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Hello. I am Ed, a Solicitor qualified in England & Wales with over a decade’s experience in the legal profession advising clients.
I specialise in Commercial Contracts, Business Transactions, Employment, Dispute Resolution, Personal Injury and Road Traffic Law and shall be reviewing your legal problem today.
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Unfortunately, the normal laws of contract and recompense for goods and services do not quite apply in Consumer Energy Contracts. The Energy Suppliers have the statutory right of a “Deemed Contract” whereby they can charge an occupier of a property for energy usage at a property even when the original Consumer in whose name the contract was made has vacated the property.
Energy Suppliers are also entitled to charge Customers based on “estimates” rather than regular on-site meter readings. This often results in Customers believing that they have been overcharged compared to the actual amount of energy that they have used.
I recommend that you withhold payment on the disputed charges and complain to the Energy Supplier that the charges are based on estimates as opposed to on-site meter readings and that the charges should be based on your actual energy usage.
You should attempt to negotiate a cancellation of the charges, or otherwise a reduced settlement with the Energy Company.
If necessary, I suggest that you instruct your own meter-reading expert to prepare a Report to the Energy Supplier which may be used in Court Proceedings as an Expert Report if it complies with the provisions of Part 35 Civil Procedure Rules 1998.
You may also complain to the Energy Ombudsman who may be able to facilitate a settlement between you and the Energy Supplier: https://www.ombudsman-services.org/sectors/energy.
I hope this resolves your enquiry. Please revert to me if you require any clarification of my answer to your question and I shall be delighted to assist.
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If you concluded a settlement agreement with SP, that is an enforceable contract. Unless SP's mistake was obvious and was pointed out to you almost immediately, SP are bound by the original agreement. Any attempt by SP change the terms without your consent constitutes a breach of the contract by Scottish Power and they are in breach of the contract!