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  • FIRST POST
    • TheBear123
    • By TheBear123 19th May 19, 1:59 PM
    • 2Posts
    • 0Thanks
    TheBear123
    Back bill issue
    • #1
    • 19th May 19, 1:59 PM
    Back bill issue 19th May 19 at 1:59 PM
    I am with E.ON and they have been estimating my gas and electricity usage for past 8 years or so. Our flat has 2 adults and 1 toddler.

    Billing was c£130 per month for direct debit until November 2018.

    In November we gave them an actual usage. This was considerably higher than their estimate and as a result they sent a bill for ~£2500 (stating 44,000 gas units used for period 23 Oct 2018 to 01 Jan 2019 ... an insane artificial catch up amount) and lifted direct debit to £530 per month suddenly - and have taken £1590 so far.

    I realise that it is always better to give Actuals but they also presumably have an obligation to chase if no Actual has been for a while.

    What are the actual back billing rules? Should I cancel my direct debit to stop them taking the next £530 on June 3rd 2019 as they are being incredibly slow about acknowledging this? No-one at E.ON has mentioned on my 3 calls to customer service about back bill Ofgem rule.

    Thanks
    Last edited by TheBear123; 19-05-2019 at 6:27 PM.
Page 1
    • B13blues
    • By B13blues 19th May 19, 2:28 PM
    • 80 Posts
    • 15 Thanks
    B13blues
    • #2
    • 19th May 19, 2:28 PM
    • #2
    • 19th May 19, 2:28 PM
    If it was me I'd cancel the direct debit, close that bank account and open another. Sometimes just cancelling the direct debit isn't enough.
    • JJ Egan
    • By JJ Egan 19th May 19, 3:05 PM
    • 13,330 Posts
    • 6,089 Thanks
    JJ Egan
    • #3
    • 19th May 19, 3:05 PM
    • #3
    • 19th May 19, 3:05 PM
    <I realise that it is always better to give Actuals but they also presumably have an obligation to chase if no Actual has been for a while.
    But thats something like every two/ three years for a meter reading .


    Cancel a DD may trash your credit record for six years and involve debt collectors .
    • Mister G
    • By Mister G 19th May 19, 3:16 PM
    • 1,162 Posts
    • 706 Thanks
    Mister G
    • #4
    • 19th May 19, 3:16 PM
    • #4
    • 19th May 19, 3:16 PM
    I am with E.ON and they have been estimating my gas and electricity usage for past 8 years or so. Our flat has 2 adults and 1 toddler.

    Billing was c£130 per month for direct debit until November 2018.

    In November we gave them an actual usage. This was considerably higher than their estimate and as a result they sent a bill for ~£2500 (stating 44,000 gas units used for period 23 Oct 2018 to 01 Jan 2019 ... an insane artificial catch up amount) and lifted direct debit to £530 per month suddenly - and have taken £1590 so far.

    I realise that it is always better to give Actuals but they also presumably have an obligation to chase if no Actual has been for a while.

    What are the actual back billing rules? Should I cancel my direct debit to stop them taking the next £530 on June 3rd 2019 as they are being incredibly slow about acknowledging this? No-one at E.ON has mentioned on my 3 calls to customer service about back bill Ofgem rule.

    Thanks

    Nick
    Originally posted by ngregg
    Assuming this is gas and electricity that you have actually used, then I'm afraid that you'll have to pay for it.

    I suggest you talk to Eon about a payment plan. That should reduce the DD and allow you to pay the arrears over a more reasonable time.
    • Robin9
    • By Robin9 19th May 19, 4:16 PM
    • 4,972 Posts
    • 3,244 Thanks
    Robin9
    • #5
    • 19th May 19, 4:16 PM
    • #5
    • 19th May 19, 4:16 PM
    I know Martin asks us to be nice to Newbies but really you have been with them for 8 years - don't you think you've not had some responsibility to give them a meter reading during that time.

    Presumably you also kept you head in the sand and never sought to change tariff at all and so will have been on their standard (ie expensive) tariff.

    I see you eventually gave them readings in November 2018 - have you been giving them readings at least every month since ?

    Big - expensive wakeup call for you.
    Never pay on an estimated bill
    • ToxicWomble
    • By ToxicWomble 19th May 19, 5:10 PM
    • 136 Posts
    • 215 Thanks
    ToxicWomble
    • #6
    • 19th May 19, 5:10 PM
    • #6
    • 19th May 19, 5:10 PM
    Back billing rules used to say that either you had to provide accurate readings when requested OR not prevent the company from reading the meter.

    IF you can prove that you didn’t prevent access to read the meter, then they are only allowed to charge back 14 months (I think)

    There is a very specific document that refers to back billing. Give it a very good read
  • E.ON Company Representative: Malc
    • #7
    • 22nd May 19, 10:51 AM
    E.ON Billing
    • #7
    • 22nd May 19, 10:51 AM
    I am with E.ON and they have been estimating my gas and electricity usage for past 8 years or so. Our flat has 2 adults and 1 toddler.

    Billing was c£130 per month for direct debit until November 2018.

    In November we gave them an actual usage. This was considerably higher than their estimate and as a result they sent a bill for ~£2500 (stating 44,000 gas units used for period 23 Oct 2018 to 01 Jan 2019 ... an insane artificial catch up amount) and lifted direct debit to £530 per month suddenly - and have taken £1590 so far.

    I realise that it is always better to give Actuals but they also presumably have an obligation to chase if no Actual has been for a while.

    What are the actual back billing rules? Should I cancel my direct debit to stop them taking the next £530 on June 3rd 2019 as they are being incredibly slow about acknowledging this? No-one at E.ON has mentioned on my 3 calls to customer service about back bill Ofgem rule.

    Thanks
    Originally posted by TheBear123
    Hello TheBear123 and welcome to the Forums.

    Back-billing (previously known as the billing code) applies in certain circumstances where we've failed to bill accurately. Where we're at fault, we cannot charge for any unbilled energy used more than 12 months from the point the problem was fixed.

    We put messages in bold type on each estimated bill to advise charges are based on assessments of past usage and ask for readings. Once received, we'll rebill to keep charges as accurate as possible.

    We're happy to accept a customer's readings and provide several ways to send them. This includes online through our website, phone app or Live Chat service; by phone or text, email or letter. We also visit periodically and there'll be notes on your account detailing these calls and why we couldn't take readings. These notes will help us determine if we're at fault when looking at the Billing Code.

    Totally understand the shock of receiving a large unexpected bill. As Mister G says, talk to us about spreading the outstanding balance over a longer period. This will reduce the monthly payments a little.

    Have you thought about smart meters? There's no charge to fit them and they'll help stop this sort of situation from happening again as they send us readings automatically. Please be aware, as you're in a flat, it might not be possible to have them yet. It depends on the circumstances. Still worth asking the question as we're able to put them in certain flats/apartments and are continually working to increase the range of properties where we can do this.

    Hope this points you in the right direction TheBear123.

    Malc
    Last edited by E.ON Company Representative: Malc; 24-05-2019 at 4:50 PM. Reason: Updated text
    Official Company Representative
    I am an official company representative of E.ON. MSE has given permission for me to post in response to queries about the company, so that I can help solve issues. You can see my name on the companies with permission to post list. I am not allowed to tout for business at all. If you believe I am please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com This does NOT imply any form of approval of my company or its products by MSE"
    • Streaky Bacon
    • By Streaky Bacon 22nd May 19, 12:04 PM
    • 151 Posts
    • 73 Thanks
    Streaky Bacon
    • #8
    • 22nd May 19, 12:04 PM
    • #8
    • 22nd May 19, 12:04 PM
    Here are the facts from Ofgem.

    https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/consumers/household-gas-and-electricity-guide/who-contact-if-its-difficult-paying-energy-bills/energy-backbilling-your-rights

    As the OP correctly states, it is the supplier's duty to obtain readings, the onus is not on the customer to provide them.

    Put simply, a supplier can’t seek additional payment for unbilled energy used more than 12 months prior to the error being detected and a corrected bill being issued.

    The protection may not apply if you have behaved obstructively or unreasonably which prevents your supplier from accurately billing you.

    For example, by physically blocking more than one reasonable attempt by the supplier to take a meter reading at your property or if you have stolen gas or electricity.

    To help your supplier give you accurate bills, we recommend that you provide regular meter readings to them, and tell them when you are moving in or out of a property.

    But we don’t expect that not responding to a request for meter details or readings from your supplier means you are behaving obstructively or unreasonably.
    So, if the only thing you have done is not provide readings, the back billing rules will apply to you.

    E.ON will only be able to charge you for the last 12 months, calculated (in the absence of any other evidence) on a pro-rata basis.

    Do not cancel your direct debit.

    Simply write to E.On pointing out the back billing rules, and telling them that you need them to recalculate the bill on that basis (by all means provide your own calculation).

    If you don't get an acceptable response, then simply pass it to the Energy Ombudsman.

    Incidentally, the E.ON representative somewhat confusingly refers to the "Billing Code". The rules on back billing are actually now contained in the Standard Licence Conditions, which all suppliers are bound to. The article below discusses the change.

    https://www.energy-uk.org.uk/media-and-campaigns/press-releases/12-customers/146-code-of-practice-for-accurate-bills.html

    The relevant sections in the standard licence conditions are:

    Prohibition

    21BA.1 Subject to paragraph 21BA.2, where the licensee or any Representative Issues a Bill to a Domestic Customer or otherwise seeks to recover (including via a Prepayment Meter) Charges for the Supply of Electricity from that customer (hereafter a “charge recovery action”), they must only do so in respect of:
    (a) units of electricity which could reasonably be considered to have been consumed within the 12 months preceding the date the charge recovery action was taken; and
    (b) where applicable, amounts in respect of a Standing Charge or any other type of supply charge accrued within the 12 months preceding the date the charge recovery action was taken.

    Exceptions to prohibition

    21BA.2 Paragraph 21BA.1 does not apply in the following circumstances:

    (a) where any charge recovery action was taken prior to the date this condition took effect;
    (b) the licensee or any Representative, has taken a charge recovery action following the date this condition took effect in a manner which complied with paragraph 21BA.1 and, due to non-payment are continuing to take steps to obtain payment for the same units of electricity and, where applicable, the same amounts in respect of a Standing Charge or other type of supply charge;
    (c) the licensee has been unable to take a charge recovery action for the correct amount of electricity consumed due to obstructive or manifestly unreasonable behaviour of the Domestic Customer;
    (d) any other circumstances, which following consultation, the Authority may specify by publishing a statement in writing.
    Last edited by Streaky Bacon; 22-05-2019 at 12:20 PM.
    • Benight
    • By Benight 22nd May 19, 12:54 PM
    • 350 Posts
    • 133 Thanks
    Benight
    • #9
    • 22nd May 19, 12:54 PM
    • #9
    • 22nd May 19, 12:54 PM
    I am with E.ON and they have been estimating my gas and electricity usage for past 8 years or so...
    Originally posted by TheBear123
    Are you saying you have been with the same supplier & tariff for the past 8 years???
    Presumably that is the default, standard variable tariff of a the Big 6 supplier, E.ON?


    I know I always suggest sticking with one of the Big 6 suppliers and you won't go far wrong, but please do consult a comparison site and get yourself onto a decent tariff with one of them!

    MSE Cheap Energy Club allows you to filter results to just the Big 6, and will alert you as soon as you can save money by switching to another supplier/tariff

    If you are currently now formally in debt to your current supplier, EON, and so unable to switch away, then MSE have a good tariff you could transfer to according to today's email.

    MSE Cheap Energy Club also allows you to filter results offered to your existing supplier only
    Last edited by Benight; 22-05-2019 at 12:57 PM.
  • E.ON Company Representative: Malc
    E.ON Back-Billing
    Here are the facts from Ofgem.

    https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/consumers/household-gas-and-electricity-guide/who-contact-if-its-difficult-paying-energy-bills/energy-backbilling-your-rights

    As the OP correctly states, it is the supplier's duty to obtain readings, the onus is not on the customer to provide them.

    So, if the only thing you have done is not provide readings, the back billing rules will apply to you.

    E.ON will only be able to charge you for the last 12 months, calculated (in the absence of any other evidence) on a pro-rata basis.

    Do not cancel your direct debit.

    Simply write to E.On pointing out the back billing rules, and telling them that you need them to recalculate the bill on that basis (by all means provide your own calculation).

    If you don't get an acceptable response, then simply pass it to the Energy Ombudsman.

    Incidentally, the E.ON representative somewhat confusingly refers to the "Billing Code". The rules on back billing are actually now contained in the Standard Licence Conditions, which all suppliers are bound to. The article below discusses the change.

    https://www.energy-uk.org.uk/media-and-campaigns/press-releases/12-customers/146-code-of-practice-for-accurate-bills.html

    The relevant sections in the standard licence conditions are:
    Originally posted by Streaky Bacon
    Spot on Streaky Bacon. It's now referred to in the SLC's as Back-billing. I'm afraid I'm guilty of still using outdated terms. I've amended my post so the terms are more current.

    Thanks for the heads up.

    Malc
    Official Company Representative
    I am an official company representative of E.ON. MSE has given permission for me to post in response to queries about the company, so that I can help solve issues. You can see my name on the companies with permission to post list. I am not allowed to tout for business at all. If you believe I am please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com This does NOT imply any form of approval of my company or its products by MSE"
    • AndynNic
    • By AndynNic 17th Jun 19, 6:12 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    AndynNic
    Npower no bill
    Been with npower since 2014 and not received a bill to date, we pay our direct debit every month and give regular readings, we are currently £6000 in credit.
    Two complaints have been logged with them, the second one is on going but we're not holding our breath.
    Can anyone give advise on what to do if we don't get a bill?
    • Cardew
    • By Cardew 18th Jun 19, 7:03 AM
    • 27,971 Posts
    • 13,830 Thanks
    Cardew
    Been with npower since 2014 and not received a bill to date, we pay our direct debit every month and give regular readings, we are currently £6000 in credit.
    Two complaints have been logged with them, the second one is on going but we're not holding our breath.
    Can anyone give advise on what to do if we don't get a bill?
    Originally posted by AndynNic

    How do you know you are £6,000 in credit? Is it simply because you have paid, say, £100 a month for 60 months? Or do you have some form of notification(email) from NPower of £6,000 credit?


    You could try and get the £6,000 refunded!


    My understanding, supported by some posts on MSE, is that the £6,000 will be used to pay for your consumption over the 6 years.


    Had you not paid anything to Npower, the lack of bills would have meant the cost of the first 5 years consumption would be written off under the 12 month backbilling provision.
    • AndynNic
    • By AndynNic 18th Jun 19, 9:57 AM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    AndynNic
    Npower no bill
    Thanks for your reply.
    Npower have told us we are £6000 in credit because we have paid every month since 2014.
    We did ask for the money back for us to hold until we received a bill but was told not possible.
    We did take our case to the ombudsman a couple of years ago but didn't get anywhere. its so annoying that we don't know what we owe them or they owe us, can't even switch suppliers.
    • PennineAcute
    • By PennineAcute 18th Jun 19, 10:24 AM
    • 511 Posts
    • 278 Thanks
    PennineAcute
    You may be £6000 in credit, but as you have not been billed yet, this will not be accurate. I, too, have had NPower nightmares and would not wish them on my worst enemy.
    • TheBear123
    • By TheBear123 21st Jul 19, 8:26 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    TheBear123
    Just to follow up on resolution on this (original E.On back-billing question post)
    E.On did a review and credited my account with £2.5k.
    They confirmed they should not have back-billed so far and re-calculated.

    They told me to cancel direct debit during the process to prevent any high charges going through while they did the recalculation (which took around 6 weeks in total).

    They had not contacted me regularly regarding getting meter readings in the past few years (which they confirmed) - certainly only very occasional prompts that I can recall. We have looked at a smart meter - but the reach would not work (in our mansion block for the gas).

    So lesson being - we are all busy but I should (fairly to E.On) proactively provide meter readings regularly + check alternative tariffs regularly (rather than sticking on same one).

    However, in event of actual readings not being recorded for some considerable time, the back-billing rules are clear for gas and electricity (and luckily for me in my favour in this instance) that they cannot bill you beyond 12 months estimated usage.
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