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  • FIRST POST
    • Cavemant
    • By Cavemant 12th Apr 19, 5:19 PM
    • 2Posts
    • 0Thanks
    Cavemant
    Power have been undercharging me for 20 months, advice please
    • #1
    • 12th Apr 19, 5:19 PM
    Power have been undercharging me for 20 months, advice please 12th Apr 19 at 5:19 PM
    I am a new home owner and have been paying my bills by direct debit since I moved in. I never paid much attention to them but recently there was a delay to my billing and i checked to see how big the delayed bill was and it was extremely small.... Having now checked my actual reading compared to the estimates they have been sending I m way under... I probably owe them about £2800 over the last 20 months.

    They have never asked me for access, i have never denied them to my knowledge. I have not received any letters asking for access. As far as i know they are unaware there is any issue.

    Do i contact them? Or inform them? I see that back billing regulations mean that they can't chase me for bills beyond 12 months.. So do I just go on like this until they bill me? (Obviously setting money aside) the longer they don't ask the less they can ask for? How much of the liability for the bills being accurate falls on me? Any help appreciated!
Page 1
    • Cavemant
    • By Cavemant 12th Apr 19, 5:23 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Cavemant
    • #2
    • 12th Apr 19, 5:23 PM
    • #2
    • 12th Apr 19, 5:23 PM
    NPOWER* Joined August 2017 until now
    • Robin9
    • By Robin9 12th Apr 19, 5:36 PM
    • 4,088 Posts
    • 2,602 Thanks
    Robin9
    • #3
    • 12th Apr 19, 5:36 PM
    • #3
    • 12th Apr 19, 5:36 PM
    It is rare for meters to be read these days - have you not been reading yours and sending them to nPower ?
    Never pay on an estimated bill
    • giraffe69
    • By giraffe69 12th Apr 19, 5:37 PM
    • 2,638 Posts
    • 2,277 Thanks
    giraffe69
    • #4
    • 12th Apr 19, 5:37 PM
    • #4
    • 12th Apr 19, 5:37 PM
    Have you ever submitted any online readings? Are all your bills estimated?
    • Robin9
    • By Robin9 12th Apr 19, 6:04 PM
    • 4,088 Posts
    • 2,602 Thanks
    Robin9
    • #5
    • 12th Apr 19, 6:04 PM
    • #5
    • 12th Apr 19, 6:04 PM
    ...................... have been paying my bills by direct debit since I moved in. .................... I probably owe them about £2800 over the last 20 months.
    ........................
    Originally posted by Cavemant
    So you been paying a DD (of how much ???????) and estimate you owe £140 a month. WOW - do you live in a mansion ?
    Never pay on an estimated bill
    • t0rt0ise
    • By t0rt0ise 13th Apr 19, 3:02 PM
    • 3,173 Posts
    • 2,000 Thanks
    t0rt0ise
    • #6
    • 13th Apr 19, 3:02 PM
    • #6
    • 13th Apr 19, 3:02 PM
    The back billing regulations will not apply. Give them a meter reading and get an updated bill.
    • Merlin139
    • By Merlin139 13th Apr 19, 4:02 PM
    • 5,530 Posts
    • 21,251 Thanks
    Merlin139
    • #7
    • 13th Apr 19, 4:02 PM
    • #7
    • 13th Apr 19, 4:02 PM
    If you had been submitting readings to them or you contacted them to ask for a bill then you could use the 12 month rule.

    A Direct Debit is really only an advance payment on account until you are invoiced or sent a bill/statement to balance your account.

    When you moved in who decided what rate the DD should be set at? When you say New Home Owner was it a new build? If so that might explain a low DD amount but you don't say what you were paying each month or how big the property is?

    I would contact them and find out why they have not obtained an up to date meter reading. Then set about arranging a plan to get your account up to date.
    3.975 kWp PV SolarEdge System South Facing 10% Shading Installed 21 May 2014 Located in Mid East Yorkshire.
    • Streaky Bacon
    • By Streaky Bacon 13th Apr 19, 11:11 PM
    • 107 Posts
    • 36 Thanks
    Streaky Bacon
    • #8
    • 13th Apr 19, 11:11 PM
    • #8
    • 13th Apr 19, 11:11 PM
    The back billing rules will apply for any period further back than 12 months, if the OP has never submitted meter readings (apart from initial readings when opening the account) and has not blocked the supplier from taking their own readings.

    https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/publications-and-updates/ofgem-bans-suppliers-backbilling-customers-beyond-12-months

    Backbills can result from problems with a supplier’s billing system, or from suppliers estimating bills until they have an actual meter reading which may show that the customer’s consumption is higher than expected. Suppliers then send a ‘catch-up’ bill to recover the difference.
    The exception is where consumers actively prevent suppliers from taking or receiving accurate meter readings, for example by tampering with or obstructing access to the meter
    https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/consumers/household-gas-and-electricity-guide/who-contact-if-its-difficult-paying-energy-bills/energy-backbilling-your-rights

    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.
    Last edited by Streaky Bacon; 14-04-2019 at 1:52 AM.
    • nigelbb
    • By nigelbb 14th Apr 19, 5:41 AM
    • 2,288 Posts
    • 3,060 Thanks
    nigelbb
    • #9
    • 14th Apr 19, 5:41 AM
    • #9
    • 14th Apr 19, 5:41 AM
    The back billing rules will apply for any period further back than 12 months, if the OP has never submitted meter readings (apart from initial readings when opening the account) and has not blocked the supplier from taking their own readings.
    Originally posted by Streaky Bacon
    The backbilling rules apply whether or not the OP has submitted meter readings. The whole point is that the energy supplier must submit correct bills to consumers in a timely fashion & the 12 month cut off is designed to force that behaviour. If the energy supplier gets the bills wrong because they miscalculated or didn't make or ask for meter readings then when they discover the error they cannot backbill for more than 12 months.
    • Robin9
    • By Robin9 14th Apr 19, 5:53 AM
    • 4,088 Posts
    • 2,602 Thanks
    Robin9
    It would be nice to hear back from the OP. We are waiting for his meter reads.

    I wonder if when he joined nPower in Aug 2017 he took out a fixed tariff or if remained on their standard tariff; or if he did take out a fix but reverted to a standard tariff in Aug 2018 when the fix ran out.

    We may never know.
    Never pay on an estimated bill
    • kazwookie
    • By kazwookie 14th Apr 19, 6:09 AM
    • 10,491 Posts
    • 127,670 Thanks
    kazwookie
    Are the serial numbers on the bill / estimate the same you actually have?

    Like others have said, submit the correct readings and get it sorted.

    I'd also take photos of the meter readings as well for my records.
    Sun, Sea
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    • Streaky Bacon
    • By Streaky Bacon 14th Apr 19, 11:32 AM
    • 107 Posts
    • 36 Thanks
    Streaky Bacon
    The backbilling rules apply whether or not the OP has submitted meter readings. The whole point is that the energy supplier must submit correct bills to consumers in a timely fashion & the 12 month cut off is designed to force that behaviour. If the energy supplier gets the bills wrong because they miscalculated or didn't make or ask for meter readings then when they discover the error they cannot backbill for more than 12 months.
    Originally posted by nigelbb
    You're right, of course, and my comment wasn't worded well.

    It would be different if the OP had submitted incorrect meter readings but, yes, they are fine if they have submitted correct readings or no readings at all (as in this case).
    • Michaelw
    • By Michaelw 15th Apr 19, 2:55 PM
    • 250 Posts
    • 74 Thanks
    Michaelw
    I probably owe them about £2800 over the last 20 months.
    Originally posted by Cavemant
    That's an outrage that should be allowed to happen,that direct debit system is totally flawed and was unheard of until a few years ago until ridiculous energy increases took hold.Credit reports are at risk and substantial outstanding debt's can quickly mount causing payment difficulties.
    • matelodave
    • By matelodave 15th Apr 19, 3:38 PM
    • 4,405 Posts
    • 2,809 Thanks
    matelodave
    That's an outrage that should be allowed to happen,that direct debit system is totally flawed and was unheard of until a few years ago until ridiculous energy increases took hold.Credit reports are at risk and substantial outstanding debt's can quickly mount causing payment difficulties.
    Originally posted by Michaelw
    I'm not sure how it becomes an outrage - the OP should really have put a bit of effort into checking his meter, sending in bills and making sure that bills and online statements were correct. Thats the whole object of on-line billing.

    As it happens he'll get away with the cost of energy used more than 12 months ago, something like 8 months worth of free energy because he didn't take charge of his account. That's what's outrageous coz it's the rest of us that will be paying it for him
    Last edited by matelodave; 15-04-2019 at 3:41 PM.
    Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large numbers
    • foxy-stoat
    • By foxy-stoat 15th Apr 19, 3:41 PM
    • 4,002 Posts
    • 2,323 Thanks
    foxy-stoat
    Suggest you sell stuff and try and reduce the overdue balance - and increase the direct debit to cover the cost of the energy that you use.
    • Michaelw
    • By Michaelw 16th Apr 19, 1:04 PM
    • 250 Posts
    • 74 Thanks
    Michaelw
    It goes to show how meter's should be read more often and another reason to avoid a smart meter.None of this do the work for the companies' savings is being passed down the customer,instead people are being dictated to how much their direct debit should be and bullied into having a smart meter installed if they don't do this or that.Its basically a form of social engineering by energy firms entirly one sided.Simply saying go online doesn't mean people have to or capable of understanding whats involved or contained in doing so.

    I dont agree with some here that everyone is to be viewed with suspicion,its not a good sign.
    • Robin9
    • By Robin9 16th Apr 19, 1:15 PM
    • 4,088 Posts
    • 2,602 Thanks
    Robin9
    It goes to show how meter's should be read more often and another reason to avoid a smart meter.
    Originally posted by Michaelw
    The OP's problems have got nothing to do with Smart Meters - he has taken his eye off the ball and he now has a self-inflicted problem.

    But seeing as the OP has not come back to this forum perhaps he is hoping the problem will go away.
    Never pay on an estimated bill
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