Pensioner with faulty meter worried about large energy bill

Although the electricity hasn’t been disconnected, the screen which shows the usage is not working so households don’t know how much credit they have. Pensioner Brian lives with his daughter Jenny and they have been with a faulty meter for months.

Despite attempting to contact their energy supplier Scottish Power, Brain and Jenny have had to carry on without knowing how much energy they have used since October.

Brian tops up their credit around £15 a week, however, with no accurate reading the total could be more than this.

On BBC Money Box, the pair explained their situation.

Brian said: “I think it’s terrible. We don’t know what the bill will be at the end of it.

“They said we’ll have a bill once the meter is fixed, but who knows when that will be.

“It’s been over four months since it’s been broken and we have no idea what the bill could be.”

Jenny responded: “It’s not good enough, it’s not right.”

Brian explained he is worried due to the potential large bill to come.

He continued: “Not feeling very good about the potential large bill to come. It’s money coming out of my savings.

“It’s going to be a lot.”

After Money Box contacted Brian’s Scottish Power, they agreed to wipe any outstanding charges on the bill and offered him compensation for taking so long to have a new prepayment meter fitted.

As the cost of living crisis continues, many people will be looking for ways to save on energy and electricity.

The energy bills support scheme aims to ease the burden of rising energy costs over the winter.

The Government’s energy price guarantee reduces bills for people on direct debits.

The vouchers, targeted at households that have a prepayment meter, are worth £400, paid in six monthly instalments of £66.

However, a significant number of the vouchers still have not been redeemed, with many lost, delayed or unclaimed.

The 1.9 million unredeemed vouchers mean that households have missed out on £125 million of support since the scheme launched.

Gillian Cooper, head of energy policy at Citizens Advice, welcomed the increase in redemptions but said too many people were still not benefiting.

She said: “Suppliers must make it as easy as possible for people to get the help they’re entitled to.

“This includes reissuing vouchers that haven’t been received and ensuring anyone without online access still receives help in a way that’s convenient for them.”

ScottishPower Spokesperson: “We’re sorry that Mr Thomas’ request for a new meter was not actioned within the required timescales under Guaranteed Standards – this entitles him to a total payment of £60, which we have processed.

“The new meter will be installed this week, and we have advised him that there will be no billing charges for the energy supplied while his meter display has been faulty. We recognise that this should have been resolved sooner, so we will also make a goodwill payment in addition to the Guaranteed Standards payment and no charges for the electricity used during this time.”


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