Hi , I wonder if anyone could shed any light on this - any comments much appreciated:
I am a customer of Spark Energy and had my first electricity bill recently. While the meter readings are correct (not estimated), I am confused as I think they may be trying to bill me on 2 different tariffs.
The situation is that I live in a house which has been converted into flats - 1 on ground (mine) and 1 on 1st floor. Our meter boxes are outside the property. Inside my meter box, I have 1 electricity meter (there is no gas in the property). However, this one meter seems to have 2 different MPANs - 1 beginning with 02 (which means Economy 7 tariff) and 1 beginning with 01 (which means Domestic Unrestricted, i.e. standard tariff).
When I read the meter, I provided 3 meter readings as there were 3 already set up on my online account - reading 1 is Day, reading 2 is Night (these are both on the same MPAN), and reading 3 is Unrestricted (this is on the same MPAN). I got these just by pressing the button on my digital meter until the 3 different readings came up.
I submitted these to Spark Energy and after much chasing the eventually issued me a bill. I am on the Economy 7 tariff (as I have electric storage heaters and thought this would be the most economical), so should only pay a Day rate and a Night rate. This is displayed on one page of my bill. However, a separate rate for "Unrestricted" use is displayed on a separate page of my bill which is very expensive. As I am on Economy 7, and have been previously with other suppliers, I should only pay a Day and Night rate - I have never come across being billed for Unrestricted before.
From my experience, and looking at Spark Energy and other suppliers' websites, Economy 7 only ever has 2 readings - Day and Night - and "Unrestricted" is a separate method of metering for people who are on a single-rate tariff. Spark Energy's website says explicitly that "Simple Unrestricted means a single rate tariff that usually only has 1 reading, i.e, not Economy 7, Economy 10 or white meter" - meaning that Economy 7 and "Simple Unrestricted" are two different tariff methods so I think that means a customer cannot be billed by both methods.
This "Unrestricted" is on a separate page to my Day and Night readings, suggesting that it is in fact a separate tariff to my Economy 7 plan and is double-counting my usage or unrelated to what I should be paying under an Economy 7 plan. When I asked the Customer Service Department they couldn't tell me what the "Unrestricted" rate covered or why it appeared on my Economy 7 bill which should only show 1 Day and 1 Night usage figure. They suggested that sometimes a property is billed for some parts separately and this is what the "Unrestricted" reading covers (e.g. if the property has a garage or immersion heater it could be wired to the meter separately) but this doesn't apply to me as my property is a very small 1-bedroom flat with a combi-boiler and no outbuildings. When I raised this as a complaint with Spark Energy, I was told that the Unrestricted usage was definitely mine, and that some appliance(s) must be wired in to the meter separately from the main wiring, and that this meant I had 2 MPANs and had to pay the standard Unrestricted rate on this usage.
Spark Energy are unable to give me any information about what appliances are wired up to each meter, and they have said an electrician would be able to tell but they won't provide one (I am now trying to get my Landlord to send an electrician round to check). I am worried that things like the electric storage heating is hooked up to the Unrestricted MPAN meaning I am not benefitting from the Economy 7 cheaper overnight rate.
What I would like advice on is:
1. Can 1 input-only (i.e. non-export) meter have 2 MPANS?
2. Have I understood correctly that it is EITHER you are charged Economy 7 tariff OR you are charged Standard rate? Rather than it being possible for the supplier to charge you for usage under both rates?
3. Is it possible that two properties can be charged off the same meter, but under 2 different MPANs? (i.e. is it possible that the "Unrestricted" usage on my meter is to do with the flat upstairs?)
4. Can an electricity company make you pay for "Unrestricted" rates, when you have signed up for and only agreed to an Economy 7 plan?
If you need any more information please let me know. Thanks guys!