Family dismayed at power struggle

PUBLISHED: 15:15 01 February 2007 | UPDATED: 13:45 04 May 2010

Photo: HELEN DRAKE

Photo: HELEN DRAKE

MAJOR power companies have demanded hundreds of pounds in unpaid bills from an Ely family even though their supply is provided by pre-paid meter. Just weeks after resolving a year-long battle with Npower over a demand for £800, the Holt family have now re

MAJOR power companies have demanded hundreds of pounds in unpaid bills from an Ely family even though their supply is provided by pre-paid meter.

Just weeks after resolving a year-long battle with Npower over a demand for £800, the Holt family have now received a bill of over £1,000 from Powergen.

But both the gas and electricity supplies at their High Barns home are controlled by a pre-paid card meter, making it impossible for them to owe money.

"I'm starting to think we must be jinxed," said Susie Holt. "Our address has a 13 in the number so maybe that's it.

"When I started getting the letters from npower saying we owed all this money I thought it was a wind up. I just thought someone was having a laugh.

"But then it started getting really serious. The company was threatening us with the bailiffs and court action.

"Now we are starting all over again with Powergen. It's unbelievable. I think we are going to have to move."

After investigating, Npower discovered that payments made through the Holt's meter were not being credited to their account.

"The cash had just disappeared into a black hole," said a spokesman. "We never found where the money went but we wiped out the debt."

The company also paid the family £200 compensation.

Now Powergen has sent them a bill for over £1,000, claiming they owe £851 for electricity and £228 for gas.

"I don't know how we are supposed to owe this money when we are on a pre-paid meter and our meter is in credit," added Mrs Holt.

A Powergen spokesman said: "We have now spoken to Mr Holt and resolved the situation.

"The large bill was caused by the meters not being updated, which we have apologised for, as well as an incorrect reading that was taken for the electricity meter. "For the inconvenience caused and as a gesture of goodwill, we have written off the outstanding balance.

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