Scottish power incorrect bills?

michael079
michael079 Posts: 88
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edited 7 November 2023 at 2:26PM in Energy
I'm having a nightmare with Scottish power. I take care of my mother's bills as she has dementia, and up until the end of August I was supplying actual meter readings on a standard variable tarrif.

At the end of August I supplied the readings as usual, and the bill was £214. We then got a smart meter installed and at the end of September the bill was £319. So it jumped by over £100 and as I live with her, I know as 100% fact we didn't use more.

I've emailed them multiple times and the only response I get was 'we underestimated your previous readings' but I have photographic proof of the actual readings I previously gave. They're giving me no explanation at all of what's gojng on.

At the end of October the bill was £254, which makes sense as we started to use the electric heater a little during October as the temperatures dropped.

I've just got off the phone to them again and they just keep saying how our bill was much higher back in March when the rates were sky high. 

I don't know how to make sense of it anymore. 

Please if someone can explain what might have happened it would be much appreciated. 
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  • Gerry1
    Gerry1 Posts: 9,753
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    edited 7 November 2023 at 2:34PM
    Much more info required.
    How are you paying, e.g. fixed DD, variable DD, pay of receipt of bill etc? Electricity or dual fuel?
    You need to think in terms of kWh not ££ because the rates have changed significantly.
  • michael079
    michael079 Posts: 88
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    edited 7 November 2023 at 2:45PM
    Gerry1 said:
    Much more info required.
    How are you paying, e.g. fixed DD, variable DD, pay of receipt of bill etc? Electricity or dual fuel?
    You need to think in terms of kWh not ££ because the rates have changed significantly.
    Up until the smart meter was installed, I was paying directly through the website after I'd submitted the meter readings. 

    I'd submit the gas and electric readings seperately but into the same form.

    Her bills had been reducing all year long until stabilising for at around £200. Even if rates are variable, could it really jump up by over 50% in 4 weeks? And the main point being, i supplied the actual readings and the the bill was supplied. 
  • badmemory
    badmemory Posts: 7,512
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    Are they actually using the smart meter readings.  Have they used the end reading of the old meter & the start reading of the new meter
  • ArbitraryRandom
    ArbitraryRandom Posts: 2,333
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    edited 7 November 2023 at 3:02PM
    At the end of August I supplied the readings as usual, and the bill was £214. We then got a smart meter installed and at the end of September the bill was £319. So it jumped by over £100 and as I live with her, I know as 100% fact we didn't use more.

    I've emailed them multiple times and the only response I get was 'we underestimated your previous readings' but I have photographic proof of the actual readings I previously gave. They're giving me no explanation at all of what's gojng on.
    As Gerry said, there's a lot of possible explanations: 

    1. They didn't use your meter reading for your previous bill for some reason so it was estimated and the September bill was a catch up; 

    2. When they took the old meter away the closing reading was higher than what you had given as the reading (due to use after you gave the reading or error); 

    3. The old meter wasn't recording use accurately and the new meter is (unlikely but not impossible); 

    4. The new meter wasn't at 0 on install and they've not adjusted the bill (unlikely with an electric smart meter);

    5. Your unit rates have changed so you're being charged more for the same usage; 

    6. You did actually use more (you or your mother left the oven on overnight and have forgotten)

    Most of these can be ruled in or out by looking at the detail of your bill (not the summary page) and at your meter. 

    It should say on your bill if it's estimated, so if they're saying they underestimated August then have a look at the August bill This will be on the page that shows the calculation. This will also show the unit rates you were paying so you can compare the rates between the two bills and see if there was an increase/change. 

    You also need to compare the readings they're using to the ones you gave - to make sure no one accidentally transposed a number (you or the engineer taking the closing reading)

    I'm not an early bird or a night owl; I’m some form of permanently exhausted pigeon.
  • If you're on the Economy 7 standard tariff with Scottish Power then you may not be aware that there has been a huge increase in the off-peak rate over the past year. This will have an impact on your bills if you use night storage heaters.
  • frugalmacdugal
    frugalmacdugal Posts: 10,077
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    Hi.

    At the end of August I supplied the readings as usual, and the bill was £214. We then got a smart meter installed and at the end of September the bill was £319. So it jumped by over £100 and as I live with her, I know as 100% fact we didn't use more.
    At the end of October the bill was £254, which makes sense as we started to use the electric heater a little during October as the temperatures dropped.
    Ok, so have you got actual meter readings for points highlighted, tariff rates and daily standing charges.
    Also specific dates would help to try to get an accurate account value.
  • QrizB
    QrizB Posts: 13,632
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    Also, there should be a label or sticker on the new smart meter with the closing readings from the old meter. What were they, and do they match the readings on your bill?
    N. Hampshire, he/him. Octopus Go elec & Tracker gas / Shell BB / Lyca mobi. Ripple Kirk Hill member.
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  • I have had a roundabout with them for years, because they refuse to pay back my  overcharge, or they raise my direct debit based on their estimates and not actuals even if the estimates are very out of date. This is what I have learned...
    Take photos of everything. Take shots of those stickers for example. Take shots when you record the readings.  Take screen shots of every bill on your laptop or photograph them. Do not call Scottish Power; use the 'chat' service as you can photograph that. Your mother probably has access to additional advice services-I have Macmillan Cancer- so you can ask for specific help. CAB are unavalable nationally unless you are being court actioned so only the local CAB office can help you -mine is nonexistant.  Really read the bills: sometimes they combine months after you give readings/pay and the 'total costs for this period' include months you've paid but your payment will not be notated. They justify this by changing the billing date so they can make estimates, and then its really almost impossible to keep track. Once they make a mistake they will not go back so you have to take them to the ombudsman. I was double billed but the chat guy and the email complaints did nothing. It took 3 years for the ombudsman to find they had and accounting system glitch. They debt recovery charged for a build up of estimated costs so had to go to the ombudsman again for that. They gave me a goodwill payment on the 12th that I used to pay my bill but then they changed the billing date from the 4th to the 14th so that goodwill was too early and charged me a late fee. They've billed me VAT on £85 when the bill was £54.
    Read up on your rights to have an understandable bill and be strong! I really get the feeling that they target people by making  bills unintelligeable and your case sounds like it.
    Talk to me again if you go to the ombudsman as I have learned some -many things about that process too.
    I am changing companies ASAP.
    Good luck !

    Catcha wave and you're sittin on topofa world
  • Chris_b2z said:
    If you're on the Economy 7 standard tariff with Scottish Power then you may not be aware that there has been a huge increase in the off-peak rate over the past year. This will have an impact on your bills if you use night storage heaters.
    The bills slowly dropped since January when they were sky high. They were at their lowest ever point by the end of August, which is why I don't believe it's a coincidence as soon as we get a smart meter installed they jump up by over 50%.

    Unfortunately they keep comkng back I the emails with jargon that's impossible to understand as it just doesn't make any sense. It's so simple, but they appear to love to complaicte it 
  • MeteredOut
    MeteredOut Posts: 1,099
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    edited 13 November 2023 at 2:57PM
    Chris_b2z said:
    If you're on the Economy 7 standard tariff with Scottish Power then you may not be aware that there has been a huge increase in the off-peak rate over the past year. This will have an impact on your bills if you use night storage heaters.
    The bills slowly dropped since January when they were sky high. They were at their lowest ever point by the end of August, which is why I don't believe it's a coincidence as soon as we get a smart meter installed they jump up by over 50%.

    Unfortunately they keep comkng back I the emails with jargon that's impossible to understand as it just doesn't make any sense. It's so simple, but they appear to love to complaicte it 
    Once again, ignore the amounts. What are the bill usage figures, pre and post smart meter, in kWh?

    Post the jargon here and others will decipher it for you.
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