries about the company, so that I can help solve issues. You can see my name on the companies with permission to post list. I am not allowed to tout for business at all. If you believe I am please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com This does NOT imply any form of approval of my company or its products by MSE"
  • TheRedAdmiral
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    Some interesting info here and I thank the Eon Rep for contacting me privately. I will sort out my paperwork and contact him direct.

    The situation is such that in June 2006 I bought a new house from a developer. We were not provided with details of who supplied the Gas and Electricity and therefore wrote to the developer for details. Unfortunately details were not provided and we assumed that we would receive an invoice in due course.

    As a previous contributor said "Who do you write to". Surely the provider should know who they provide Gas/Electricity to.

    2006 passed. 2007 passed. 2008 passed and coincidentally my wife and I were only talking about it last week.

    Our bill was received recently. The bill shows that the very first reading of our meter was on the 19th December. No reading in 2006. No Reading in 2007. No Reading prior to December 2008 - Despite our meter being on the outside of the building and with easy access!!

    Included within the bill were our usage for 2006, 2007 and 2008. It was clear that these items had not previously been billed.

    A couple of pointers here:

    1) Clearly Eon should have known who they provide Gas/Electric to
    2) and by virtue of the above should have written to us
    3) We have been on the Electoral Roll - so our names are available.
    4) In any instance the bill could have been addressed to "The Occupiers"
    5) Finally, and quite importantly, we have received invoices from United Utilities (for water) since we moved in - So if United Utilities can locate us I cannot for the life of me understand how Eon cannot.
    I have dealt with Motor & Personal Injury Claims for 20 years.

    I joined the forum to offer the benefit of my experience and the views expressed are those solely of myself.
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