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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69258
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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i had a new gas boiler fitted under the warm front sheme in

Customer Question

i had a new gas boiler fitted under the warm front sheme in feb 2013..the installers found i had a leak on my meter and they informed me they couldnt leave the premises until trans co came out and replaced the meter..they came out at 7.3o pm on cold and wet night and replaced the meter which enabled us to get the house warm again for the first time in two days..i didnt get the meter readings because i trusted them to keep everthing right..very shortly after i got a statement saying the balance i owed them was£223.40 and that my monthly direct debit would have to rise from £35 to£50 which i promptly did thinking we were getting into the summer months and my deficit would vanish.however i got another statement in may (estimated) saying i now owed them £326.i immediately checked my meter (which is outside) and found it unreadable..i contacted southern electric and informed them of this and told them i needed a new meter as the one transco had fitted in feb was a second hand one and unreadable due to water or condensation..nothing happened..i complained again in september and was told they had no record of my original complaint.they finaly came out in october and fitted a brand new readable meter and sent me another estimated statement saying i owed them £355.21..the latest one from nov tofeb 2014 based on an actual reading says i now owe them £549.o8..i live in a two up two down end terraced which has had cavity wall and loft insulation and double glazing fitted..i alsohave electric storage heaters which i use when ime not at freind who has a similar property and has british gas as a supplier pays only half of what i pay and unlike me he doesnt work and is in the house all day. since the new meter was fitted in the beginning of october (6 months of winter) i have used 740 i have a case for refusing to pay this bill .
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

Do you have the bill from the same period last year please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

i only have copies of the statements which i had asked for..for the period 25 november 2012 to 25 february 2013 i used 642 units was paying £35 per month and the statement was based on an actual reading and i owed them £223..i had the new new boiler fitted and increased my monthly payments to £50..the total charges for this period were£320.13...for the period november 2013 to february 2014 i used 537 units and total charges for this period are £293.87 and are based on an actual reading on the 20th february..since the 20th february i have used just over 100 units..i maintain the second hand meter installed in feb 2013 which was unreadable is to blame for the warped and estimated readings

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
There are two possible explanations.

One is that the boiler is faulty and is using too much gas, and the second is obviously that the meter is faulty and is reading incorrectly or the current meter is reading incorrectly and the temporary one was responsible for this huge increase over a short period of time.

I think you have cause for a legitimate complaint and in that respect you can rely on the gas bills for the corresponding periods in previous years.

In fact when you think about it yourself, the new boiler should be more efficient than the old one and should therefore actually use less gas.

I suggest that you deal with everything on the telephone to the gas supplier and follow everything up in writing. Send the letters by recorded delivery.

At the same time, make a complaint to the regulator Ofgem although you should really wait to exhaust the gas supplier complaint procedure and allow eight weeks for that to happen.

Here is the link to the complaints procedure

Meanwhile you need to make sure that gas supplier puts a hold on collection and issuing any default notice while the issue remains in dispute. Make sure the person you speak to confirms that your account is noted accordingly.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69258
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
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Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for the positive rating and remember that I am always available to help with your questions. For future information, please start your question with ‘FOR JO C’. You can also bookmark my profile

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