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wrong serial number on meter


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Hi

I'm looking for some advice. I moved into my flat in October of last year our landlord set up our gas and electric account and we have been receiving our bills fine, albeit with estimated readings when we were providing actual readings. This was fine up until about a month an a half ago when a British Gas engineer turned up on the doorstep looking for what i presume was the previous tenant. The engineer wanted to check the meter, i told him that we had our utilities through Utility Warehouse and had done since we moved in he said ok no problem we will pass on all information to them and thought nothing of it till i received a letter asking for the meter serial number and meter reading, which i did that day and posted back but never heard anything as a result. While paying my bill to day i asked if there was a problem with the meter and im glad i did as i was told because that they had recalculated my account and that the next bill would be for the amount of £550 or there abouts.I would like to know if there is anything i can do as we had given meter readings and paid all bills up to date.

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Utility Warehouse strikes again! I am not sure why a BGAS engineer turned up to check your metering. Surely one of the first things that UW should have asked for was your meter serial number when you registrered with them. The good news is that all the money you paid on the wrong meter is refundable.

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i believe they turned up as the previous tenant had not notified them of them leaving the premises as there has been several letters addressed to the person they were looking for but other letters for the same person have been sent for the flat above us. It was our landlord that originally set the account up so don't know if this was asked for. if this is the case how can they say the account has been recalculated and is now in debt especially for that amount for a period of 10 months?we pay for gas, electric, phone and broadband and our bills have been coming up to about £150 per month, with phone and broadband costing only £25 each month.

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When you changed to UW, BGAS would have been notified. If there was any outstannding debt at the time, they would have blocked the transfer. BGAS would therefore have been fully aware that there had been a Change of Tenancy. Have you checked the MSN and also contacted BGAS or even UW? Remember let them give you the MSN and nto the other way around. If they asked if you have say "No".

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the thing is though they were getting estimate readings from the wrong meter (serial numbers were different) and they have told us that. so they wouldn't of necessarily let BGAS know that there was a change of tenancy. BGAS confirmed the serial number on the meter was for the property that i live in, but they had no idea about the change of tenancy as they asked for the person by name

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The first thing you need to do is ensure you are being billed on the right meter. There is an easy, quick 100% reliable test you can do yourself.

 

Switch off all gas in your property. Check the meters. If only one of them is not moving, it is probably yours. Return to your property and switch on several gas appliances, return to the meters and check to see which meter has started moving. Repeat if you wish.

 

The meter that responds is the meter that is yours. Ensure this is the meter you're being billed on, and ask your supplier where they got their readings from for this meter. The thing to bear in mind is that the meters may be logged incorrectly on the national records for gas, and may have been for years. This is an extremely common problem with gas meters in flats.

 

These mix-ups can be difficult and complicated to resolve, but ascertaining your correct MSN is the first step.

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yeah we have and uw have said that they have the wrong on our account but British gas had that serial number when they arrived at the door and have already done as the post from EnergyIndustryInsider suggests, to confirm that this is the meter for our property. The serial number that UW had for us was not on any of the other meters for our block.

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Good stuff. Now you need to ask for a full refund of all money paid to UW as they have been billing you on the wrong meter, but don't spend it as you may have to still pay the bill for the corrct MSN to another supplier who has the MSN registered to them. You can then transfer to another supplier at a later date.

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What i dont understand is how they can say that we owe anther £500 on top of what we have already paid despite us already paying £50 - £100 a month on gas alone! Unfortunately our landlord has stated in our TA that we have to have utilities and other services provided by UW

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I would say that the clause is an unfair one putting you at a distinct disadvantage as it is not being doen in your best interest but that is another story. By the same token as the landlord never got it right in the first place the LL may be responsible for the whole mess as obviously he never gave UW the correct MSN. How can you owe another £500 on a meter that is not registered to you? Have you requested a refund for all the money you have paid to UW? Unfortunately this a well known tactic to get your to stay with UW.

Have you identified the correct MSN and associated supply number known as a MPAN number? If so, who is the supplier and can they give you an opening read for the date when you moved into the premises? I worked in the industry until recently and still have good contacts.

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What Surfer and Siany say isn't quite correct.

 

The important reference number for gas is known as an MPRN, sometimes just MPR. MPAN refers solely to electricity. What you need to ascertain is who the registered supplier is for the MPRN for your flat. Exactly how you do this can differ depending on a couple of things.

 

Initially, check to see if the MPRN is printed on your meter/pipe, or on a tag on the pipe into your flat. This is very rare, but if it is, that's the MPRN you should be billed on. Find out who the registered supplier is, and see below for next steps.

 

Firstly, contact UW. Ask them what MPRN they are billing you on. Hopefully it will be an MPRN shipped by National Grid (formerly Transco) and not an IGT, as that would make things more time consuming. If you trust UW, ask them to check a national database called Exoserv for you, and tell you what address is down on there for the MPRN. If this address matches your actual address, UW are your rightful supplier. You can check this yourself by calling National Grid, 0870 608 1524. If you are shipped by an IGT, see this page for more info and telephone numbers on who to call.

 

If the address on Exoserv/with NG/with the IGT's records doesn't match your actuall address, find out if there is an MPRN logged under your actual address. If there is, find out who supplies it. They are your rightful supplier; contact them and explain the situation. Under the spirit of the billing code, they shouldn't back-bill you for more than you've paid to UW, but I make no promises.

 

It is entirely possible there is no MPRN which is logged on a national, industry-wide database as matching your address. Sometimes they'll be logged as Flat A, B, C when it should be 1, 2, 3 etc. This makes the situation more difficult. If you are in this situation, there are a lot of variables that determine how to proceed. These bad boys can get messy.

 

If UW do turn out to be your rightful supplier on the original MPRN, they can correct their bills based on the correct MSN/reads, as it's within one year. That said, ensure you know where their reads have come from and don't stand for ridiculous estimates.

 

Good luck.

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I was under the assumption that the OP was refering to the electric supply and not the gas supply therefore MPAN is the correct terminology. It is only in post 10 that it si revealed that the issue is with the gas supply which is unusual as it is very rare that there are mix ups on gas supplies due to stringent regulations in place.

OP has already stated that UW are billing them on the wrong meter for gas. Either way you can still claim a full refund of all money paid on that MSN and shoudl do that as soon as possible before any links are broken.

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Hi sorry for taking so long to reply. I have phoned the national grid and the MPRN that they gave was the one that UW were billing us on and they are also the rightful supplier so am i now guessing that we do have to pay this bill even thou they were taking estimated readings from a different MSN?

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Apologies but that does not make sense. If they have estimated readings it means that they have never looked at the meter and done a guesstimate. Not sure why they have a different MSN against your account. once this ahs been sorted out, maybe you should consider moving across to another supplier besides BGAS or UW. As I mentione in an earlier post, they love under estimating bills and then slamming you with a large one as that is one of the ways they keep you captive with them..

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right an update!

 

have received the bill this morning the gas has a total amount of £399 (so effectively doubled what we have already paid) but have no idea if this is correct as its a load of gobbldygook to me lol! do you think i should make an appointment at CAB?

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Yes see CAB even if it is for peace of mind and then update us. When we lived in a 1 bedroom flat with gas hot water and heating but electric stove, for two of us the gas bill was about £20 per month or £240 per year.

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hi

been trying to get through to make an appointment but its a nightmare. i live in a 3bedroom flat the only things that are gas are central heating (havent used that since bout April) water (thats on a timer) and our gas hob which is used bout once a day. we have already paid £400 for gas and we have only been in the flat since 29th October 2009

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hi

been trying to get through to make an appointment but its a nightmare. i live in a 3bedroom flat the only things that are gas are central heating (havent used that since bout April) water (thats on a timer) and our gas hob which is used bout once a day. we have already paid £400 for gas and we have only been in the flat since 29th October 2009

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So plus the other £330 on top that does seem a bit high. I am no gas consumption expert but i woudl have thought it would have been clsoer to the £600 mark for year's supply. Have you worked out how many units of gas you use per day? Monitor it for the next week on a daily basis and then once a week over the next 4 weeks. This should give you an idea of consumption per week during the summer when the heating is not on.

Perhaps for one day you could consider switching on the gas heating for 24 hours to get an idea of consumption per day during the winter. Unfortunately you can't do this excercise for a few hours as the heaters will take a while to heat up. Then use the calculation supplied earlier on thsi thread to work out your bill. If unsure post your figures here and we can do it for you. :-)

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  • 1 month later...
Hi

I'm looking for some advice. I moved into my flat in October of last year our landlord set up our gas and electric account and we have been receiving our bills fine, albeit with estimated readings when we were providing actual readings. This was fine up until about a month an a half ago when a British Gas engineer turned up on the doorstep looking for what i presume was the previous tenant. The engineer wanted to check the meter, i told him that we had our utilities through Utility Warehouse and had done since we moved in he said ok no problem we will pass on all information to them and thought nothing of it till i received a letter asking for the meter serial number and meter reading, which i did that day and posted back but never heard anything as a result. While paying my bill to day i asked if there was a problem with the meter and im glad i did as i was told because that they had recalculated my account and that the next bill would be for the amount of £550 or there abouts.I would like to know if there is anything i can do as we had given meter readings and paid all bills up to date.

There are a lot of what, where, when, and how to consider here.

When you moved in, did you find out who the supplier is and give them the meter readings?

Is your gas meter inside or outside the flat? If outside, do you know which one is yours?

If you changed the supplier to Utility Warehouse when you moved in, they have to give current supplier 28 days notice of you intention to switch. I am assuming you did this, so therefore you must have given UW your meter readings. That means you would have an official starting point for your for liability of the bills.

If you changed to UW when you moved in, you would still be liable to pay old supplier for a few weeks until the official switch over.

 

Good luck

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Hi there

 

as stated in the original post our landlord phoned utility warehouse and set up the account on our behalf and gave them meter readings the day we received the keys.

 

I afraid that i cant put copies of bills up as i don't have a scanner.

 

The problem may have sorted itself out now i gave them a meter reading for electric but deciderd to checkit against the estimated readings UW are still using and have discovered they have over estimated our electric by approx 2000 units,

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