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SL80

Unexpected (and unbelievable) hike in electric!

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Hi all,

 

I hope that someone may be able to offer me some advice on this one.

 

I've just had a gas/electric bill from Scottish Power that shows and incredible increase in my electricity usage that I simply cannot believe I have done. I have been with the company for over two years, paying a fairly consistent amount (give or take the odd price rises and falls) and had my meter read on a number of occasions.

 

To give some perspective, my reading for the same period last year shows a usage of 62kWh for the quarter (fairly average across my previous bills). My reading for this bill is 2257kWh.

 

I have made no change in my energy use behaviour in this time. The only changes have been:

- A reduction in the number of people in the household from 2 to 1 over 2 of the months

- The inlaws staying for 3 weeks (and I'm pretty sure they wern't dolling out free electricity to all comers while we were out)

- A meter change (from dial to digital - 25 days before bill)

- What may well have been an electricity surge the middle of the night (prior to meter change) at beginning of bill period.

 

I am stumped. SP have simply said "we've read the meter, you used the electricity, you pay us" (I'm paraphrasing). But the increase that is seen here would surely require a massive increase in my consumption brought about by a significant change in my behaviour. This has simply not happened.

 

Can anyone think of any reason that my bill has spiked, aside from electric fairies stealing it from my toaster!? Could the meter change have been done incorrectly - the reading was left with me and matches the bill? Is it even possible for me to create this increase, even if I left all of my (generally efficient) appliances on? Have I simply been a lucky fella who has been paying far too little on an old meter (although the new meter was only installed 25 days before the bill)?

 

I'm at a loss.

 

Any suggestions or advice are extremely gratefully received. In particular has this occurred to anyone before, and what was the cause? Thank you.

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well i would guess somewhere the last reading from the old meter and the new meter have been screwed.

 

you should have a card that they left you with readings and details of the old meter etc.

 

it should be possible using simple maths to confirm what you have used.

 

and it cant be 'oh we've discovered an under charge from your old meter for xx yrs, they cannot do that, if they did not bill you or even if they did, the max period for wrong rates is 12mts.

 

my thoughts lie with contacting ofgen? [the electricity watchdog] and getting this escalated

the phone numbber is in the book or from their website

 

dx


please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

 

if everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's tomorrow

the biggest financial industry in the UK, DCA;s would collapse overnight.

 

 

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Hi SL80,

Further to what D has suggested, I would advise contacting a specialist team at SP who deal with disputes, it strikes me that there are a couple of things that could have happened:

1. The wrong removal read for your old meter

2. The wrong installed read for your new meter (they're not always installed on 00000)

 

Take a set of readings at the same time every day for 7 days, this would show your average daily usage and justify / unjustify any increase in your consumption and alloow your bill to be re-calculated

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Thanks DX and Nottslad,

 

I can't help but feel the change in meters is no coincidence. Unfortunately for me the readings seem to match up. A close scrutiny of all bills and readings made is in order I think. But it must be far to odd to be real - I just hope I can prove that.

 

After a lot of badgering of the call centre guy yesterday he actually relented at the end of the call and said he would pass the matter on to another unit. Hopefully it's with the people you mentioned Nottslad, albeit my call centre guy said there would be no change in outcome.

 

Looks like offgem will be my best bet if (prob when) the PS route dries up. Unfortunately, this has managed to coincide with me selling my house, I actually leave it in just under a week. So weekly readings are not any good, but I'll try taking readings at night over the next few days and over 24hr periods. Will at least give me something to go on. Course the upside is that I don't have to pay the massive hike in my direct debit that SP has given me :)

 

Unfortunately means I have to pay the bill so as not to cause a mess for the person moving in. I'll make it clear to PS that this isn't de-facto acceptance of the readings, but no doubt will not help my case.

 

Thanks again, your comments are greatly appreciated.

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your situation is almost exactly the same as me,

years ago [oct94] we inherited a key meter in the property we still council rent.

it suited us as we did have severe financial issues.

 

years down the line in 2005 we got a 'normal' digital meter fitted.

 

1st bill came in something like 5 times eq keymeter usage.

 

argued the issue, but it dragged on and on, however finances were good so we just paid, needing the energy to both work.

 

in oct 06, things got easier and i started to question the issue again.

 

but got really fed up with e-on cust service dept and changed to BG. [gave us a dual supply deal]

 

got BG on the case & had a call from a lovely man in meters dept at e-on he got it sorted [something wrong with the way day/night rates were being applied / read] we got a £1780 refund. that

thought this was the end of it.

 

no, the meter over the next 2 years played up again here and there, having been an electronic eng for 35yrs i knew 51kWh per day was like high man. the next month it would be ok.

 

did query it, had the testers around, even got one of those watthour meters, that was actually the best thing i had done.

showed the testers a video of my tests a couple of weeks earlier, where the meter came out at 4.2kWh but ext one said 2kWh exactly.

 

guys tested but found no problem, but agreed it was weird.

 

well 2 weeks ago we had a very severe brown out and one of the phases failed when it was put back on 18hrs later, the meter no longer works.

 

spoke to BG , they are sending a team out to change it & finally gettingthe old one tested after 3yrs of moaning.

 

when this woman in the change dept looked at the bills, she said blimey you use a lot of electric, i said i don't its an intermittent faulty meter.

wow someone agreed with me at last!

 

sorry long post. but shows it can happen.

 

dx


please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

 

if everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's tomorrow

the biggest financial industry in the UK, DCA;s would collapse overnight.

 

 

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SL80 is the 62 kwh per quarter a correct figure? This is extremely low. An average use maybe somewhere between 800-1200 per qtr & low user 300-400. 62 though is very low, less than 1 unit per day.

If your previous meter was a dial meter, it's possbile it was being misread & your new meter is more accurate.

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Is there such a thing as economy seven these days or did they do away with it? :confused:

Can you get it even if you dont have storage heaters?


I QUESTION THEREFORE I AM!! [sIGPIC][/sIGPIC]

 

Unfortunately i'm not an expert in any given field legally and my advice and that of the Consumer Action Group and the Bank Action Group is given without prejudice and without liability so please if in any doubt whatsoever seek help from an insured qualified professional. Contents of my posts are purely my own personal opinions and not condoned or endorsed in any way, shape or form by CAG. Thank you! :p

 

 

I have been smoke-free for 4yrs

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Hi,

 

DX I know just how you feel. At the moment I really need my energies to be ploughed into my house move, work, and looking for work - triple-trouble! The temptation really is there just to pay and leave it. But it is good to know that these odd anomalies do happen, statistically it must be so. Scientists will take three readings to prevent human error, I'm sure meter readers are not immune to the odd mistake (not that it could ever be proved).

 

As Daveshug suggests [thanks for the reply], it had crossed my mind that I've just been a lucky guy who's not been paying enough for a long time. Maybe I should just keep it to myself! But then the meter was changed right at the end of the bill period, so it would have had to be an extremely large increase in a small time.

 

Would 2257kWh be an unexpected amount for a 2 person end of terrace I wonder?

 

It really is a mystery that requires me to do a bit of work, let me get my calculator out again and have a couple of Scooby snacks. I'll let you know how I get on.

 

Thanks.

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OK... so I have now got to the bottom of this. All I can say is that it makes a huge difference to talk to someone with some customer service skills. I called again to cancel (as moving house) and discussed again with a different person. Luckily, he could be bothered to look into the matter rather than just proclaim that the figures stood.

 

Basically it all relates to our old friend the estimated reading.

 

What confused me is that I had given readings over the phone through the year, so the sudden leap in that quarter had to have been for that period.

 

Wrong.

 

Having an old dial meter, it turns out I had taken the readings incorrectly (easily done if you've ever seen one of these). As the readings I gave over the phone were so far out (starting with a 6 rather than a 4), they just ignored them. But didn't tell me. So when the meter was changed and the final reading taken, low-and-behold the estimated readings used instead were totally out. So I had a sudden hike in my electricity use which seemed to be from a single quarter, but was in fact from the entire year.

 

A word of warning then for anyone giving readings for dial meters over the phone - make sure that these are on the bill & not just estimates!

 

Thanks everyone for your help.

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well done

 

dx


please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

 

if everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's tomorrow

the biggest financial industry in the UK, DCA;s would collapse overnight.

 

 

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If that ran on for over a year, you should not be billed for more than one year's consumption under the billing code as they were provided with actual reads and chose to ignore them, you've now been issued with a very large catch-up bill.

 

If the period covers less than one year, I hope the charges have been apportioned through any price changes so that you're not at any immediate disadvantage :-)

 

Hope the move went well

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