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Advice - Hot Water Disconnection


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Hello,

 

I would be very grateful for any advice. I live in an apartment building and we have a different supplier for our water and hot water services. The hot water supplier is SWEnergy and they were chosen by the building management and I had no choice but to deal with them. My account has always been up to date with them this far.

 

I received a new bill from them on the 5th of September for £73.99 along with a letter asking me to provide them with an updated meter reading as there was a problem with their automatic computer systems due to a thunderstorm. My bill for the previous month was 81.89 and I paid 100 (I pay manually via bank transfer) and the excess 18 pounds wasn't mentioned in the bill. So I emailed them with image for the meter reading and queried the over payment I made on the same day (07/09). I didn't hear from them and then on the 16th I got another notice for them for payment overdue along with the new bill. The meter reading on the bill was estimated and it was far higher than the meter reading image I had sent earlier. So I wrote back to them yet again, including scans of all the documents and the meter reading yet again . The actual meter reading was 18585 while the bill mentioned current estimated read at 18892 and previous estimated reading at 18637. I pointed this out in the email and asked them to get back to me with the correct amount so that I could pay.

 

Today I came home to find a notice of disconnection. I had previously copied in my estate agents into all the emails, and when I called them, all they said was that they cannot do anything about the issue and the company is a major pain to deal with. They gave me a customer service email which I have written to yet again. I am due to fly out to the USA on the 24th of this month to join my wife as are expecting our first baby and this is not something I wish to be constantly worrying about till I am back which is the 28th of October. They gave me a disconnection date of 6th of October and they do not need access to the property as all the mains are located in communal area. Apart from calling them (and being held on queue for hours) or emailing them - is there anything else I can do at all? I would be very grateful for any advice.

 

Thanks in advance.

 

Alex

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Do you all have individual hot water tanks that are located in a communal area, or is it some sort of 'shared' tank? Sorry if that sounds stupid, but as I live in a block of flats myself, I'm just trying to visualise it.

 

Just shooting from the hip

 

I was under the impression that a water company cannot disconect a residential supply

 

Think it just means that the OP will have no hot water rather than no water at all, but perhaps the OP can clarify that.

Any pearls of wisdom that I give on the CAG forums is based on previous experiences and knowledge I have gained from being on these forums.

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Just shooting from the hip

 

I was under the impression that a water company cannot disconect a residential supply

 

 

You are correct in that water companies will only disconnect a domestic supply if requested by the homeowner in writing and there is usually a reconnection fee if the supply is re-instated at a later date upon request but these instances are very few and far between to my knowledge.

 

 

Must admit I have never heard of separate charges for hot water and I don't think this is covered in the Water Industry Act 1991 so disconnection may be possible as is the case with gas and electric as I would guess that the homeowner is charged for the energy which is needed to heat the water rather than the water itself.

 

 

Also the cold water supply would presumably remain so the OP is not being put in the position of having no water meaning the company are not in breach of the Water Industry Act as I see it.

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I think you do get these community hot water systems in large apartment blocks and they simply turn off the valve by the induvidual meter, so they no longer get hot water delivered. But they continue to get cold water. Not sure how such companies are regulated.

 

Think i would complain to the management company of the flats and also send a note to other apartment owners. Perhaps if many people are having problems, the management company will look at changing supplier.

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Hello everyone,

 

Many thanks for your kind replies.

 

My understanding is there is a communal tank that supplies hot water to all the residents. There is a separate hot water meter, along with the electric one inside the apartment.

 

I have spoken to the management company and they are essentially in very polite manner suggesting that this is not their problem.

 

Regards

 

Alex

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Hello everyone,

 

Many thanks for your kind replies.

 

My understanding is there is a communal tank that supplies hot water to all the residents. There is a separate hot water meter, along with the electric one inside the apartment.

 

I have spoken to the management company and they are essentially in very polite manner suggesting that this is not their problem.

 

Regards

 

Alex

 

Thank you for clearing up my question about how the tank works.

 

Unless you can prove that the tank or meter is faulty, or unless you know of others having problems, I think you are going to keep having problems with your management company agreeing to do anything. From what I can gather, you pay the supplier direct for you have used (if I've misunderstood, please just let me know). Therefore your issue appears to be more with the supplier at this stage.

 

Have they come out and read the meter themselves at any point recently? I know for normal gas and electricity, a supplier is supposed to read the meter once every two years as a minimum, not sure how it would work for a hot water supply.

Any pearls of wisdom that I give on the CAG forums is based on previous experiences and knowledge I have gained from being on these forums.

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