Help please, friend's electricity and gas are being cut off!

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poohbear59
poohbear59 Posts: 4,866 Forumite
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edited 27 May 2009 at 9:47AM in Energy
I hd a very upset friend on the phone last night. Her daughter (pregnant) and single has been told that her gas and electricity will be cut off on 1st June as she owes about £500. She is on a low income and struggles to pay rent and other bills. She has asked to be able to pay it off at a low rate and has been turned down. I think they charge to reinstate it too. As she struggles to pay the rent she has given up the lease which will now end at the end of June when she effectively becomes homeless. The local housing association and Shelter are helping and hopefully she will have somewhere else to live by then. The huge problem hanging over their whole family is the massive gas and elec bill. My friend is also on a low income and so can't help out her daughter.

I believe (may be wrong) that if the utilities charge to reinstate power after cutting off she will have that to pay too. The landlord may require that to be paid too. If I am on the wrong thread or have missed this type of advise on here somewhere can someone please point me in the right direction. Last night when I heard all this I struggled to give any advice on where to go for help.
business mortgage £0))''(+ Barclay's business kitchen loan £0=Total paid off was £96105 PPI claimed and received £13527
'I had a black dog, his name was depression".

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  • KimYeovil
    KimYeovil Posts: 6,156 Forumite
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    Yes, you are responsible to pay for the energy you have used. You are also responsible to pay the costs to return a flat to the condition it was at the start of the lease.

    (£500 is NOT a massive bill - it is a reasonable and modest bill and one which most families have expected and would have had to budget for over the past winter.)

    Of course, as your friend is on a low income, she will be able to plead poverty and will only have to repay the debt at a ridiculously low amount per month.

    In future, your best advice for her would be to help and explain to her how to read her meters and how to approximately calculate how much she is spending. She will then be able to budget week by week.
  • poohbear59
    poohbear59 Posts: 4,866 Forumite
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    I have now found out it is actually £750 owing. She lives in a one bed flat and is working on minimum wage. Her ex left her with all the bills. She is not trying to get out of paying the bill, she is trying to find a way to avoid having the power cut off and then incurring even larger bills.
    business mortgage £0))''(+ Barclay's business kitchen loan £0=Total paid off was £96105 PPI claimed and received £13527
    'I had a black dog, his name was depression".
  • spiro
    spiro Posts: 6,403 Forumite
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    If a supplier requires a person to have a prepayment meter fitted because of debt the debt recovery rate (amount repaid each week) has to be at an agreed rate which will depend on her ability to pay. In her case this cannot now happen as she is moving out thereby reducing the suppliers ability to collect the debt at the same time as energy is purchased in the future. What she needs to do is detail all of her income and outgoings and then discuss this with her supplier. The problem will be becuase she is moving they may just take the easy route and pass it to a debt agency rather than have to deal with it herself. If her OH has left her with debts then she also needs to consider chasing him for his share of the debt.
    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).
  • lee12_2
    lee12_2 Posts: 108 Forumite
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    Hi
    All I would suggest is contacting Citizens Advice I'm sure they would help her sort this out they always know the correct person to contact ,best to take all the paper work shes got and go to her nearest branch .
  • poohbear59
    poohbear59 Posts: 4,866 Forumite
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    Thanks for your help spiro and lee. She has been to CAB, a few weeks ago but I will suggest she tries again. I also thought maybe she should query the meter readings as she lives in a one bedroomed flat and my costs in a five bedroomed house are much less than hers! I did cap my prices though, I have just remembered.
    I will also suggest she chases her ex for help with the bills as she hasn't had help with anything since he left.
    business mortgage £0))''(+ Barclay's business kitchen loan £0=Total paid off was £96105 PPI claimed and received £13527
    'I had a black dog, his name was depression".
  • Fire_Fox
    Fire_Fox Posts: 26,026 Forumite
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    edited 28 May 2009 at 1:21PM
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    poohbear59 wrote: »
    I have now found out it is actually £750 owing. She lives in a one bed flat and is working on minimum wage. Her ex left her with all the bills. She is not trying to get out of paying the bill, she is trying to find a way to avoid having the power cut off and then incurring even larger bills.

    Has she supplied an accurate meter reading, and checked she is being charged for the correct meter?? I live in a two bedroom flat, and £750 would equate to two years worth of energy bills!! :eek:

    If her ex is registered at the property (tenancy agreement, council tax) then he is jointly and severally liable for these bills - I suggest she supplies all creditors with possible addresses and contact details. Then get in touch with the CSA ...
    Declutterbug-in-progress.⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️
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