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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71138
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I am on income-based ESA and watch every penny, I have been

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I am on income-based ESA and watch every penny, I have been away from my property quite a bit and when I am here I will only put the heating on if necessary. My electricity bill for the past quarter is just over forty pounds and yet I have just had a gas bill for £382.61. I don't even cook by gas! E-on have sent estimated bills and recently came to read the meter, is there a limit on how many estimated bills they should have sent me before coming to read the meter? I have queried the bill with them and have asked if there has been a leak etc but literally only just received the bill through the post a few minutes ago and shocked! Help! There is no way I can afford to pay this amount, I am already paying my water rates through reduction of my ESA but I cannot afford a further reduction in my ESA for the type of money that would be required for this new bill!

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

What would you like to know about this please?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Would like to know if they can suddenly charge me this amount when they have been sending estimated bills for so long, do they have an obligation to come and read my meter every so often or can they wait until their prices go up as they have


Sadly the short answer is that they do not.

If their estimated bills were wrong, or there has been a massive price hike, or any other cause for this makes no difference unfortunately. Unless you dispute the consumption of gas you are liable to pay for it I'm afraid.

That said, obviously a large increase does suggest they could have been more efficient which may well mean they would be willing to negotiate repayments in instalments.

I would say that its not likely they would sue for this amount but if they are still your providers then what they will do is just apply to install a meter at your property and add a default to your credit rating so its not a good idea to dig your heels in entirely. However, it is a good idea to make a complaint about the increases. For all you know, they could be wrong and they may need to recalculate.

You can always make a complaint to the Ombudsman also. Its not likely that it would be upheld but they would probably prefer not to be investigated.

I'm sorry this isn't the answer you wanted but it is the position that you face and I have a duty to inform you truthfully.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.

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