Back-billing. Are they in the right?

Hi. Would someone be able to advise if I'm eligible for back billing following a statement I received from my energy supplier please?

At the end of November 2023, I was sent a statement from my energy provider for electricity used between April 2022 and July 2022.  When I queried why I had only just received a statement for these dates, they informed me that they had failed to apply an estimate for 1st April 2022, and due to this they did not finalise the billing for my old meter (I had had my meter replaced).  They have accepted that this was their error, and have raised an internal complaint on my behalf.

I regularly provided them with meter readings whenever they request them (usually once a month or so).

Before this statement was received, my account was in credit by around £300. I considered this a good buffer to get through the winter months.  After taking the payment for April-July 2022, I am still in credit but only by around £50.

I have asked them about back billing but they are claiming that back-billing does not apply since "back billing can only be accessed if the catch up bill places a customer in a debit balance on their account".

They've pretty much wiped out my winter buffer, and I'm pretty sure my account will drop into debt when my next bill arrives and continue to stay in debt 2024 unless they raise my direct debit.

I cannot find anything on the Ofgem site which backs up the 'account in credit' claim. I would appreciate any advice anyone has.

Thanks. 

Comments

  • QrizB
    QrizB Posts: 13,665
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    Yes, I'm afraid they are right.
    The back-billing rules are intended to prevent "bill shock". When working out what they can charge you, they can allow against the back bill any payments made in the last 12 months and any account credit.
    As your account is still in credit after applying the back bill, you don't get it written off.
    N. Hampshire, he/him. Octopus Go elec & Tracker gas / Shell BB / Lyca mobi. Ripple Kirk Hill member.
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  • Netexporter
    Netexporter Posts: 1,043
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    If they'd charged the correct amount originally, you would still be £50 in credit, all things being equal. You'll probably get some compo, so you'll be better off.

    Did you not check you bills at the time? Or were you hoping they wouldn't notice?
  • Thanks for the responses. I genuinely didn't notice at the time. My direct debit was being taken as usual, and I would have just scanned over whatever statements were sent to me.

    I noticed it on the statement this month since it was an unusually large amount for an unusual date.

    Thanks for the help. I'll speak to them about my account over the winter and see what arrangement we can reach.
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