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Responsibility of paying default provider (EDF)?


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Morning everyone,

 

Here's a situation I'm new to, I wonder if anyone can please advise?

  • I moved into a flat in March
  • The flat has had extremely little use since then, mainly because I've been away a lot
  • The previous occupiers vacated 28th February. They used EDF for both Gas & Elec.
  • Early March I started receiving letters from EDF addressed to "The Occupier" or "The Customer"
  • I ignored EDF's letters. I'd used them before and didn't want to this time around. I also wasn't in a hurry to sign an alternative energy provider because I would be away for several weeks
  • In April I signed Scottish Power for Gas & Elec - a good deal, including a Quidco cashback offer. Only issue was, it would take a long time for them to officially start supply
  • In July Scottish Power finally started supply. Mid July, I provided them both start readings (from when I moved in in March) and current readings. The differences were very small - extremely low usage due to me hardly being there

  • EDF continued to send letters and bills addressed to "The Customer" (must be using estimated readings even though labelled as Actual!), although I've not instructed them and I'm pretty certain they'd not have had any access to my meters.
  • I've ignored all EDF letters/bills (Electricity bill about £150, Gas about £50) because I want Scottish Power to pick this up, not EDF.

  • 9-Aug, EDF send letter addressed to "The Customer" saying that the reading they have received (from Scottish Power presumably) is "not in line with your previous energy consumption"... they are in the process of contacting my new supplier (Scottish) to agree an accurate closing meter reading and the process can take between 6 and 8 weeks ... as soon as agreed a final bill will be sent to me, I do not have to take any further action.
  • 12-Aug, EDF send letter addressed to "The Customer"saying the Gas amount of £50 is outstanding, threatening that if I don't contact them or make payment within 14 days, they'll refer to the Collection Management Team.

I had planned to not contact EDF as I have no dealings with them, and get Scottish to absorb the consumption from when I moved in March. But now am uncertain as to how this would likely play out.

 

Does the "default provider" have any rights? Any advice would be appreciated - thanks in advance.

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Scottish Power cannot charge you for electric used prior to the day you became registered with them so in essence they can only bill you from mid July onwards. You will need to pay EDf for all power consumed between the date you moved in until mid July. Hopefully you have readings for the date that you moved in otherwsie theyare going to estimate.

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Scottish Power cannot charge you for electric used prior to the day you became registered with them so in essence they can only bill you from mid July onwards. You will need to pay EDf for all power consumed between the date you moved in until mid July. Hopefully you have readings for the date that you moved in otherwsie theyare going to estimate.

 

Thanks for your reply.

 

EDF don't have Actual readings and neither do Scottish Power. EDF only know what the previous tenant provided on exit, and Scottish know those (start readings I provided, that match the previous tenant) and mid July readings (readings I provided).

 

So how would EDF know that I didn't consume *any* Gas or Elec between March & July?

 

Crucially: why would I be obliged to pay any provider that I didn't have an explicit contract with, regardless of who they are or how they arrange terms of charging?

 

Example: EDF have placed a standing charge of £14 a month for Gas (despite the fact I literally haven't used any at all), but at no stage did I agree to that - we have not entered into any agreement whatsoever.

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Crucially: why would I be obliged to pay any provider that I didn't have an explicit contract with, regardless of who they are or how they arrange terms of charging?

 

Example: EDF have placed a standing charge of £14 a month for Gas (despite the fact I literally haven't used any at all), but at no stage did I agree to that - we have not entered into any agreement whatsoever.

 

this is covered by a deemed contract subsequent to the Gas Act and the Electricity Act, as amended by the Utilities Act 2000. Unless an agreement is expressly entered in to with the existing supplier of the property, or another supplier is nominated and takes over the supply, by default you are contracted to the energy supplier who supplied the property prior to your moving in. Therefore you are bound by their terms and conditions.

 

By having the right to occupy a premises ie signing a tenancy agreement or if the property is vacant and you are the owner, you are deemed to be the occupier and are therefore contracted to the utilities and must pay.

 

Ignoring EDF when you moved in and not taking any action to appoint a new supplier was foolish as unpaid charges could have resulted in your supply being disconnected. The best course of action for you would be to contact EDF with your opening meter reads from when you moved in, and maybe say to them you weren't aware they were the supplier, which is why you didn't contact them. This will ensure the billing of your supply is accurate. If you don't do this, an Agreed Read Dispute will be opened and you may end up paying charges which are inaccurate as the two suppliers agree a different meter reading to end one account and start a new one.

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You may have given Scotish Power the read that relates to when you moved into the flat therefore you stand a good chance of being billed by SPOW and EDF for the same usage i.e. EDF are entitled to bill you from March 2010 until mid July on estimated reads but as you gave SPOW and opening read for March they will bill you the same becasue they will assume the opening read was for mid July. You are complicating your life. Pay EDF what is due at their rates under the deemed contract and revise the opening read with SPOW for a read in mid-July. Simples.

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Thank you kindly for those replies. I've taken your advice & contacted EDF to resolve.

 

It was complicated by the fact that Scottish had my start and end readings back to front (?!?!) and also they somehow conveyed a vastly inflated estimate figure, which EDF re-translated on bills as "Actual" even though they were Scottish's "Estimate".

 

EDF have agreed to write-off the Gas standing charges, which they admitted were unfair, as in the normal course of events I would have gone for a dual fuel agreement which cancels out these charges.

 

They've a bit of sorting out to do still... but hopefully the outcome will be better this way.

 

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