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Npower say we owe £960.00 for unpaid electricity! 4 Bed house on DD - can this be right?

37 replies

MrsPuddleduck · 23/01/2008 17:42

We currently pay £25.00 a month - which I now appreciate should be a bit more.

We have lived here for 2 years - the first 6 months were ok. The above sum has only mounted up since October 2006 - 14 months ago - is it physically possible to use that much electricity?????

Feel ill I am so stressed about it - the final meter reading is correct, can't think of anything left running (eg emersion)

Can anyone help me out or think of a reason why it may be so much?

OP posts:
LIZS · 23/01/2008 17:48

We pay £40 a month and are underpaying compared to actual usage (due for review in February), we also have gas ch and hob. That works out at a discrepancy of £68 per month which might be possible. Have you had any statements to suggest this has been accumulating ?

DumbledoresGirl · 23/01/2008 17:49

We were told we owed them £850 once. It came as a shock. But then, we only have electricity and no other power source to the house (also 4 bedroomed) so you have to factor that in. We now pay about £230 a month by DD. I know it is a lot, and I know you will not have to pay as much, but I do think £25 a month is ludicrously too little.

On a practical level, they were very understanding about repayments once we had fallen into arrears. Make sure they don't demand all that money in one go.

Tortington · 23/01/2008 17:49

3 bed terraced here and my electric is £50 pm

i think they are rip off bastards - i am sick to bloody death of this country and its rip off regimes - fuck you over on fuel in the name of ecology - when the whole thing is nothing but bull shit.

the electic companies can all fuck you over on electric becuas there is not free market - its a lie a falacy - if one company sees another put it costs up by 40% then the others follow suit - they dont compete - what a pile of poo

to help you though there is something that someone mentioned once about a device that you can buy to measure your own electricity. as they have the cheek to fucking charge yu - the rip off fuckers - to check their own god damned equipment - the cheeky bastards.

if i could aford a house in a fucking field i would grow my own veg and have a wind up telly (LCD of course) i am sick to fucking death of being screwed becuase we dont have a fucking choice - capitalism drives prices down - ....snif...sniff.... oh yeah BOLLOCKS! we all get screwed and companies make millions.

they do have a regulator as well ofwat i think

but it sounds to me like you are GROSSLY underpaying them

Jackstini · 23/01/2008 17:50

With the amount it has gone up over the past year or so, it could be.
Do you use gas too or just elec? We pay about 1200 quid a year for both in a 4 bed det

Lulumama · 23/01/2008 17:50

have you given meter readings for all the bills? was there anything owing from previous owners

i live in a large 4 bed semi, my leccy bill is over 4 times what you are paying, and i use low energy bulbs, barely any tumble drying and turn lights off when i can and turn things off at the mains, not stand by

it is more than possible you have simply been radically underpaying

FioFio · 23/01/2008 17:52

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FioFio · 23/01/2008 17:55

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missingtheaction · 23/01/2008 17:56

i pay £65/month on DD for 4-bed victorian house, me two teenagers + I work from home. Your bill might be right

this happened to me with gas many years ago. had to pay but paid over 2 years - they didn't check meter for 2 years BUT i think they are allowed to only check 1ce in 2 years and it is legally you responsibility to check their estimates sorry!

MrsPuddleduck · 23/01/2008 18:00

I can't believe we have been so stupid if that is the case.

We have a bill in Oct 2006 in which we are in credit by £49.00 and then the next bill we get in Jan 2007 we suddenly owe £500.00. It says 'account balance for information purposes only' and we (foolishly) thought nothing of it as we cannot possibly have used £650.00 of electricity in 6 months.

This £500.00 then rolled onto the next bill and so on - so I think we have underpaid by about £350.00 in the last year but I still can't believe its possible to use that much electricity!

God , I feel really embaressed now that we have been so stupid. I think that someone from Npower could have given us a call and pointed it out - even though it is our own fault for not checking our bills properly.

The situation has not been helped by DH deciding to have all bills on line to save 5% a year and then never checking the bloody things!

OP posts:
MoreSpamThanGlam · 23/01/2008 18:02

I had the bloke in to read the meter ever 3 months and paid the bill quarterly without checking if it was estimated.

I then got a bill after 18 months for £1250!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Even though i was paying exactly what they asked for. When I asked them why they sent the bloke in the first fecking place and what was the point of me emptying my cupboard out for him to check my readings they just said they had never sent anyone for a reading!!!!!

Going bankrupt next week so they can go fluff themselves...

(New Years Resolution to try and stop swearing)

Lulumama · 23/01/2008 18:02

you need to call them and negotiate a payment plan to sort it out

sorry, it sucks , i know.

Lulumama · 23/01/2008 18:03

am stunned your DD was not adjusted based on meter readings, ours goes up and down every quarter it seems... if we do end up in credit, we leave it, as it seems to even out over the year

twelveyeargap · 23/01/2008 18:05

Poor you.

We were paying about £65 a month for a 6 bed and kept coming in underpaid. Thankfully the company (Alantic - part of Scottish and Southern) automatically up the DD for you if you are underpaying. We're now up to about £110 a month and just covering it.

I think uSwitch (if not, then one of the other comparison sites) have a facility where you can put in the size of your house for it to estimate your bills. Might help a bit to understand it?

However, bottom line is that I'm afraid you're probably going to have to pay. It comes as such a shock. We were stuck with an £800 bill after 8 months in a rented flat once, due to underpaying.

Obv in future you'll be keeping an eye on your statements, but I would agree a repayment plan with them, by upping your DD to enough to cover the monthly cost, and some extra to cover shortfall.

You could ask them about automatic updates to the DD as well.

MrsPuddleduck · 23/01/2008 18:11

I am really cross that they never insisted (or even suggested ffs) that we increased or direct debit.

I think we will have to try and dispute part of it and thn re-negotiate our direct debits to pay it off.

I think that it is really bad - I will put a complaint in to ofwat or whoever it is deals with this sort of thing.

OP posts:
TellusMater · 23/01/2008 18:15

Energywatch for disputes.

British Gas made a righ mess of our direct debits too, so we ended up owing £400 on electricity and in credit for gas. And then they increased our gas direct debit for crying out loud...

FioFio · 23/01/2008 18:25

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MrsPuddleduck · 23/01/2008 18:28

Twelveyeargap - thanks for directing me to uswitch.

They say we should be paying £90 per month (as opposed to £60.00) for both. But even a £30 underpayment for 18 months is £500 not £950.00.

I think I will take it up with Energywatch

OP posts:
Sibble · 23/01/2008 18:28

We were conned in the same way - when we sold to move abroad we were stung with a huge bill. I didnt have the time or energy left to contest it but our dd's were too low too aparantly but it really pissed me off that we were paying the amount they suggested and there was never any notice that the sums were too small.

It really is all a big con. If you have the energy try to negotiate a reduction and make sure you pay back in installments rather than a lump sum.

twelveyeargap · 23/01/2008 21:08

willmouse -uswitch can give you an idea, but they can't tell exactly what your usage will be.

Energywatch should be able to advise on the repayment though, so worth contacting anyway.

twelveyeargap · 23/01/2008 21:10

BTW - Did your bills/ statements show what was outstanding once your direct debits were credited? If not, then you have a definite case against them. If they did, then BG may be within their rights to say that you should have been managing the outstanding amount.

rantinghousewife · 23/01/2008 21:12

Check the meter readings aren't transposed, (am assuming that you have) but they did this to us once and then when I gave them the correct readings, they accused me of fiddling the meter.
I threatened them with Energywatch, they backed down.

imgens · 23/01/2008 21:32

I am so shocked by this - cant believe they never contacted you about this and have let it get to this stage.

I have been on the phone to e-on today as they sent me a letter as our January bill left us with an unpaid amount for £68 and we pay by DD so they wanted to increase this to cover the shortfall/ get us to cough up to clear the balance.

I was really hacked off as i increased dd online in november as i knew we would use more this time of year and the idiots didnt bother increasing it!!

My letter also states I cant switch until balance is cleared. Another tip with uswitch is its only a guideline so I would always give the company you are thinking of switching to a call to compare prices. I thought we had found my mum a better deal with uswitch but when i phoned to check they actually said she was better off with her current supplier, something to do with the assumptions it makes about your regional supplier.

Hope you get it sorted and if they get nasty etc try your local CAB for advice.

myjobismum · 23/01/2008 21:35

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Divastrop · 23/01/2008 21:39

havent read all the posts but im with npower and was paying £12 a week on a budget scheme(which is slightly more expensive than DD but only by about £4/5 a month)and had to increase to £19 a week as i was ending up owing £150-200 a quater.

we are in a 4 bed house and have GCH.when we moved here though there were pre-pay meters fitted and that was costing £30 a week in electric.the worst culprt for eating the power was the cooker,closely followed by the dryer.

Jackstini · 23/01/2008 23:06

iirc, the supplier is supposed to look at annual usage every year, reassess your direct debit payments and advise you.
Also you should get at least 1 actual reading per year, no more than 3 estimates in a row (Worked for Powergen many moons ago)

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