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  • FIRST POST
    • David2Prit
    • By David2Prit 28th Dec 18, 6:02 PM
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    David2Prit
    Npower - 2 years of hell
    • #1
    • 28th Dec 18, 6:02 PM
    Npower - 2 years of hell 28th Dec 18 at 6:02 PM
    Hello all,

    I just wanted to gather some advice regarding this, as I am currently thinking of taking it down the route of small claims court.

    So around about 2 years ago (23 months to be exact) we had to have a new meter installed at our flat due to the monitor on the then existing one breaking. No worries, that is absolutely fine, crack on.

    Slowly but surely we started to see a dramatic increase of the price of our bills. From when we were paying on average £40/50ish (one bed flat), started to become £100, sometimes £200 plus. Obviously to any rational human being that would flag as something being rather wrong, you would think, but not to N-power, oooohhh no, that seemed around about what we should be paying.

    So after around 6 months of arguing with N-power I got rather bored and went to the ombudsman, this wasn't being we now had a bill in excess of £1000 (If not more, can find that later if important but at work at moment). So now we sit and twiddle our thumbs expecting Ombudsman to come back with some fantastic news that it was all incorrect.... Na, not a chance! They ruled with N-power and stated that we were using the the amount of electric they said.

    So at this point me and my partner were rather deflated, but knew in our heart of hearts that this could not be right, it just couldn't be! We accepted a deal with them in which we were then paying £120 a month to clear the debt in order to take some of the strain off ourselves, and frankly get some breathing space as they started threatening legal action.
    So whilst still arguing and debating with N-power we were not getting anywhere (Why should we, we were in debt to them and the Ombudsman agreed with them), then one morning we got an email stating that our direct debit was going up and we would have to pay £350 a month
    Well, that was it, I ordered my partner to make a cup of tea whilst I sat in bed and started typing a review on N-power Facebook. I had the added advantage that I saw the head office (Or a N-power office) was based in Solihull, I thought this is brilliant, I'm going to be working near that for the next few months, so I shall tell them I will pay them a visit.
    Surely enough they took notice of this, and arranged for someone to test our meter.
    This gentleman who came to test our meter was nice, one of a kind, told me at that even though he wouldn't have the results right away, the meter was fast.

    Two weeks passed and we got a call from N-power, yes they confirmed, your meter is clocking up too fast! HOW FAST?!?! I asked barely able to contain my excitment..... 58.8% fast!!!?! WOOOOOOW.
    Now the gentleman from N-power was nice and said don't worry, give him a few weeks as he has to adjust every bill we've had since installation of this meter. No problem, that is absolutely fine thinking this is the end.

    Took our meter reading for that month, that'll be £52 please, yes that seems about correct!

    Was it the end??? No. They only went and messed up the figures and we were still left with £1200 to pay. So a little confused, I emailed back my figures based on 58.8% deduction, plus the excess we would have paid. Nothing.


    I have now gone back to Ombudsman but they are not sure they can take the case as it relates to a previously ruled on case. I asked them even with the knowledge that we were correct and N-power were wrong??? They said they would have to check with the powers that be. So they are currently doing that (To be fair they said it would take a few weeks due to Xmas and New Year).

    Now, that is a very light hearted post I have written whilst killing some time at work. I really cannot stress how stressful the whole process has been. Me and the partner have argued, tears, stress, literally wanting to kill N-power, sitting in the freezing cold not wanting to waste any energy and a magnitued of other things.

    My question is, if ombudsman rule they can't look into it again, would be have a claim for small claims court? More out of curiosity than anything, because I am not going to let this go without a fight.
    Thank you for any help, I'll be keeping a close eye on this , but for now should go do some work.
Page 2
    • David2Prit
    • By David2Prit 30th Dec 18, 5:47 AM
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    David2Prit
    And the corresponding consumption - real, not estimated ?
    Originally posted by brianposter
    Oh those were real, not estimate. Regarding consumption, I guess I could get a ballpark, but wouldn’t know about split in day/night?
    • brianposter
    • By brianposter 30th Dec 18, 7:50 AM
    • 403 Posts
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    brianposter
    Npowers account of events does not seem to be consistent with your account, although at first sight the discrepancy appears to be in your favour. You describe steadily rising bills, they say that there was a constant error.
    Originally posted by brianposter
    Perhaps you would be prepared to comment on this point.


    In principle, assuming that your total payments for 2017/8 are over 1500 pounds, it looks as if you are already in a position to tell nPower that you are going to court to recover the amount overpaid.
    It would however be a good idea to wait for the result of this thread
    https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5938886
    • Cardew
    • By Cardew 30th Dec 18, 8:38 AM
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    Cardew
    I can't understand the calculations.



    In post#6 you have given the tariff cost as 14.79p day and 7.55p off-peak. The daily standing charge(DSC) has not been given but is £117pa in my region. In the Npower response below they state the have removed 5311day and 3437night units from your account. At 14.79p/7.55p this comes to £1,045. Yet they have only reduced your debit balance by £774.82(£1926.72 to £1151.90)



    Further to my previous email, I would now like to provide you with an update around the result of your recent Meter Accuracy Test.
    Our analysis shows that your previous meter has recorded high usage since it was installed on 28.02.2017 therefore, your account will be amended for the full period the meter was installed.

    Start Date: 28.02.2017
    Start Read Day: 24353
    Start Read Night: 4275

    Meter Removed: 29.10.2018
    Removed Read Day: 38692
    Removed Read Night: 13555


    Based on the meter recording 58.82% Fast the removal readings have been amended to:

    Amended Read Day:33381 – Removing 5311 Day Units
    Amended Read Night: 10118 – Removing 3437 Night units

    The billing on your account has been reversed and the incorrect final meter readings have now been removed. The removal readings have now been amended as outlined above and we have billed the account to the installation readings from your new meter.
    The balance on your account detailed within your last bill dated 14.09.2018 was £1,926.72 debit, which was billed to estimated meter readings from 13.09.2018. The new balance on your account after adding the new amended removal readings is now £1,151.90 debit. Please allow 3-5 working days to receive your new statement within your online account facility.
    Based on these revised figures, I have calculated that moving forward, you will use approximately 5,400 kWh Day units and approximately 3,504 kWh Night units over the next 12 months. On your current tariff Online Fixed energy March 2019, this works out at approximately £1,452.20 per annum or around £121.00 per month.
    Please note that this figure is based on the usage on your current tariff over the next 12 months however, your tariff actually expires at the end of March 2019 and at that point this will naturally revert to our Standard tariff, should a new tariff not be chosen by that point.
    The next time we are due to complete a review of your monthly payment is on 3 December 2018 and this will be shown on your new statement at the time. If you would like a repayment plan for your outstanding balance, please contact me and I will review this for you.
    Even more of a puzzle is trying to reconcile your consumption figures(below), which you state are actual and not estimated, with the Npower annual estimate of 5,400kWh/3504kWh day/night. At 14.79p/7.55p this comes to £1,063. Added to this is the DSC (£117?) - even so it is difficult to see how Npowers estimate of £1452pa is reached.


    A consumption in November of 303kWh/63kWh day/night is not compatible with an annual estimate of 5400kWh/3504kWh





    Originally Posted by David2Prit
    June 16 when moved in to flat
    £38 - July
    £41 - August
    £37 - September
    £44 - October
    £23- Nov (Holiday for 3 weeks)
    £52 - Dec
    those were real, not estimate.
    Here is last month when the new meter was installed:

    Day
    0 Our estimate
    31 October 2018
    303 Our reading
    30 November 2018
    303 kWh at 14.790p £44.81

    Night
    0 Our estimate
    31 October 2018
    63 Our reading
    30 November 2018
    63 kWh at 7.550p £4.76
    Last edited by Cardew; 30-12-2018 at 8:41 AM.
    • David2Prit
    • By David2Prit 30th Dec 18, 8:50 AM
    • 80 Posts
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    David2Prit
    Seen above, will reply in a little bit, when I get to the quiet office.....
    • David2Prit
    • By David2Prit 30th Dec 18, 10:21 AM
    • 80 Posts
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    David2Prit
    Perhaps you would be prepared to comment on this point.


    In principle, assuming that your total payments for 2017/8 are over 1500 pounds, it looks as if you are already in a position to tell nPower that you are going to court to recover the amount overpaid.
    It would however be a good idea to wait for the result of this thread
    Originally posted by brianposter
    Sure it is around £1500, if not more.
    Will keep an eye on that thread.
    • David2Prit
    • By David2Prit 30th Dec 18, 10:33 AM
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    • 43 Thanks
    David2Prit
    In post#6 you have given the tariff cost as 14.79p day and 7.55p off-peak. The daily standing charge(DSC) has not been given but is £117pa in my region. In the Npower response below they state the have removed 5311day and 3437night units from your account. At 14.79p/7.55p this comes to £1,045. Yet they have only reduced your debit balance by £774.82(£1926.72 to £1151.90)
    Standing charge 31 days at 30.950p - So standing charge is 30.95p per day, so around £112PA.

    Even more of a puzzle is trying to reconcile your consumption figures(below), which you state are actual and not estimated, with the Npower annual estimate of 5,400kWh/3504kWh day/night. At 14.79p/7.55p this comes to £1,063. Added to this is the DSC (£117?) - even so it is difficult to see how Npowers estimate of £1452pa is reached.
    So that quote was given in an email before we submitted last months figures. So that will be why that is high.

    On the online account though it is saying this: Based on your estimated usage, you may owe us £3,263.38 at your next annual Direct Debit reassessment.
    So I don't think they have recalculated it at all, even though they have had a month to do so.
    • David2Prit
    • By David2Prit 30th Dec 18, 10:37 AM
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    David2Prit
    Sure it is around £1500, if not more.
    Will keep an eye on that thread.
    Originally posted by David2Prit
    So just gone through all payments made to Npower for 17/18 and stands at the moment at £2044.71
    • brianposter
    • By brianposter 30th Dec 18, 12:13 PM
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    brianposter
    Npowers account of events does not seem to be consistent with your account, although at first sight the discrepancy appears to be in your favour. You describe steadily rising bills, they say that there was a constant error.
    Originally posted by brianposter
    Looks like I did not make myself clear - I wanted a comment on the point above as best you can remember from the missing bills.
    It looks as if nPowers proposal for amending your bills is nonsense, but there are better or worse ways of suggesting this.
    • David2Prit
    • By David2Prit 30th Dec 18, 12:30 PM
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    David2Prit
    Looks like I did not make myself clear - I wanted a comment on the point above as best you can remember from the missing bills.
    It looks as if nPowers proposal for amending your bills is nonsense, but there are better or worse ways of suggesting this.
    Originally posted by brianposter
    Oooh, the bills rose steadily, obviously we started to get into colder months and the bills were higher than summer months, so electricity use increased. I guess from that point, it was a constant error, where as I just noticed it getting higher and higher. So yes, it was a constant error, but higher bill in colder months due to increased electric usage.
    • brianposter
    • By brianposter 30th Dec 18, 1:33 PM
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    brianposter
    I guess from that point, it was a constant error
    Originally posted by David2Prit
    Why ?

    Your guess doesnt seem to be consistent with "slowly but surely" starting in Jan/Feb.
    • David2Prit
    • By David2Prit 30th Dec 18, 1:45 PM
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    David2Prit
    Why ?

    Your guess doesnt seem to be consistent with "slowly but surely" starting in Jan/Feb.
    Originally posted by brianposter
    So Feb 17 they put in new meter, from then on bills went up. Probably should have been better with wording, but yeah, they shot up (for better phrasing) from my payment in Jan 17
    • brianposter
    • By brianposter 30th Dec 18, 2:01 PM
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    brianposter
    Suppose you get a new meter in early Feb. overreading by 60 %. The reading should go up for Feb and probably again for March, and then go down as temperatures rises and daylight increases.
    Why would you describe a slow and sure rise? December,Jan,Feb,March could be a continuous rise, but surely you would notice the drop in April.
    Last edited by brianposter; 30-12-2018 at 2:07 PM.
    • David2Prit
    • By David2Prit 30th Dec 18, 2:12 PM
    • 80 Posts
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    David2Prit
    Suppose you get a new meter in early Feb. overreading by 60 %. The reading should go up for Feb and probably again for March, and then go down as temperatures rises and daylight increases.
    Why would you describe a slow and sure rise? December,Jan,Feb,March could be a continuous rise, but surely you would notice the drop in April.
    Originally posted by brianposter
    I believe you are going off this comment
    Slowly but surely we started to see a dramatic increase of the price of our bills. From when we were paying on average £40/50ish (one bed flat), started to become £100, sometimes £200 plus.
    Maybe I shouldn't have used slowly and surely, but it was to do with the "dramatic" increase. One month where it's higher, hmmm okay, better reign it in a bit, consecutive months, slowly but surely realised we had a major problem.
    • B13blues
    • By B13blues 30th Dec 18, 3:48 PM
    • 73 Posts
    • 15 Thanks
    B13blues
    It really shouldn't be the case that we should have to keep checking meters because these companies can't be trusted. Amazes me as well that there's a huge percentage of people ripped off that are pensioners.Almost as if they're targeted.
    • Cardew
    • By Cardew 30th Dec 18, 6:33 PM
    • 27,869 Posts
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    Cardew
    So just gone through all payments made to Npower for 17/18 and stands at the moment at £2044.71
    Originally posted by David2Prit

    I think we should firstly get the billing correct!


    From 28/02/2017 to 29/10/2018 you were originally charged for 14,339kWh day and 9,280kWh night. This was revised to 9,028kWh and 5843kWh respectively after the adjustment of 5,311/3,437kWh for the 58.8% meter over-read.



    Thus the cost should be:
    9,028 x 14.79p = £1,335. + 5,843 x 7.55p = £441 + 608 days @ 30.95p standing charge = £188
    The total is £1,964

    Now in post#27 you state that you have paid Npower £2,044. Thus you should have a credit balance of £80 for the consumption up to 29 October 2018.

    Yet Npower in their email state you have a revised debit balance of £1,151.90.

    This is the major discrepancy that needs to be sorted.
    • David2Prit
    • By David2Prit 30th Dec 18, 6:50 PM
    • 80 Posts
    • 43 Thanks
    David2Prit
    I think we should firstly get the billing correct!


    From 28/02/2017 to 29/10/2018 you were originally charged for 14,339kWh day and 9,280kWh night. This was revised to 9,028kWh and 5843kWh respectively after the adjustment of 5,311/3,437kWh for the 58.8% meter over-read.



    Thus the cost should be:
    9,028 x 14.79p = £1,335. + 5,843 x 7.55p = £441 + 608 days @ 30.95p standing charge = £188
    The total is £1,964

    Now in post#27 you state that you have paid Npower £2,044. Thus you should have a credit balance of £80 for the consumption up to 29 October 2018.

    Yet Npower in their email state you have a revised debit balance of £1,151.90.

    This is the major discrepancy that needs to be sorted.
    Originally posted by Cardew
    Yah, true.
  • archived user
    It really shouldn't be the case that we should have to keep checking meters because these companies can't be trusted. Amazes me as well that there's a huge percentage of people ripped off that are pensioners.Almost as if they're targeted.
    Originally posted by B13blues
    Trusted to do what? The 2 yearly meter reading obligation was removed from Supply Licences by Ofgem in April 2016. Suppliers no longer have to read meters: the Licence requirement is now an obligation to ‘obtain’ a meter reading once every 12 months. There are safeguards for consumers who can be bothered to sign up to a supplier’s Priority Services Register. Non PSR consumers should either get into the habit of reading their meters or they should opt for a smart meter.
    • brianposter
    • By brianposter 30th Dec 18, 7:01 PM
    • 403 Posts
    • 130 Thanks
    brianposter
    I think we should firstly get the billing correct!
    .................................................. ........

    This is the major discrepancy that needs to be sorted.
    Originally posted by Cardew
    I am quite happy for you to pursue this line of reasoning but the first thing to be decided needs to be whether the 58.8 % general reduction in consumption is appropriate. From the figures provided by the OP this looks unlikely.
    You cannot get from 60 to 200 pounds with a meter that is only 60% wrong.
    Last edited by brianposter; 30-12-2018 at 7:21 PM.
    • Cardew
    • By Cardew 30th Dec 18, 7:12 PM
    • 27,869 Posts
    • 13,732 Thanks
    Cardew
    I keep coming back to the second point I made in Post#23.
    Here is last month when the new meter was installed:
    Day
    0 Our estimate
    31 October 2018
    303 Our reading
    30 November 2018
    303 kWh at 14.790p £44.81
    Night
    0 Our estimate
    31 October 2018
    63 Our reading
    30 November 2018
    63 kWh at 7.550p £4.76
    In November 2018 with the new meter you have an actual(i.e. not estimated) consumption of 303kWh day and 63kWh night.



    Now November is one of the colder months of the year, but whilst not the coldest is certainly above average. Thus you would expect the consumption in November to be more than one twelfth of annual consumption.



    However even if we considered your November consumption to be the monthly average, it would indicate an annual consumption of 3,636kWh day and 756kWh night. This is way below the Npower estimate of 5400kWh day and 3504kWh night.



    Most importantly the Npower estimate is derived from the ‘corrected’ consumption from 28/02/2017 to 29/10/2018. IMO this raises the possibility that the old defective meter could have been over-reading by more than 58%.


    Or of course the new meter is under-reading.
    • Cardew
    • By Cardew 30th Dec 18, 7:16 PM
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    Cardew
    I am quite happy for you to pursue this line of reasoning but the first thing to be decided needs to be whether the 58.8 % general reduction in consumption is appropriate. From the figures provided by the OP this looks unlikely.
    Originally posted by brianposter

    Agree completely! This is what I stated in post#4

    Could it be that the amount the meter over-read was variable and at times greatly exceeded 58.8%.?
    and in my latest post#39 again raised that possibility/probability.
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