High Gas Bill - Last chance!

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in LPG, Heating Oil, Solid & Other Fuels
13 replies 3.2K views
AvamandinaAvamandina Forumite
3 Posts
I have had an ongoing dispute with Scottish Power about my Gas bill since February and have brought in the ombudsman but with no success...
I live in a 2 bed flat and they are claiming that I have used £300 worth of gas a month since November! This is just not possible - I have lived here for 10 years and nothing has changed - I have a gas boiler (which I got checked), shower and gas hob that are rarely used - and have never been charged much more than about £50 per month for gas ... the deal I am on is good and they have checked my metre and said nothing is wrong with it! I had my heating on for an hour in the morning and around 3 - 4 hours at night. There is something really wrong but the ombudsman was only interested in the 'evidence' and has found in favour of Scottish Power.
If that wasn't bad enough - when they took away the old metre to test they never noted the end number for the metre or the number for the new metre and the ombudsman has given them permission to estimate my new bill - from previous bills - which I am raging at as I have tried not to use my gas as I have been so worried about this bill.
They have refused to talk to me since this dispute started and I am now at a loss at what to do - any ideas??
«1

Replies

  • CardewCardew Forumite
    28.6K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Rampant Recycler
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    Welcome to the forum.

    Once you go to the Ombudsman, and he does not support your complaint, you are pretty much snookered.

    You can take civil action in the courts, but what is your evidence? It is not sufficient to simply say my bill is much higher than normal.

    Were your previous £50 monthly bills estimated?

    Have SP given their theory for the high consumption?
  • Thanks for the response Cardew..
    No all bills were correct and not estimates BUT all with different companies as I keep changing for the best deal - hence I can't prove it as I haven't kept any bills...My main worry is that I know I'm not using that amount of gas - hence what do i do in the future... not use cental heating in winter?! Not realistic... every person I have spoken to has said there is no way that I am using that amount of gas... so wheres it going??
    Also so annoyed about them estimating using old bills as they are obviously the old bills and high bills..
    But yes - dont have 'evidence' to take them to court - just ideally looking for an engineer to help me work out what is wrong...
  • CardewCardew Forumite
    28.6K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Rampant Recycler
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    Over the years we have had many many complaints about excessive gas/electricity bills.

    In the majority of cases, where the issue was solved, it was down to under-estimated or incorrectly read meter readings leading to a 'catch-up' bill when the correct meter reading was used.
  • Robin9Robin9 Forumite
    8.5K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭✭
    Avamandina - have you got online billing with SP ?

    You say the bills are correct but do the meter readings you have been giving tie up with the readings on bills ? Its very easy to enter a reading of (say) 02175 as 2175 which the computer interprets as 21750

    Are the new meter details on your bills ?

    Regardless of the outcome with SP if you do switch regularly then you need to keep very good records and photographs.
    Never pay on an estimated bill
  • matelodavematelodave Forumite
    6.9K Posts
    Ninth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    ✭✭✭✭
    If you are a swapper like me then don't just rely on bills. Read your own meter regularly, ideally once a month but weekly if you can be bothered and save the readings - it's easy to set up a spreadsheet.

    When you have an ongoing record, you can see whether something has changed, either the weather, when you are on holday or the boiler is packing up and using more energy or even the meter has started doing stange things - no records, no evidence.

    By monitoring our water consumption we discovered a leak in an underground pipe before it had developed into a ginormous bill or undemined our foundations.

    Just checking a bill, paying it and then chucking it away doesn't give you any information about your consumption, neither does it help if you end up in a dispute with a supplier - especially if you've left them and they send another bill a year or so down the line. Save all your bills for at least a couple of years. You can usually download them as PDF files so you don't end up with drawers full of paper.
    Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large numbers
  • moleratmolerat Forumite
    24.9K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    No sticker on the new meter with old / new readings ?
    Did they suddenly start charging as an imperial meter ?

    As above, take regular reads and keep your own records. I can supply meter reads going back to 2002 and I have PDF bills back to 2009 !
  • EachPennyEachPenny Forumite
    12.2K Posts
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    matelodave wrote: »
    Save all your bills for at least a couple of years. You can usually download them as PDF files so you don't end up with drawers full of paper.
    molerat wrote: »
    As above, take regular reads and keep your own records. I can supply meter reads going back to 2002 and I have PDF bills back to 2009 !

    Very good advice from both - I get paper energy bills and keep them in a couple of lever arch files, I'll only consider throwing them away when the files are full, and it is getting towards 25 years worth now.

    On the other hand I might just save them up a bit longer and have a free day of heating when I burn them all :D

    Another strategy to consider if you prefer paperless is to take weekly/monthly photos of the meter readings using a phone and email them to yourself. That way you'll end up with a datestamped record of what your readings were and would provide difficult evidence for the energy company/ombudsman to refute.
    "In the future, everyone will be rich for 15 minutes"
  • edited 20 May 2017 at 7:53PM
    CardewCardew Forumite
    28.6K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Rampant Recycler
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited 20 May 2017 at 7:53PM
    EachPenny wrote: »

    Another strategy to consider if you prefer paperless is to take weekly/monthly photos of the meter readings using a phone and email them to yourself. That way you'll end up with a datestamped record of what your readings were and would provide difficult evidence for the energy company/ombudsman to refute.

    I have today taken two photos.

    One is dated 27 March 2016, the other 27 March 2018!

    Whilst the above posts provide good advice, they do not address the OP's problem.
  • edited 21 May 2017 at 1:24PM
    matelodavematelodave Forumite
    6.9K Posts
    Ninth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    ✭✭✭✭
    edited 21 May 2017 at 1:24PM
    Unfortunately, unless you've been collecting data it's very difficult if not impossible to prove that something might have gone wrong or when it happened so the OP is probably fighting a lost battle.

    The advice is what to do in the future as the past has gone unless there's some stuff kicking around.
    Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large numbers
  • edited 20 May 2017 at 8:35PM
    glennevisglennevis Forumite
    457 Posts
    Fourth Anniversary 100 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭
    edited 20 May 2017 at 8:35PM
    "I have today taken two photos.

    One is dated 27 March 2016, the other 27 March 2018!"

    And your point is?

    The procedure outlined involves emailing the photos to yourself. It is the date stamp on the header of an email that provides evidence of the date the photos were emailed. Such 'evidence' is meaningless unless used in conjunction with identical readings submitted to the supplier.
This discussion has been closed.
Latest MSE News and Guides

Energy price cap could be extended beyond 2023

New plans have just been announced by the Government

MSE News

Cheap contents insurance for tenants

DON'T assume your landlord covers you

MSE Guides

Summer sizzlers round-up

Incl £2ish sun cream & £1.50 disposable BBQs

MSE Deals