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No elec meter, no bill for 5 years

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I've owned my flat for over 5 years. When I first moved in I was unable to find the elec meter so tried to contact the previous owner through his solicitor. Unsurprisingly they received no reply from the client.


At the time I contacted two suppliers both of who were unable and uninterested in helping as my address didn't exist on their system and so no MPAN could be found.


I am now thinking of selling and would like to get this sorted, heavens knows quite how I managed to buy the property without anyone realising the meter problem. Anyway I seem to be stuck in a catch 22 and have no idea where to start and what kind of trouble I may be getting myself into. The freeholder is the local council who I believe did the conversion in the first place.


Coincedently I've never had a water bill either, when I called Thames Water when I first moved in they said the property wasn't on the system so my rates must be paid through my service charge but I've checked my lease and statements and there's no mention of inclusive water rates.


Gas is fine!


Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

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Is your flat a newbuild i.e. were you the first occupier since the conversion? Presumably your electric meter is in a communal cupboard. If your flat key does not open it you must find a way to get to your meter.


Having found your alleged meter do a check to make sure that it is actually supplying your flat. Leave a light on in your flat go to the meter and switch the electricity off at the meter - if it is the correct meter the light will go off. Switch on at the meter and the light will go on again.


If the meter does not supply your flat do the same test on the other meters until you find yours - have a word with the other flat occupants first!!


Make a note of the number of the correct meter..


You should contact National Grid by phone and ask them to do a search on your address and meter number. Quite likely they have a wrong address. If they can locate you they will give you your MPAN number and should be able to tell you who the supplier is. If their is no supplier on their database you have no suppler at present and they have been distributing electricity free of charge. Get the name of the operative who dealt with you. As soon as possible you should ring up the supplier of your choice, arrange a supply and give them the present meter reading.


Post again if there are problems which is very likely!


It would be as well to check that the gas meter is also correct for your flat.


We can deal with the water problem later if you so wish. The people (?council) who are taking your service charge should know.

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Considering it five years would not harm to record the calls for record. You can be seen to making effort to sort it out and have a record of what advised. A normal mobile can record sound. Could save you hastle. Good luck.

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Thanks for taking the time to reply but sadly its not that straight forward. The property is a victorian conversion done at least 20 years ago. There is only my ground floor flat and one above. Upstairs has their own elec meter inside their property although interestingly today I found out they've been in heated discussion with their supplier for years over them insisting the flat has 2 MPAN numbers which I cant help but think is connected to my lack of one!


I'm 100% sure my property does not have an elec meter this has been backed up by an electrician friend who took a baffled look at my supply and told me in comes into the flat straight into the board then onto the fuse box.


My gas meter is fine, its inside my flat and records only my use.

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Sounds like the upstairs flat has two electric meters inside the flat, one of which is yours? It is common for this situation to exist in converted flats (or where there are flats above shops)

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This is unique on CAG.


Two MPAN numbers to the flat upstairs - MPAN numbers are supposed to uniquely identify a property mmm...


When the Council redeveloped the property and applied to National Grid for them to have an electricity supply. NG should have


a) if there was a previous electricity supply assigned a MPAN number to each property and cancel the previous MPAN number. Otherwise two MPAN numbers should be assigned one to each property.


b) fitted two meters (probably by an agent which might have been the Council.)


c) asked either the Council or the first occuopers to arrange suppliers.


The chosen suppliers would then contact NG who would confirm addresses meter numbers MPAN numbers and occupiers.


d) then switch on the supply.


Clearly this process has gone awry - I would have a bet that NG will blame the council or even the occupiers.


Possibly there is also an address problem. Newbuilds and redevelopemnts will be assigned a postal address and postcode sometime after completion and often sale of the property. This should change the addresses on both NG's and the supplier's database but they have no system of checking the Royal Mail databases for this though Royal Mail will supply a list of address changes to interested parties - at a cost.


Somebody at NG has entered the incorrect information on their database and there is no error checking programming to prevent this. In addition they cannot have had an error checking audit of their database for 20 years.


Only a supplier can charge you for gas used. NG should have a contract with the suppliers (chosen by the customer) to pay for the gas used and for the infrastructure up to and including the meter. NG cannot charge YOU. You have no supplier so nobody can charge you. You and the previous occupanrts have got away with it. I my view NG do not deserve anything.


Perhaps it would be as well for you to WRITE to NG and put them in the picture so that this could all be sorted before you sell. A good solicitor will pick this problem up and block any sale. What was your solicitor like?

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Some properties do have more than one MPAN Pelham. Usually where there is a normal domestic supply & another that supplies heating, not E7, the type that gives a boost during the day. There will usually be 2 meters too. There are others where there can be even more. So the fact that the flat has more than 1 MPAN, may not neccesarily mean there is anything wrong.

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See MPANs, Meter Point Administration Numbers explained.


No wonder everybody gets confused ?


It makes sense to me that the MPAN identifies the property. To have two MPANs for a properrty is bound to cause problems.


If you are right that that property can have two MPAN numbers this should be adddressed by the industry. One MPAN and two meter numbers makes perfect sense. Two MPANs and one meter number does not.

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I used to work for a power company in the customer service dept. a couple of years ago. We used to come across this problem all the time. If indeed your elec meter is in the flat upstairs yet they took no reading when you moved in, they will simply work out how much elec is used on average per week/month and multiply it by how long you've been there. It generally works in the tenant's favour so don't worry too much about this. However, I doubt they will move it for you as the cost to them is huge.


Dont know if that helped at all but thought Id throw something into the mix to try and help you lol!!

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We used to come across this problem all the time.


I am well aware of that and it shows how careless the distributor and suppliers are, No checks before and after connection of supply means chaos. No routine checks of the integrity of databases means continued chaos. Two MPAN numbers to the same upstairs flat which has only one meter should have raised a query in the system 20 years ago. NG and the suppliers are running a very inefficient operation. Why cannot they get off their computer chairs to do the required checks?


The OP has no electricity meter in hs flat. His electrician friend says his supply is directly off the main supply board without a meter fitted. We can take it then that his supply is not through the single meter upstairs and so Mikey's contribution is not valid.


The OPs first problem is that he has no supplier. If the situation continues he just might be accused of stealing electricity and in any case he wants this sorted before he sells his flat. How should he go about things?


First one phone call which moust be recorded. Subsequent communications in writing only and recorded delivery. He should not talk to them over the phone - he should say he does not trust them. I talk from experience.



Natrional Gride.


He should phone NG asking who his supplier is, giving his correct postal address ( checked with the Royal Mail database) and the previous postal address before the partition into flats if this is known. He should say that their is no meter fitted to his flat and that his electrrician says the supply is direct fron the mains. He should say that the flat upstairs has two MPAN numbers and one meter and state the numbers. The reaction from NG will be interesting and this must be recorded - it is not unknown for NG to subsequently change their database and claim that the information has been there from the beginning 20 years ago. Do not give them the chance to cook the books by giving this information first in writing..


Tell us what they say and we can go on from there.


If NG has no supplier recorded for the his flat he has not got one and NG has been supplying the flat free of charge for 20 years. Wow!

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there would be no point contacting national grid as the gas meter is ok and that is what they deal with, it might be worth finding out what type of meter your neighbour has as if they have e.g. a 'heatwise' meter they would have 2 MPAN's meaning neither are for you.


to get yourself a meter the i believe the council would have to contact the local electricity board to arrange for the supply to be split once that is done you would contact your chosen supplier o arrange a meter installation, they would possibley have to create you a new MPAN and then arrange the meter fit. if it was to happen that way you would only be charged from when the meter was installed

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I do not understand your post. Transco were the main gas distributor contibutor in the UK until they merged with National Grid in October 2002 to form National Grid Transco plc. I think you will find that the merged group dropped the 'Transco' subsequently from their title and are now National Grid plc. So though there are still some imdependent distributors it is very likely that the OPs gas supply was fitted by Transco who are now National Grid.


The OP's electrician tells him that he his supply comes straight from the mains and is not connected through the upstairs meter. It is already a split supply - but his supply has no meter. It is posible that the electrician has got it wrong and that the mains board in the OP's flat is still connected in some way through the upstairs meter which could have been (??) the original and only meter in the property before it was split into flats.


When the council did the redevelopement they should have arranged with NG to have one meter fitted to each flat and NG would have assigned a MPAN number to each flat/meter. The gas supply is OK because at the time of the redevlopement it would have been dealt with by Transco. The fact that it is OK means that the council arranged a spit supply for gas. It seems very likely to me that the council did exactly the same thing with NG for electricity and it is NG who has made the error of not fitting a meter to the OPs flat.


He should certainly ring NG to find out what they have on their database for his address - gas as well as electricity. His gas supply is OK so they should have his address correct for gas. Possibly they will not have his address on their database for electricity but only the previous address of the property before redevelopement. It maybe that there is a mixup as sudggestted by the OP - the top flat has only one meter but two MPAN numbers. He must find out what is on the NG database before NG changes their story. Then he can put them in the picture in writing as to the true state of affairs.

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