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#836433 - 11th Nov 2013 8:44pm Gas meter, standing charge
Snodvan Offline

Forum Addict

Registered: 19th Mar 2008
Posts: 1257
Loc: Wallasey Village
Explanations and advice please folks.

This problem does not directly concern me, but applies to a friend in Mancs area who needs some advice. Side note - he is disabled (stroke/ diabetes) lives on benefits in Housing Assoc flat.

He has a gas meter fitted in the flat, presumably because the Housing Assoc have them in all their properties. HE DOES NOT USE GAS. There are no gas appliances in his flat. The gas supply is blanked off BEFORE the meter! Yet Scottish Power is still billing him for the meter standing charge.

This is lunacy !!

Scottish Power tell him that it is OBLIGATORY (by Government edict) that they make a charge for the meter. Bull**** I say.

He has tried to discuss the issue with the Housing Assoc people but they say "the bill is not their responsibility" - even though it is they who insist a meter is present.

Question 1 - is there REALLY some government edict that forces an energy company to charge for a meter?

Question 2 - what can my friend DO next?
Personally I would be tempted to get a qualified gas engineer to remove the meter - and then send the ****** thing to either Scotty Power or the Housing people.

Snod
_________________________
5 Precepts of Buddhism seem appropriate. Refrain from taking life. Refrain from taking that which is not given. Refrain from misconduct. Refrain from lying. Refrain from intoxicants which lead to loss of mindfulness

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#836442 - 11th Nov 2013 8:58pm Re: Gas meter, standing charge [Re: Snodvan]
neilmcc Offline

Smartchild

Registered: 12th Aug 2005
Posts: 507
Loc: moreton
He can just tell Scottish power that he doesn't need the meter and they can take It away if they want, I think it might be the council who don't want the meter removed as once a gas supply is not used for 1 year it has to be cut off by law but if I was him I would tell them to remove the gas meter from the property or he will want rent for storing it. If he writes to Scottish power telling them he doesn't need the gas meter and they can remove it if they want then I don't think Scottish power could charge him. Just get it in writing so he has sme evidence

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#836463 - 11th Nov 2013 9:33pm Re: Gas meter, standing charge [Re: Snodvan]
Snodvan Offline

Forum Addict

Registered: 19th Mar 2008
Posts: 1257
Loc: Wallasey Village
He has already done that. They will not remove the meter - and they STILL sent him a bill (which frankly he cannot afford to pay). He has also said (to Scotty Power) that if they do not remove the meter and stop charging him then HE will send THEM an identical corresponding bill as rent for storing it (as you say) but they have indicated that "will not be acceptable".

He will simply not pay the bill (because he cannot afford to do that). He has NO "means" so taking him to court would be pathetic and would anyway cost far more than the value of the bill. The problem is Scotty Power will likely pass the non payment to a debt collecting agency and the LAST thing a stroke prone guy wants is them knocking at the door.


I have personally also crossed swords with Scotty Power (elect supply) by having cancelled a direct debit to them for supply to a house that has now been rented out (via letting agents). They are repeatedly sending me letters about my cancellation even though I and the letting agents have written and told them about the change of tenancy - and we BOTH gave them the meter readings at change over. Stupid lot.

Snod
_________________________
5 Precepts of Buddhism seem appropriate. Refrain from taking life. Refrain from taking that which is not given. Refrain from misconduct. Refrain from lying. Refrain from intoxicants which lead to loss of mindfulness

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#836471 - 11th Nov 2013 9:41pm Re: Gas meter, standing charge [Re: Snodvan]
Willo_ Offline
Forum Master

Registered: 5th Jul 2012
Posts: 2518
Loc: Merseyside
Email: keith.anderson@scottishpower.com

Or tel: 01415682000
_________________________
..

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#836487 - 11th Nov 2013 9:56pm Re: Gas meter, standing charge [Re: Snodvan]
TheDr Offline
Forum Master

Registered: 23rd Feb 2010
Posts: 2631
Loc: Wirral
I have a similar property (not in this area) which is with British Gas for the gas supply and somebody else for the electricity.

The electricity has minimal use due to the property being vacant for the majority of the year, and the gas has no use whatsoever.

British Gas send out a quarterly estimated bill, to which I then call their line and correct the reading to zero use. Somebody then, as no use has been made, removes the standing charge.

If I were to use just one fraction of a unit I would be liable for the entire standing charge, but as I haven't used any they can't bill me for it.

If, as you say, the supply is blanked off BEFORE the meter then, in law, he doesn't have a connection to the mains supply and his meter isn't liable for a standing charge as it isn't connected.

I always considered removal of my meter, but with an 80 fee to pull it out and a 250 fee to put it back in again if ever I wanted it it seems easier just to make a 5min phone call a couple of times a year.

He could always move his account to another company, even one with no standing charge, it might niggle them a bit when they realise that he has zero usage, but that's not something he should be worrying about.

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#836492 - 11th Nov 2013 10:08pm Re: Gas meter, standing charge [Re: Willo_]
Willo_ Offline
Forum Master

Registered: 5th Jul 2012
Posts: 2518
Loc: Merseyside
email addresses of the key people in Scottish Power, so if you have a complaint, here are the emails
keith.anderson@scottishpower.com
colin.mcneill@scottishpower.com
sheila.duncan@scottishpower.com
neil.clitheroe@scottishpower.com
These the CEO and senior directors for Communications & Human Resources


Edited by Willo_ (11th Nov 2013 10:12pm)
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#836561 - 12th Nov 2013 12:29pm Re: Gas meter, standing charge [Re: Snodvan]
norma Offline
Member

Registered: 12th May 2011
Posts: 73
Loc: wirral
My friend had this problem she had no gas in her flat but was charged because she had a meter so she told the gas board to take the meter out which they did don't know if she was charged for this or not

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#836615 - 12th Nov 2013 5:27pm Re: Gas meter, standing charge [Re: Snodvan]
Snodvan Offline

Forum Addict

Registered: 19th Mar 2008
Posts: 1257
Loc: Wallasey Village
Having quoted to Scotty Power some of the things you kind folk have suggested - we seem to be getting somewhere. At least my colleague has had the most helpful response so far from Scotty and it LOOKS LIKE they will make arrangements to take the meter out.

Fingers crossed

Will they charge for this? Not disclosed so far but if it is anything like the 80 The Dr indicated then that is around half the annual standing charge - so after say 6-7 months my colleague is "win".

I will post any updates. Thanks all.

Snod
_________________________
5 Precepts of Buddhism seem appropriate. Refrain from taking life. Refrain from taking that which is not given. Refrain from misconduct. Refrain from lying. Refrain from intoxicants which lead to loss of mindfulness

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#836663 - 12th Nov 2013 7:56pm Re: Gas meter, standing charge [Re: Snodvan]
fish5133 Online   content
Forum Master

Registered: 22nd Mar 2010
Posts: 2874
Loc: Heswallish
If he doesnt use gas as its disconnected then I presume he has no contract with Scotty Power therefore they can just p in the wind. Just write across any bill No Contract and return to sender

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#836698 - 12th Nov 2013 9:12pm Re: Gas meter, standing charge [Re: fish5133]
Snodvan Offline

Forum Addict

Registered: 19th Mar 2008
Posts: 1257
Loc: Wallasey Village
Originally Posted By: fish5133
If he doesnt use gas as its disconnected then I presume he has no contract with Scotty Power therefore they can just p in the wind. Just write across any bill No Contract and return to sender


You or I would likely do just that. However, after his stroke my colleague is of a very nervous disposition because he knows that stress could well bring on another (and final) attack. His speech is affected so he cannot easily phone to explain his problem to people so has to write and it takes him ages and ages to ensure his script is free from typos. As stated previously he is especially nervous that a utilities organisation would simply bring in debt-collectors once bills have been ignored and so unpaid. He lives on the sort of estate where debt collectors are almost normal but HE would be terrified.

Snod
_________________________
5 Precepts of Buddhism seem appropriate. Refrain from taking life. Refrain from taking that which is not given. Refrain from misconduct. Refrain from lying. Refrain from intoxicants which lead to loss of mindfulness

Top
#836741 - 13th Nov 2013 8:42am Re: Gas meter, standing charge [Re: Snodvan]
Mark Online   Reading


Wiki Master

Registered: 9th Nov 2003
Posts: 21028
Loc: Wirral
If you hit a brick wall you may seek more advice from Age Concern?
I'm they will sure they have advice to offer. (I'm assuming your friend is +60)

It angers me this, because for the peace of mind and no stress so many old people will pay because its less stress.

Good Luck with getting it sorted.
I know in the past ive seen similar on Watch Dog!
So your not alone on your quest.
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Wow Wirral History is coming along Great! Wirral History

we get +200 new members a month now smile

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#836902 - 13th Nov 2013 7:27pm Re: Gas meter, standing charge [Re: Snodvan]
TheDr Offline
Forum Master

Registered: 23rd Feb 2010
Posts: 2631
Loc: Wirral
If you hit any brick walls ask to friend to call them and give permission for me to speak to them about his "account" (especially if he is concerned about confrontational calls).

I've had fun with companies like this before and they usually see things my way in the end hammer

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#836995 - 13th Nov 2013 11:07pm Re: Gas meter, standing charge [Re: TheDr]
Mally Offline
Newbeee

Registered: 17th Aug 2010
Posts: 36
Loc: Woodchurch
Originally Posted By: TheDr
If you hit any brick walls ask to friend to call them and give permission for me to speak to them about his "account" (especially if he is concerned about confrontational calls).

I've had fun with companies like this before and they usually see things my way in the end hammer


Thats a very kind gesture Dr, if only there were more people like your good self the world would be a better place for it. happy

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#837326 - 15th Nov 2013 7:59pm Re: Gas meter, standing charge [Re: TheDr]
Snodvan Offline

Forum Addict

Registered: 19th Mar 2008
Posts: 1257
Loc: Wallasey Village
Originally Posted By: TheDr
If you hit any brick walls ask to friend to call them and give permission for me to speak to them about his "account" (especially if he is concerned about confrontational calls).

I've had fun with companies like this before and they usually see things my way in the end hammer


Very kind indeed my friend, and much appreciated.

Update
Looks like we may have some progress. My colleague has received a response indicating that

"Hi MR XXXXX,
I have sent the request to the meter Operator for meter removal and they will contact you on the phone numbers provided. Let me get the information from there, I will get in touch with you.

Regards,
Somdatt Sharma
Permanent Disconnections
Scottish Power"

A definite ray of hope. I will keep you all informed.

Thanks once again

Snod
_________________________
5 Precepts of Buddhism seem appropriate. Refrain from taking life. Refrain from taking that which is not given. Refrain from misconduct. Refrain from lying. Refrain from intoxicants which lead to loss of mindfulness

Top

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