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  • FIRST POST
    • wordsfan
    • By wordsfan 8th Mar 18, 2:39 PM
    • 360Posts
    • 72Thanks
    wordsfan
    Expected to pay energy bill from AFTER I moved out
    • #1
    • 8th Mar 18, 2:39 PM
    Expected to pay energy bill from AFTER I moved out 8th Mar 18 at 2:39 PM
    I moved out of private rented property early last year.

    Settled up with energy company based admittedly on estimated bills as the meter was inaccessible to me.

    I was actually given a refund at this time.

    Today been contacted by a debt collection agency. They were awful and obstructive.

    Eventually found out which company the debt suposedly with.

    Based on a meter reading given to them AT LEAST 2 months (different dates given according to call handler, then supervisor, then manager) AFTER I moved out.

    I had been there a while and the place did need redecorating and modernising and frankly the equipment and fittings were quite poor. So ex LL has completely ripped out and put in new kitchen and bathroom (bathroom now a wet room), redecorated throughout.

    This WOULD have used a lot of electricity.

    But it seems I am being expected to pay for it! OVER 200!!!

    Energy company saying I need to prove its NOT my bill! Wtf!!

    I'm on hold with an energy advice place just now but they don't sound very on the ball.

    I CANNOT afford to pay this and frankly don't see why I should!

    Anybody with knowledge who can advise I'd be so so very grateful!
Page 1
    • spadoosh
    • By spadoosh 8th Mar 18, 2:44 PM
    • 5,152 Posts
    • 6,913 Thanks
    spadoosh
    • #2
    • 8th Mar 18, 2:44 PM
    • #2
    • 8th Mar 18, 2:44 PM
    Your problem is you closed the account on estimated readings. That meter reading mightve been two months late but no amount of refurbishment will increase an electricity bill that much over two months. And im assuming they would be using very little lighting and heating usually working in day light hours.

    I suspect the additional usage is little bits over a much longer period.

    When did you have your last actual meter reading?

    Is the bill 200 or is that the what the debt collection agency want?

    I think your going to struggle to prove anything.
    Don't be angry!
    • House Martin
    • By House Martin 8th Mar 18, 2:48 PM
    • 1,353 Posts
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    House Martin
    • #3
    • 8th Mar 18, 2:48 PM
    • #3
    • 8th Mar 18, 2:48 PM
    Why could nt you get to the meter ?.Seems like the meter reader managed it.
    All meters are accessible. If landlord was keeping meter cupboard locked it was up to YOU to obtain the key from him/her.Vacating on an estimate is never a good idea.Unless you are very lucky either you owe them or they owe you.
    The supplier has up to 6 years to reclaim energy use, so 2 months is good going
    Well prove its not your bill .!. Easy enough.
    Meter in question will have unique serial number on it which is shown on the bill.
    If they match then unless you do a kettle/gas load test to prove otherwise than you owe this money.
    Last edited by House Martin; 08-03-2018 at 3:00 PM.
    • CashStrapped
    • By CashStrapped 8th Mar 18, 3:05 PM
    • 1,286 Posts
    • 720 Thanks
    CashStrapped
    • #4
    • 8th Mar 18, 3:05 PM
    • #4
    • 8th Mar 18, 3:05 PM
    As per Spadoosh

    I would also ask

    1) How long were you at the property

    2) What was the estimated use while at the property. i.e what was your estimated opening reading, what was your estimated closing reading and the dates they were estimated at.

    3) What was the tariff you were paying i.e the pence per kwh and the standing charge.

    4) How much did you actually pay the energy company in Direct debit payments for the period you were with them.

    ----

    If you give us this information we can help do some maths for you....

    But, as a tenant, you have to take some, responsibility...well .....all of it really.

    This situation has been caused by not supplying accurate meter readings. The situation could have been avoided through that alone. Saying it is not accessible is not really an excuse, there must have been some way to at least read the meter, at least twice. Once when you moved in, once when you moved out.

    You may have actually used far more energy than this bill is charging, so you may actually be getting off lightly. You may have used less, but we will never know. You cannot prove it because you did not take meter readings.

    ---------

    But, answer those questions and we can at least determine how much use they are charging you for.
    Last edited by CashStrapped; 08-03-2018 at 3:18 PM.
    • wordsfan
    • By wordsfan 8th Mar 18, 3:25 PM
    • 360 Posts
    • 72 Thanks
    wordsfan
    • #5
    • 8th Mar 18, 3:25 PM
    • #5
    • 8th Mar 18, 3:25 PM
    Meters inaccessible to me due to a combination of disability and in a daft place. (High up on outside wall I was in 2nd floor flat).

    Meter readers used a ladder to read. I wouldn't have been safe on a ladder.

    I don't have all that info now but I'm sure energy company will still have records of my usage when I lived there (almost 10 years, never had debt run up, occasional estimated billing but usually from meter readings) it's almost a year since I moved out and this is the first I've heard ANYTHING and they did have contact info for me plus I'm easy to find.
    • CashStrapped
    • By CashStrapped 8th Mar 18, 3:42 PM
    • 1,286 Posts
    • 720 Thanks
    CashStrapped
    • #6
    • 8th Mar 18, 3:42 PM
    • #6
    • 8th Mar 18, 3:42 PM
    I appreciate you have a disability, but there are options for disabled customers with regard to meter readings, if the energy company is aware. As frustrating as that may be, knowing you were moving out, it should have been a on the todo list to grab a meter reading before you left. I assume you had help for your move out. This should have been arranged. Yes, the landlord should have been amenable and helped you out maybe, but it was not his/her responsibility nor the energy supplier.

    The issue is, without that meter reading, you have no evidence. You cannot prove that they overcharged or even undercharged you. In reality you may owe them more! It may be that the landlord actually submitted a reading as soon as you left and this showed that you do indeed owe money. It has just taken a year to track you down.

    Because no meter reading was provided when you left, untimely the energy company have to guess (or use that supplied by the landlord).

    If you have been there 10 years, with the occasional accurate meter reading I would expect their guess to be pretty accurate.

    Furthermore, I doubt a refurb would use that much more electricity than you think. Most tools do not use that much power at all. Most refurbs do not go on throughout the night and are only active for a small proportion of the day. So all the devices that normally consume power 24/7 are off. When I had a major refurb in an all electric property, my electricity use dropped a lot.

    -----

    The only thing you can do is see what they have charged you for the last year, and see if that tallies with your previous use. Again, that is something that you have to prove yourself, the burden of proof lies with you. So regardless of whether your energy company has the data, it is something you have to show. I have offered to help you out, but it is down to you to get all the information, past meter readings, tariff information etc.

    ----

    Basically, you have two options

    1) Pay or set up a payment plan directly with the energy supplier

    2) Challenge it and complain. Be prepared for lots of letter writing and clearly demonstrating you have been over charged using figures not excuses.

    Contacting citizens advice via telephone may be a good place to start.

    You have to decide if it is worth the effort.
    Last edited by CashStrapped; 08-03-2018 at 3:49 PM.
    • badmemory
    • By badmemory 8th Mar 18, 6:48 PM
    • 1,616 Posts
    • 2,138 Thanks
    badmemory
    • #7
    • 8th Mar 18, 6:48 PM
    • #7
    • 8th Mar 18, 6:48 PM
    Interesting to see that no-one on here appears to have queried the total stupidity of installing a meter that needs a ladder in order to read it. Regardless of the occupants disability this would appear to be a health & safety issue for meter reader.
    • House Martin
    • By House Martin 8th Mar 18, 7:02 PM
    • 1,353 Posts
    • 1,140 Thanks
    House Martin
    • #8
    • 8th Mar 18, 7:02 PM
    • #8
    • 8th Mar 18, 7:02 PM
    Interesting to see that no-one on here appears to have queried the total stupidity of installing a meter that needs a ladder in order to read it. Regardless of the occupants disability this would appear to be a health & safety issue for meter reader.
    Originally posted by badmemory
    I did nt want to appear rude but I personally do not take everything anyone says at face value without something to back it up !
    In 20 years as a meter reader I ve never seen a domestic meter which needs a ladder to read it. There are many meters placed indoors, high enough to need a chair ( ok step ladders nowadays, not allowed to stand on a chair lol Meter readers do not carry ladders in their cars usually,except on solar panel duties to get to meters inside lofts.
    Any very high domestic meter , especially one outside, would be moved nowadays (in health n safety mad UK) at the first complaint to any supplier.
    I`ve been to many business meters which are high up needing a ladder and going up quite a way but never with a domestic gas or electric meter.
    If the OP could nt manage to climb the ladder what is wrong with asking a friend, or the landlord..Its his meter after all and he`s going to need the end reading to use as a start reading for him/her to start paying standing charges and other energy use the flat would no doubt use until the next tenant moves in.
    Last edited by House Martin; 08-03-2018 at 8:19 PM.
    • Smodlet
    • By Smodlet 9th Mar 18, 1:56 PM
    • 3,013 Posts
    • 6,051 Thanks
    Smodlet
    • #9
    • 9th Mar 18, 1:56 PM
    • #9
    • 9th Mar 18, 1:56 PM
    HouseMartin, you may well be right but benefit, doubt...

    OP, were your energy company aware you physically could not gain access to your meter to read it? If so, perhaps a call to them to advise the health and safety implications of your trying to do so might be an idea. You could apologise profusely for failing to ask either them or someone else to obtain a reading for you when you left but lay on with a trowel the stress of moving at the best of times, let alone when dealing with a disability, etc, etc. You get me?

    You will probably still have to pay this bill but might, just might get a bit knocked off it in the form of a credit so said company can be seen not to be discriminating against those with disabilities. You could even find out how much is actual bill and how much debt collector's shark fines (just invented that ) with a view to getting these removed or reduced.

    While it could be argued none of the above suggestions come under the heading of honourable, I feel energy and telecoms companies are fair game, myself. HTH.
    What is this life if, sweet wordsmith, we have no time to take the pith?
    Every stew starts with the first onion.
    I took it upon myself to investigate a trifle; it had custard, jelly, soggy sponge things...
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