Eon, broken electric meter, bereavement.

Vincentrussell
Vincentrussell Posts: 9
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edited 10 November 2023 at 1:40PM in Energy
 Hi everyone, 

My father passed away and im left to deal with his estate. His electric meter(original from 50 years ago) hasn't been working for 2 years and despite promises, EON have never come out to fix nor install a new one. They stop replying and recently told me they can't discuss my bill(has to be the executor ofbthe estate) and we are still sorting that with lawyers. Although they happy to do that initially and tell me hiw much i owe. Ive been paying from my account for months now. 

I've realised my father has been charged almost £300 per month last winter and the latest bill is at £200 per month. He lived by himself in a 3 bed house and was working most days, so they've gone on estimated.
I can't justify paying that as i stay there alone and im working mist of the time. 

The questions that I have are the following:
1) Who would normally fix a broken meter?
2) Is it worth changing to these new smart electric meters? Im hearing alot of mix reviews but im paying alot already. 
3) if i do install one will there be an accurate reading and possibly reimbursed for the current and previous months bills? 
4) is there a better alternative? Will they also charge me crazy with a broken meter. Will they charge to install or fix the broken meter? 

Im quite overwhelmed with dealing with his estate and my own mental health struggles. So sorry if some things don't sound logical. I would appreciate any assistance on this, thanks people. 

Comments

  • ArbitraryRandom
    ArbitraryRandom Posts: 2,345
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    edited 10 November 2023 at 1:43PM
    I'm sorry to hear of your loss. 

    Best advice I can give is - if they won't speak to you and you're living in the property - you should close your father's account (contact the bereavement team) and open your own. Then the question of prior debt can be settled as part of probate and you only have to deal with going forward right now. 

    Re the broken meter, make a 'complaint' (in writing, by email is fine) and if EDF don't get it fixed in a couple of months you can escalate to the ombudsman. 

    In the meantime, can you explain what you mean by broken - is it a smart meter not sending readings, or is the display blank, or is it not incrementing at all, or something else? 
    I'm not an early bird or a night owl; I’m some form of permanently exhausted pigeon.
  • Vincentrussell
    Vincentrussell Posts: 9
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    edited 10 November 2023 at 1:43PM
    Thanks, yes it's the orginal electric meter the house came with over 40 years ago. Just stop working and numbers stuck. Told EON and depsite telling me they'd send someone around and later being told they'd gett back to me about an appointment. They haven't. 
  • Did your father appoint solicitors as his executors or have you just handed it over to them to deal with? 
  • Gerry1
    Gerry1 Posts: 9,774
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    If it's a rotary disc that's stuck, then it's just too bad if it can't record any usage.  Until it moves, is fixed or replaced then at least you can happily relax and use plug-in heaters and the immersion heater (or electric shower) to keep the property as tropical as you like, as well as having lots of long hot baths and showers !
  • Bright side is, if you open an account now and immediately establish a record of trying to resolve the issue, then when it's eventually fixed you can dispute the estimated bills and ask for them to be recalculated based on a period of metered usage - so as Gerry says, you can use panel heaters as much as you want now then live like a monk during the monitoring period ;) 

    And potentially, if you have access to the bills from when your father was responsible for the account, you (or should I say the executor) have got grounds to ask for a recalculation based on the usage before there was a problem (assuming there were regularly submitted readings showing reasonably consistent usage below the current estimates) 
    I'm not an early bird or a night owl; I’m some form of permanently exhausted pigeon.
  • Gerry1
    Gerry1 Posts: 9,774
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    ...so as Gerry says, you can use panel heaters as much as you want now then live like a monk during the monitoring period ;)

    Something very similar happened to an aunt of mine.  The spinning disc meter was in a cupboard in the hallway above the main door and adjacent to the kitchen door.  Steam from cooking no doubt gave it a hard life.  I took readings for her if the meter reader couldn't get a reply.
    She'd returned after a lengthy stay in hospital and I noticed that the disc wasn't turning and the reading hadn't changed.  I feared they'd just use an estimated reading and wouldn't reduce it, so I plugged in an oil fired radiator and told her to leave in on 24/7.
    IMHO they shouldn't be able to bill for energy usage that's not been recorded because of a fault with their equipment; that's the risk they choose to take, penny pinching by seldom if ever reading meters.
    I was very glad I'd thought of that because that's exactly what happened, they weren't interested, didn't care and simply refused to budge.
  • Gerry1 said:
    IMHO they shouldn't be able to bill for energy usage that's not been recorded because of a fault with their equipment; that's the risk they choose to take, penny pinching by seldom if ever reading meters.
    The thing I'm not sure about is the validity of the billing given the age of the meter. 

    I vaguely remember readings something on here that if a meter is out of certification (and at 40 years that's not unlikely) then the supplier can't bill - to stop them from just leaving the meter and estimating... but I don't know if that's backed up anywhere (a casual search hasn't found it explicitly in the licensing conditions). 
    I'm not an early bird or a night owl; I’m some form of permanently exhausted pigeon.
  • Brie
    Brie Posts: 9,364
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    There's some interesting things here about no being able to charge if the meter isn't certified.  

    National regulation: gas and electricity meters - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

    Schedule 7 of the Electricity Act 1989 also requires that meters are certifiedalthough this requirement is not applicable to meters installed in non-domestic premises or for secondary meters (e.g. in a landlord-tenant situation). However, where certification is not required, there must be an agreement, in writing, between the supplier and consumer to dispense with certification and the meter is still required to be approved (i.e. for billing purposes it is not possible to dispense with the requirements for approval).

    But as others have said - get the account into your name and start submitting readings based on what the meter (is not) recording, i.e. same reading month and month.  
    "Never retract, never explain, never apologise; get things done and let them howl.”
  • Brie said:
    There's some interesting things here about no being able to charge if the meter isn't certified.  
    Yes, obviously estimates are fine if there's a fault that's in the process of being repaired... but I think someone could argue that after multiple years of the issue being reported the supplier is in violation and unable to bill. 

    It would be interesting to see how the ombudsman viewed it - but perhaps not in this case given the OP is dealing with a lot. 
    I'm not an early bird or a night owl; I’m some form of permanently exhausted pigeon.
  • SAC2334
    SAC2334 Posts: 737
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    If your father did nt specify who was the executor , or even left a will, its usual for the family to choose one or even have joint executors. Solicitors will be not that good in sorting out energy bills . I ve been exector on three occasions and if I remember correctly the suppliers never made that a condition to end the occupancy and replace with who was actually dealing with correspondance to solely in the hands of an "executor " as its not even law that one must be selected . Most of the time its the other half who deal with all this where a Will is not needed . 
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