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Landlord installed electricity meters possibly set too high?

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Hi and thank you for taking the time to read my post, I believe I may have an issue with my Landlord supplied electricity. I am posting here in the hope that you kind folk may give me advice on my maths, assumptions and possible action,


The situation:

I live in a building that is subdivided into 9 self-contained flats. The Landlord is responsible for paying the electricity bill for the whole building, there is a regular usage meter on the outside that records the usage for the whole building. The Landlord has installed payment meters into each flat, in order to credit these meters we have to purchase £5 disposable cards from the Landlord which are inserted into the meter to credit it.


The rates:

The meters are currently set to charge 55p for every kWh of electricity used. I do not know what supplier, per unit price or standing charge the Landlord is paying as I have not yet confronted him about this as I would like to make sure I've not made any mistakes or overlooked something.


The problem:

I believe I am paying over double the price I should based on my usage. I have kept a tally on the amount of cards I have bought over a 3 month period and I have spent £265 on electricity cards. This works out to a usage of about 482 kWh per quarter. If I were getting my electricity directly from a supplier, say British Gas for example, using their Standard Tariff information on their website it quotes 12.28p per kWh with a standing charge of 26.01p per day. A quarter is 91.25 days on average so that's a standing charge of £23.73 per quarter and £59.19 of usage making a total of £82.92 with VAT that comes to £99.50. I figure this means I'm paying roughly 250% more for my electricity than if I were getting it direct.


The concessions:

Many of the tenants of this building are quite old. They do not use modern devices like computers and the like and I imagine have quite low electricity usage. This being the case, the Landlord would have to increase the price per unit in order to cover the standing charge he is paying. But seeing as I don't actually have the information regarding the other tenants and the Landlord's billing I am only speculating here. In any case this arrangement would be very unfair on a higher user like myself.

I also understand that payment meters are generally more expensive than straight billing, but 250% more expensive seems somewhat overkill.



If I confront the Landlord about this, and he is overcharging for profit, he would have been doing this for a long tome and has gotten used to the extra money by now. If I drop this on him and force him to lower the rates on the meters, he is not going to be particularly pleased about it. Yes he may be stealing money from me, but human nature being what it is, he's been doing it so long he probably believes he is entitled to do this. It's going to cause bad blood.



Ideally I would like to do away with the Landlord meter and have my electricity supplied directly. I've tried to look into the laws on this but I can't really find anything that is specific or even related to my situation. The only things I tend to get when I do a search is for switching electricity suppliers. Also having the meter reduced to a more reasonable rate, say, 22p per unit would be ok. Or even, I would be willing to pay the landlord a flat fee per month to cover my share of the standing charge and have the meter set to the actual price per unit with VAT that he is paying.


What do you think? I am going to ask the Landlord to look at his electricity bill soon. If he does show it to me, then I can explain this issue to him with actual irrefutable numbers and math. But what should I do if he refuses to show it to me?


Anyway, thank you again for reading this and thanks in advance for any replies.




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You need to see the bill to see how much the LL is charged per unit and any standing charge, and then work out the maximum the LL is allowed to charge.


This won't stop them looking at raising the rent when the lease is due for renewal if you force their hand, human nature being what it is.

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Hi Bazza and dx


Thanks for the replies and the search link, that provided some relevant posts that are very interesting.


My apologies for posting in the wrong section.

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ofgem, The resale of gas and electricity: Guidance on maximum resale price (updated October 2005)


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Why are the energy bills not in your name?



As I mentioned in my OP my ideal solution is to get a my energy directly from a supplier. So getting my name on the energy bills is what I'm trying to do. The reason why my name isn't on them, is because the LL's name is on them.

Edited by ColinAsk
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It sounds like there is only one official meter, which would be the one before it was sub divided, they should have had meters installed in each flat when they did the works, but I suspect they have gone for the cheap option.

So no electricity company will take you in as it stands.

But 55p/kWh that's terrible, mine is about 12p. But as been said if you drive this through I would expect you to be either dropped it get an increase in rent.

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Legally the LL cannot charge you the standing charge and neither can the LL charge for the installation of the meters.



The LL has to charge the same as what they are paying per unit otherwise it is a criminal offence.

The LL is only being charge a single standing charge which will probably be less than £0.50 per day and is probably only being charged less than £0.30 per kw.



However can you prove any of this in writing i.e. correspondence between the LL and tenants as you are definitely being over charged?

If nothing in writing, the best bet is to raise a complaint with the Energy Ombudsman mentioning that you yourself do not actually have a supplier as it is all done through the LL.



The drawback is that if the Energy Ombudsman takes the LL to court,

the LL could make it very unpleasant for you to continue to live in the building.



Of course the other tenants will be very grateful towards to taking action against an unscrupulous LL as they including yourself should all get refunds from the LL.

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