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Was my old meter faulty?

  • 26 August 2018
  • 4 replies
  • 713 views

We live in a detached house. Not massive. There's only the two of us. We extended our house in 2008 and had a new meter put in. Over the last 10 years we've had horrendously high electricity bills . Have been with probably four different energy suppliers in that time. We came over to ovo last November having been impressed with good reports. My Direct debit has crept up and up . When we were told we needed to pay £179 a month I decided to have an OVO smart meter fitted. I just couldn't see where that figure was coming from and I wanted to monitor our usage. It was installed 3 weeks ago and our old meter was taken away. I love the smart meter! It's telling me that so far this month my bill will be £30! When I look at my previous statement to when we had our old meter it says we used 2098 kWh.in the space of one month! So far this month weve used 123 kWh. I've come to the obvious conclusion that the meter we had for 10 years was faulty. Can someone from Ovo please tell me what I can do about this? The old meter was taken away by the ovo fitter. Clearly we've overpaid big time over the last decade.
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Best answer by Transparent 27 August 2018, 12:58

Oh wow, @Sparky!

So the first thing is to send an email to OVO's Customer Services, explaining what you've just written above. In practice this overpayment to OVO since November should be relatively easy to sort out, and I doubt that you'll need to invoke the Complaints Procedure.

OVO should be able to track your usage over the next few months, and calculate a ratio of what needs adjusting for the months between Nov17 and the date your Smart Meter was installed.

Your user profile doesn't tell me what Tariff you are on with OVO, but I hope it's 2-year fixed! :)

Obviously the more months over which OVO can track your usage, the more confidence will be built into the magic ratio which will be calculated.

In the meantime, you should start writing to the other Energy Suppliers from whom you've bought electricity over the past ten years, formally notifying them that you will be making a claim. This gives you time to assess their responses whilst you await for OVO's Magic Ratio (you don't really want to rush them for this!).

Ethical Electricity Suppliers will probably readily agree to a refund based on the Magic Ratio, although they may seek ways to reduce this.

There are three main factors which they might consider in order to totally reject your claims:

1. The meter may have only gone faulty last Nov. So you can't prove that the readings were exaggerated whilst they were your Supplier.

2. There is some legal horizon before which they have no liability to refund you anything. This might be the length of time you will have taken to raise the complaint.

3. They may state that you have made energy saving alterations to the house or knowingly adjusted your usage over the past 10 years. However, this argument is weakened by the fact that your claim is based on a ratio agreed between you and OVO, calculated over a period of a few months when you are not making such changes.

Should you face an outright rejection of your claim from any of the Suppliers, please ask here on the Forum for further advice. There are two main options
  • Complaints Procedure followed by an appeal to the Energy Ombudsman
  • Issue proceedings in the Small Claims Division of the High Court

There are merits in either route, and it will depend on why a Supplier is rejecting your claim.

Unless you have past experience of issuing a Complaint against an Energy Supplier, please get advice (here!). You need to avoid a lengthy correspondence and stick solely to the correct published procedure.

Hope that helps.
Keep us posted.
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4 replies

Thank you @Transparent once again - very helpful! I'll get onto it straight away and will report back.:)
Userlevel 7
Badge +3
Hi @Sparky. I think you should talk to OVO Customer Services as soon as possible.

They may want to propose a different way of calculating the credit owed to you. But unless you can get an agreed ratio with them, you'll be missing the most useful statistic on which you're going to base claims against the previous Suppliers.

You really don't want to be battling against all previous Suppliers, each using their own preferred method of calculation. And that would make it much more difficult to take the matter to the Ombudsman if a Complaints Procedure failed.
Thank you @Transparent for your useful reply. This is very helpful indeed.

I'm on Better Energy - Economy 7 (all online) and my Tariff ends 9/11/18 so It must've been a one year arrangement.

Do you think I should wait for my first bill to come in before I contact OVO so they can see the difference for a months usage? Even though the meter was installed on the 7th August, it seems my billing date doesn't start until 13th August as my smart meter chart online is only showing from that date. I hope, like you've suggested that they will want to see what my usage is like in the colder months. We have an electric AGA that we shut down in the summer. When we turn it on It charges up at night time on the cheaper rate and then it turns off during the day. Having the aga means we don't use a kettle, toaster or conventional oven during the day so it'll be really interesting to see what happens during that time.

Thanks again for such a positive reply. 🙂
Userlevel 7
Badge +3
Oh wow, @Sparky!

So the first thing is to send an email to OVO's Customer Services, explaining what you've just written above. In practice this overpayment to OVO since November should be relatively easy to sort out, and I doubt that you'll need to invoke the Complaints Procedure.

OVO should be able to track your usage over the next few months, and calculate a ratio of what needs adjusting for the months between Nov17 and the date your Smart Meter was installed.

Your user profile doesn't tell me what Tariff you are on with OVO, but I hope it's 2-year fixed! :)

Obviously the more months over which OVO can track your usage, the more confidence will be built into the magic ratio which will be calculated.

In the meantime, you should start writing to the other Energy Suppliers from whom you've bought electricity over the past ten years, formally notifying them that you will be making a claim. This gives you time to assess their responses whilst you await for OVO's Magic Ratio (you don't really want to rush them for this!).

Ethical Electricity Suppliers will probably readily agree to a refund based on the Magic Ratio, although they may seek ways to reduce this.

There are three main factors which they might consider in order to totally reject your claims:

1. The meter may have only gone faulty last Nov. So you can't prove that the readings were exaggerated whilst they were your Supplier.

2. There is some legal horizon before which they have no liability to refund you anything. This might be the length of time you will have taken to raise the complaint.

3. They may state that you have made energy saving alterations to the house or knowingly adjusted your usage over the past 10 years. However, this argument is weakened by the fact that your claim is based on a ratio agreed between you and OVO, calculated over a period of a few months when you are not making such changes.

Should you face an outright rejection of your claim from any of the Suppliers, please ask here on the Forum for further advice. There are two main options
  • Complaints Procedure followed by an appeal to the Energy Ombudsman
  • Issue proceedings in the Small Claims Division of the High Court

There are merits in either route, and it will depend on why a Supplier is rejecting your claim.

Unless you have past experience of issuing a Complaint against an Energy Supplier, please get advice (here!). You need to avoid a lengthy correspondence and stick solely to the correct published procedure.

Hope that helps.
Keep us posted.

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