Energy Company Sends Shocking £29K Energy Bill to Homeowner

Patrick Collins has had a very worrying few months after receiving a very large energy bill from Shell Energy for £29,691 for his 4 bedroom house.

He received the first bill of £19K in December and another for £29,691 5 weeks later. Patrick exclaimed, “I was astonished and shocked when I got the first bill as I knew I hadn’t used that amount of gas as I thought it just wasn’t possible. It is only my wife and I living in the house and the radiators are switched off in the rooms we don’t use. Our bill used to be about £200/month before the big increase.”

Patrick used to be with Green Energy before they went bust. Ofgem transferred them to Shell Energy in September 2021. Patrick explained, “They told us not to change our direct debit or anything and the account would be set up but it took them a year to do this and then another 4/5 months before they sent us the bill.”

On receiving the large bill, Patrick made numerous attempts to resolve the matter with Shell Energy and raised a complaint after no solution was forthcoming. He believes he spent around 10 days on the phone, sent 65 emails and took numerous photos of his meter. Patrick said, “They just wouldn’t believe me that it was not my meter. They said they would send a man around in December to check the meter. They claimed he came at 8am one morning. My dogs who can hear a leaf drop would have heard him but they said there was no reply. Afterwards they said the next time we can come back is 13 March!”

After promising for someone to call Patrick the following Monday morning which didn’t happen, Patrick opened another complaint and contacted the Financial Ombudsman. Patrick added, “My wife, Claire at that point asked me whether I had got this under control. It kept me awake at times as I thought am I going to have pay this bill as who is going to believe me? How am I going to get out of this pickle? There was no one with any sense who would escalate it. It was going round and round like ground hog day.”

Shell Energy has finally admitted it was an incorrect meter number on a commercial meter and Patrick now has a new correct bill for £4,800. Patrick has asked them for 50% off the bill for all the stress they have caused and the time he spent trying to resolve the issue. Patrick comments, “They are thinking about the compensation. This is not a tiny mistake; it is a catalogue of errors from the beginning to end. I’ve said, it’s down to you how much more pain do you want.”

Shell Energy said, “We’re really sorry for the mistake with Mr Collins’ bill. We have apologised and explained the error, which was the fault of an incorrect meter number. We’ve reassured Mr Collins he doesn’t owe us £29,000 for his energy and are correcting the error.”

Patrick concluded by saying, “I know I’ve got the wherewithal to sort things out but if I was an old age pensioner it could have been very bad for my health.  I want something in place so that other people can reach help more easily rather than going through a frustrating experience that I’ve gone through.  We’ve got these energy companies making billions and yet they still cannot be bothered to get the basics right.”

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