As we head towards a forecast £1 per KWh for electricity in April 2023, and will definitely be paying 52p per KWh for electricity and 15p per KWh for gas from this October, it is possible that some consumers may find themselves in debt, sometimes through no fault of their own. So, for example, if you have not received a bill, or have only estimated readings which inflate your bill, and then receive a “catch up” bill, it’s worth noting that any such “corrections” can only be for energy received in the last twelve months. The typical backbill is £1,160, but they can be much higher, leaving customers struggling financially or even in debt and causing stress. Consumers will not be at fault for failing to provide meter readings says Ofgem.
Ofgem, which consulted on this issue last year (2017), has decided to ban all domestic and microbusiness suppliers from issuing backbills for energy used more than 12 months ago. The exception is where consumers actively prevent suppliers from taking or receiving accurate meter readings, for example by tampering with or obstructing access to the meter. So, if your supplier has made a “mistake” by undercharging you for the last three years, you can challenge them. Sometimes, energy suppliers can “lose” customers in their system and never send bills out, and if you’re in this position, then it’s worth knowing about Ofgem’s ruling on this matter. I’ve posted about this on Twitter a few times, but thought it would be worth putting the info on my website.