Leaving it late to supply actual reading so paying more

Corvus
Corvus Forumite Posts: 23
Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker
Forumite
Hi, I know this is a long shot. Trying to help a naive young relative sort out their money. They’ve been in rented accommodation for nearly a year but until now have never submitted an electricity meter reading to Octopus. They’ve always paid the recommended amount via standing order. They’ve just submitted a meter reading (day and night meters) and have found they now owe approx £2k. 

Because the shortfall in the bill has been calculated on current rates, which are 25% more than a year ago, they’re paying even more than they would have done if they had been a bit smarter and provided Octopus with monthly meter readings. 

Is there anything I can do to help bring this bill down a bit, as they will have used more of the units over the winter when the rates were lower? 

Any other ideas are also very welcome. 

Comments

  • CSI_Yorkshire
    CSI_Yorkshire Forumite Posts: 1,792
    1,000 Posts Photogenic Name Dropper
    Forumite
    If the intermediate bills were based on estimates, they should have been recalculated and the shortfall spread out across the period since the last actual reading.

    It shouldn't all be applied on the most recent rate.

    You might not agree with the spread, but there's little you can do to argue it really.

    I suggest you check that it has actually all been applied at the most recent prices and, if it has, get hold of Octopus and ask why they haven't recalculated the old bills. 
  • BeerSavesMoney
    BeerSavesMoney Forumite Posts: 162
    100 Posts Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    Forumite
    Did they at least provide opening meter readings when they moved in or has it all been estimated?
  • PeterGr
    PeterGr Forumite Posts: 243
    Fourth Anniversary 100 Posts
    Forumite
    Variable tariff rates for this quarter are only about 5% higher than 12 months ago.  Rates from 1 October to 30 June were significantly higher, so if  additional consumption has been charged at rates that came into effect on 1 July, it will be less than if rates over winter periods were applied.
  • Gerry1
    Gerry1 Forumite Posts: 9,111
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    Forumite
    Why are they choosing to pay more than necessary by using a standing order?  Direct Debit is cheaper.
  • Robin9
    Robin9 Forumite Posts: 11,745
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    Forumite
    edited 16 August at 4:28PM
    Corvus said:
    ............................................... They’ve just submitted a meter reading (day and night meters) and have found they now owe approx £2k. ................
    Are you sure that the night/day dials have been read the right way around ?  Please give us the readings on the bill and the ones he has submitted. £2 is a lot if monthly payments have been made by SO or DD


    R1 doesn't necessarily mean Day
    Never pay on an estimated bill
  • Corvus
    Corvus Forumite Posts: 23
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    Forumite
    PeterGr said:
    Variable tariff rates for this quarter are only about 5% higher than 12 months ago.  Rates from 1 October to 30 June were significantly higher, so if  additional consumption has been charged at rates that came into effect on 1 July, it will be less than if rates over winter periods were applied.
    His day rate was 28p/kWh in September and 35p/kWh this month. Night rate dropped slightly but far less was used overnight so it doesn’t make up for day rate increases. 
  • Corvus
    Corvus Forumite Posts: 23
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    Forumite
    Thank you for the useful comments so far - much appreciated. I will go and investigate further. 
  • Gerry1
    Gerry1 Forumite Posts: 9,111
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    Forumite
    If they didn't read the meters when they moved in it's quite possible that they're paying for some usage by the last tenant or by the landlord during a void period.
    Not much that can be done now but something to remember next time: never rely on readings provided by a lettings agent, previous occupier or landlord.
    Always read the meters yourself (including water) when taking possession, even if you have to make a big fuss to get access.
  • Robin9
    Robin9 Forumite Posts: 11,745
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    Forumite
    Gerry1 said:
    If they didn't read the meters when they moved in it's quite possible that they're paying for some usage by the last tenant or by the landlord during a void period.



    .....................
    And its possible they missed out on the £400 payments.
    Never pay on an estimated bill
Meet your Ambassadors

Categories

  • All Categories
  • 338.9K Banking & Borrowing
  • 248.7K Reduce Debt & Boost Income
  • 447.6K Spending & Discounts
  • 230.8K Work, Benefits & Business
  • 601K Mortgages, Homes & Bills
  • 171.1K Life & Family
  • 244K Travel & Transport
  • 1.5M Hobbies & Leisure
  • 15.9K Discuss & Feedback
  • 15.1K Coronavirus Support Boards