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Scottish Power standing charge ***Resolved***


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I would like some advice about a situation that I've been trying to deal with for the past couple of months now. I had received a gas bill from Scottish Power (henceforth SP), for £26.07p, but I do not use gas at all in my home (we did have an old meter here but it has now since been removed, and I've lived here for 10 years now and have never used gas). I queried this charge and they told me they would look into it, which took a while for them to reply.

 

 

While waiting for a reply about my complaint, I received a final demand for that bill, so I contacted SP again. This is when they told me that the charge was a standard charge (or something like that) and that I still owed them that money, at which point I started a complaint with them as I felt I did not owe them anything at all (because I've never ever used gas). They also gave me a number to call about getting the meter removed, which turned out to be complete rubbish as the number I was given only dealt with electricity meter removals, so I contacted SP again, and they admitted that error, and informed me that when someone wants a gas meter removed, the customer service advisor is meant to send an email to the group that remove gas meters.

 

 

Scottish Power again were taking ages to get back to me, and for the guys to remove my meter too, and during that wait I had received another gas bill from them, this time for £52.29p, which is slightly over double the previous bill so I'm not sure if this amount includes the first charge, or if it does not. So I could potentially 'owe' (and I use owe in the loosest of terms because I feel I owe them nothing) them £78.36p.

 

 

Shortly after that, my meter was removed. I contacted them and informed them of this, they said they would no longer be sending me any bills from the date the meter was removed, at which point I queried the legitimacy of the first two bills, they still insisted I owed them money for that. I tried asking Ombudsman for assistance but they told me they did not deal with standard charge problems. I am currently booked in to speak to CAB on the 19th sept, but I was hoping someone here might have some advice for me.

 

 

Can anyone help me?

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Hi Stuart

 

Welcome to CAG

 

Write a Formal Letter of Complaint, mark it as such. Explain what's happened (billed you for standing charge - gas - you don't use gas), how they have let you down (continued to charge a standing charge although they had been informed that the meter needs to be removed) and what you want them to do (cancel the standing charges).

 

Send it to:-

 

Mr Keith Anderson

Chief Corporate Officer

Scottish Power

[email protected]

 

What is a standing charge:-

 

 

A standing charge is a fixed amount that is applied to your gas and electricity bill daily. For any tariff with a standing charge you will pay a daily charge and a single unit rate making it easier to understand how much you're paying.

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Hi Stuart

 

Welcome to CAG

 

Write a Formal Letter of Complaint, mark it as such. Explain what's happened (billed you for standing charge - gas - you don't use gas), how they have let you down (continued to charge a standing charge although they had been informed that the meter needs to be removed) and what you want them to do (cancel the standing charges).

 

Send it to:-

 

Mr Keith Anderson

Chief Corporate Officer

Scottish Power

[email protected]

 

What is a standing charge:-

 

 

A standing charge is a fixed amount that is applied to your gas and electricity bill daily. For any tariff with a standing charge you will pay a daily charge and a single unit rate making it easier to understand how much you're paying.

 

This bill is entirely unenforceable. A deemed contract only exists from when you begin to use gas. This is prescribed in law through schedule 6 of the utilities act 2000.

 

Provided the meter reads confirm there has never been any consumption then there is no contract, meaning you are not bound by their terms and conditions and therefore the standing charges.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, I've sent a formal letter, did that the day you replied to my original post. They haven't even responded to me yet. And about this schedule 6 of the utilities legislation thing, I don't understand legal jargon at all, so could you tell me what that is please?

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I have never used gas here, or anywhere. The gas supply was already capped off before we moved in. Due to our local city council no longer allowing tenants in tower blocks to use gas. So I don't even have the potential to use gas, even if I wanted. So they aren't allowed to charge me this then?

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Just another form of revenue for grasping energy companies.

 

I do use gas but only for 6 months of the year (only gas used is for heating). Previously this meant 2 of my quarterly gas bills were zero. Imagine my disgust when my bill in September was £22, all standing charge. They blaim the Ofgem ruling, but Ofgem said they can set the standing charge to zero. But energy companies will use any excuse to get more revenue. I read somewhere, can't remember where, that many consumers are now being charged a standard charge even though they use no gas at all and never have done. Its a disgrace.

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That means thay have made a screw up and they cant charge you the standing charge. You may have to make a high level formal complaint and then go to ofgem if they dont sort it out.

 

I have never used gas here, or anywhere. The gas supply was already capped off before we moved in. Due to our local city council no longer allowing tenants in tower blocks to use gas. So I don't even have the potential to use gas, even if I wanted. So they aren't allowed to charge me this then?
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Scottish power have not resolved this complaint (they've closed the complaint now too), and the energy ombudsman will not help me as they say they absolutely do not deal with issues regarding standard charges. I've been to CAB and they've told me there is little they can actually do, they will try sending a letter but they doubt it will do anything. What the hell do I do now? I shouldn't be required to pay this should I? I've never used gas ever and I cannot possibly use gas where I live as it's blocked off and banned by my local council in their tower blocks, so it makes no sense to me to charge me for a service I cannot possibly use?

 

 

Where do I go from here?

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well, here's my final update. I contacted my local MP (John Denham - Labour, big props to him and his team!). They sent a letter to Scottish power, I have no idea what, exactly, they said, but on the day they received his letter, they phoned me, apologised and completely cancelled the charges! :) Awesome!

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