You’re probably used to us highlighting energy issues by now, like problems getting a refund and doorstep selling. This week we’re telling an individual’s story that shocked our energy staff – can Which? help fix it?
We met Beverley at one of our live energy events. Around two years ago she received a gas bill for over £11,000 from EDF Energy. She was pretty surprised, given that she wasn’t with EDF Energy, she was with British Gas, and had been paying them by direct debit every month since she signed up.
It turned out that the reason EDF thought she was their customer was that her gas supply had been split – she was paying British Gas for the gas she used in her house, but had an extra meter supplying her old pool in the back garden. A meter which EDF Energy had installed, from which small amounts of gas had been leaking. The matter seems to have been compounded because EDF hadn’t billed her for two years.
Please take my meter away!
Beverley’s case is unusual. Normally, when people are over billed it can be because of a simple error – a misread meter, for instance. We hear these stories every day, and usually they can be cleared up quite quickly by complaining to your energy company.
But sadly this situation seems a bit trickier to solve. Beverley eventually had to pay EDF Energy for the gas (although the Energy Ombudsman ruled that she should pay only £1,500) but she’s still stuck with a second gas meter.
EDF came to take it away while Beverley was out, and ended up removing the wrong one – with the result being that Beverley was stuck without gas for around eight hours in the winter while British Gas sent out a speedy meter engineer to install a replacement.
But Beverley is back to almost square one now, hoping that soon she’ll get a knock at the door and an EDF engineer will take away the second meter that’s still sitting in her back garden, clocking up further charges.
How can we help?
We’ll be talking to EDF Energy about this, to see how they can help Beverley and make sure she’s back to having just one gas meter and regular bills.
In the meantime we thought we’d see if anyone else had been in a similar situation. Have you ever been sent a shocking energy bill, or had problems getting energy companies to rectify their mistakes?
As ever, we’d love to know – it not only helps us in our magazine investigations, it can spur on our campaigning work. You can leave your comments below or, if you’d like to hear our advice in person, come along to one of our energy events.