i recently moved house and gave british gas meter readings on the move date. I've just got a bill for more than £600!!!! (although my gas bill was in credit). I've paid by direct debit every month for 7 years so don't understand how this has happened. Apparently my recent bills have been based on estimates and so my bills haven't been set at the correct amount (£30 pm).
i absolutely can't pay this bill, is there anything i can do?
have you read your own meter? if not, do so and compare their estimate. utility company are legally obliged to have one true reading per year to prevent this sort of thing from happening. if you are not in to let in the meterman, they are happy to accept your reading. if it turns out that you do owe them all this money, then you can discuss a payment plan with them that is convenient to you.
Yes, I did take the meter reading myself. But the man said that during previous years I had used approx 800 units per day, but for the current year I had used 8000 units per day (or something like that!) and that it did seem like a lot.
so, how can I check that I'm being charged the correct amount? Is there any way that the meter could be telling me the wrong reading?
phone up the company and ask for all the actual readings in the past years. to find out what your daily avg was, subtract the 2 actual readings from each other and divide this number by the number of days between readings. in your case,it will be years but no matter. if you have say, 3 readings, do this from one rdg to the other then from the second to the 3rd rdg.
I can't see how you could use 800 units per day one year then 8,000 in another under normal conditions. It is possible that you read your meter incorrectly? that could be a reason why the bill is so out of whack. being one digit off can make this happen.
however, if the gap is huge between readings, this can give a distorted view of daily usage which is why it is advised to have an actual rdg at least once per yr.
i used to work for a utility company so let me know if you have more questions.
Oh S*it!! I took another meter reading from my old house and the one I gave to British Gas was deffinitely the correct reading, it's just gone up slightly over that past 6 weeks while the house has been empty.
I really don't understand how I could have used so much electicity in comparison to previous years. I didn't have a shower, all hot water and heating were gas, just had the usual basic electric appliances (fridge, washing machine, NO tumble drier).
How the heck can this have happened? What can I do?
I've just spoken to British Gas again! and it seems the bill is completely wrong, and that I don't owe anything, in fact, if anything, it's likely that they owe me a few quid!! (They can't tell me for definite until a new bill is created tomorrow).
I can't believe it, after 3 phone calls and nearly 2 weeks of worrying about it so much that I've been feeling sick, I think I'm more shocked about this than when I got the original bill!!