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hi all wondered if anybody could help? me and my husband have just separated , we have quite a large electricity debt with southern electric ( over £1,000) the bill is in my husbands name but he no longer lives at the address, we have a pre payment meter and they are currently recovering the debt at £10 weekly. i was wondering who is responsible for the debt?? if it is me i need to get the payment reduced as i can no longer afford the £10 a week on top of my usage, but dont want to agree anything with them until i know were i stand, thank you for any help

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Hi Cazcraig


I think the debt is linked to the meter in the property, not the individuals.

I think the best thing is to explain that Mr. X no longer lives there, so your struggling with bills, see what they suggest. See if they've got any special tariffs they could put you on.



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i live in the northwest, i can ring up and get the debt payments reduced because i will be claiming benefits, but i dont want to unwittingly admit responsibility for the debt if i dont have to, if that makes sense

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Rebel11 is half right


You will almost certainly be on a deemed contract simply because written contracts are a thing of the past. These contracts are not in anyone's name though for administrative reasons a name is often put on the account.


Deemed contracts are with the occupiers and every adult occupier has the resonsibility to pay the bills -the legal term is joint and several responsibility.


So assuming that you and your husband were the only occupants when the £1000 accrued the electric company can chose to take the whole £1000 from you or £1000 from your husband, The utility wiil choose the easiest option and this is likely to be you. That is one of the main criticisms of deemed contaacts - they are not fair in these situations.


If since your husband left there is no other adult in the house you are respnsible for the bills.



If you know where your husband is you can ask the utility to bill him and he may pay - I hope so - but they do noy have to do so. If things are amicable you might be able to persuade him to help out or even pay the bill himself..

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thank you pelham, i will have to contact the supplier and ask them to reduce the rate they are taking the debt back at, although until i get proof of benefits i dont think they will, thank you for all your help

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hope this helps...


3yrs ago I worked for Southern Elec..

this is what happened.

The debt is at the meter point and you cannot change supplier if you so wish. If the debt is o/standing in your husbands name.. Are you responsible for your husbands debts?

We would attend court and get a warrant to fit a pre-pay meter at the address of the debt of the gas/elec.. we would arrive and enter property with meter fitter and locksmiths (please note that charges was added to the debt). so this could be an extra 300.00.

if you can go for a payment plan as people on meters pays an extra 20% more for gas/elec. ALso as your on benefits they can take it at 3.68 (approx) a month until the debt is cleared direct from benefits..this may be a better option for you and its cheaper than a pre-pay meter...

They will not chase your husband for the debt.. they just dont do that...

also the courts say that you were in the property.

I saw many cases of this and the Courts are not that helpful towards the consumer ..Hope this helps...

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