With energy prices rising it comes as no surprise to anyone when they open their gas or electric bill and find it is far higher than usual. But I’m urging consumers this week to still check their bills carefully as energy providers are notorious for sending out inaccurate bills. In fact, Citizens Advice report that problems with inaccurate bills makes up more than 40 per cent of the problems energy customers contact them about and indeed this is a trend I also see on my radio show, the LBC Consumer Hour.
Rachel from Leeds received her latest bill two weeks ago and was shocked to find it was more than double the usual amount. She initially put this down to the rise in energy prices but decided to reach out to me to ask how this could be checked. After twelve calls with her provider, it has now transpired that there was “an admin error” and this caused her bill to be over inflated.
Ask for a breakdown
If your energy bill looks unusually high ask your provider for a breakdown as to how the amount has been arrived at, as Rachael did. If there has been an error this should flush it out and your provider should then rectify the bill.
If you’ve ever had cause to complain to your energy provider you will know it can be a very frustrating process and you can often be met with a brick wall. If this happens to you do not despair, as you have a free right of redress in the form of the energy ombudsman. You will need to ask your energy provider for a deadlock letter (this is a letter setting out there final response to your complaint) but you can then lodge a complaint with the ombudsman by logging on to www.ombudsman-services.or.uk
Lots of readers get in contact with about bills they have received for historical supplies. Under Ofgem’s rules, an energy provider cannot seek additional payment for any un-billed energy used more than 12 months before the energy company issued a corrected bill.