Back-billed for 3 years worth of gas

Clawson77 Forumite Posts: 2
First Post
Hi! Someone please help as I've tried and failed to get a satisfactory conclusion from my energy supplier EDF since February and my circumstances have sadly changed.

In January we (well, my mum who was the bill payer) were expecting to receive the August 2022 - January 2023 bill from EDF (they bill 2 times per year, end of Jan and end of August).
However, it was dated Feb 2020 - January 2023 and had 3 years (1068 days) worth of gas charges on it instead of just for the period since the last bill.

Now the previous bill (Jan 22 - Aug 22) showed the account to be £413 in credit. The direct debit was £94, so 5 payments were made totalling £470. So there was £880+ of credit to go towards the costly winter bill. This should have been ample.
However the bill was showing -£626 debit. So there was roughly £1500 worth of charges, mainly down to the 3 years worth of gas charges. Electricity charges in line were the usual amount. This also pushed the direct debit up to £158.

I was able to download 2 previous bills, and it seems that they hadn't actually billed us for gas at all since February 2020. We have a smart meter and online account, and every single unit of gas and electricity we have used has been recorded and they have received the information. But they hadn't charged us for gas, only electricity. It seems on the bills where you get a breakdown of units used/cost per unit only the electricity had been itemised. The gas part had remained blank.

I contacted EDF via e-mail at least a dozen times before they finally passed the issue to their back billing team and I finally received a phone call on 6th June to say we had nothing to worry about because the back billing issue had been resolved and the account was now in credit. I then received an e-mail confirming this. 

Sadly my mum passed away in July and I have now taken over the account. EDF issued a new bill earlier this month, and to my horror I discovered the back billing charges had not been removed. I was misled by the phone call. The reason the account was in credit was because we had made 4 DD payments for £158, which covered slightly more than the -£626 showing on the January 2023 bill. Upon issuing the new bill they have also raised the DD payment to £168.

I have contacted them last week via text, to no avail. After a couple of days of texting I was told to contact the person who previously e-mailed me in June. I did that only to have the e-mail bounce. The e-mail address wasn't recognised or did not accept incoming mail. So I am now finding myself having to go through the whole process yet again at what is a horrible time for me.

Am I right that they can only back bill for 12 months worth of energy in cases such as this?


  • Brie
    Brie Forumite Posts: 7,369
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Photogenic Name Dropper
    Sorry for your loss.  Maybe you'll get further faster if you contact their bereavement team?  Alternatively point out that you only took over the account last month so can't be billed for previous use.  (worth a shot at least)
    "Never retract, never explain, never apologise; get things done and let them howl.”

    2023 £1 a day  £553.26/365
  • Brie
    Brie Forumite Posts: 7,369
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Photogenic Name Dropper
    "Never retract, never explain, never apologise; get things done and let them howl.”

    2023 £1 a day  £553.26/365
  • Clawson77
    Clawson77 Forumite Posts: 2
    First Post
    Just to update:

    EDF have got back to me with this:

    The Backbilling adjustment is calculated as follows: 

    Simulated charges 29.02.2020 - 09.02.2022 (Gas Fuel) = £526.73 

    Payments = £460.00 

    Adjustment Value = £66.73 applied

    So to summarise they are saying I/we were backbilled for £526.73 gas, but there were £460 worth of DD payments made towards this, leaving £66.73. They have credited the account with the £66.73 for some reason, which still leaves the account hugely in debit. This doesn't make sense to me.

    Surely it should be either:

    The charges of £526.73 should be removed altogether as they were outside the 12 moth period they are allowed to charge for backbilling.


    The £526.73 they can claim back, in which case £460 has already been paid towards it, leaving a £66.73 shortfall for which I should be liable?

    Can someone (anyone!) please advise me about this?

  • molerat
    molerat Forumite Posts: 30,473
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    edited 30 August at 1:35PM
    They can use any payments made during the unbilled period against the energy use for that period.  So they have offset the £460 payments against the £526.73 bill and written off the extra £66.73.  Back billing is to prevent bill shock not to give you free energy, this is exactly what has happened here.  The biggest thing to look at is does that charge look correct for the time period ?  If you have meter reads then you can check it fairly easily.
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