Couple Shocked by £11,000 Gas Bill for 18 Years of Unbilled Energy Usage

Couple Shocked by £11,000 Gas Bill for 18 Years of Unbilled Energy Usage

The story of Lee Haynes and Jo Woodley, a couple from Tamworth, Staffordshire, is nothing short of astonishing.

They recently received a gas bill for nearly £11,000, which they were told represents 18 years’ worth of energy usage.

This mind-boggling bill has left them in a state of disbelief.

Lee and Jo moved into their home in Tamworth back in 2005, and they assert that they made genuine efforts to address their maintenance bills as soon as they arrived.

However, when it came to their gas supply, they hit an insurmountable obstacle.

Despite their early attempts to resolve this issue, nearly two decades later, they find themselves facing a gas bill amounting to £10,824.87.

What makes this situation even more baffling is that they are still uncertain about the identity of the gas supplier during these 18 years.

Although they have since signed up with a major energy company, they have never managed to determine who supplied their gas during this extended period.

Their ordeal began with letters from the National Grid and their housing association in 2006, confirming their struggles to identify the source of the gas.

One might wonder why the couple didn’t receive gas bills for all these years.

They did everything they could to find their gas supplier.

Lee even sought assistance from the ombudsman, who advised them to retain their paperwork and await further instructions.

In March 2023, Lee and Jo received a letter from gas distributors Cadent, requesting a visit to inspect their gas supply.

What followed was a follow-up letter from Cadent, stating that the couple owed nearly £11,000 for gas usage spanning from 2005 to 2023.

They were served with an official invoice, and they are given 30 days to pay.

According to Ofgem’s back-billing rules, it is not permissible for an energy supplier to charge for gas or electricity consumed more than 12 months ago if the homeowner or tenant has not been billed correctly.

Lee Haynes understandably finds this situation perplexing and unjust.

He argued that he did everything he could to determine their gas supplier and even made efforts to pay British Gas.

However, he faced insurmountable obstacles and eventually reached a point where he was told there was nothing more he could do.

In his view, there must be a shared responsibility in this predicament.

The response from Cadent, the gas distributors, highlights that while they are not the gas supplier, they are obligated to investigate and make reasonable efforts to recover the costs of gas used outside of a supplier contract.

They also emphasized the availability of a specialist team to support customers required to make repayments.

This story serves as a reminder of the complexities within utility billing and the importance of a transparent and accountable system.

The couple’s ordeal raises questions about responsibility, communication, and the need for clarity in the energy sector.

It’s an eye-opening example of how disputes over utility bills can escalate into seemingly insurmountable challenges for consumers.

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