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Massively high usage, HELP!

posted by dantheman | 7 days ago
ok So after waiting 4-6 weeks for them to look in to a possible transposed rate issue (which I was told there’s a clear problem on the account) I was today told it had been closed as there was no issue??? No warning, no contact.

I was today also told that my annual usage is 23,000kwh! Upon checking with southern power and an electrical contractor this is an impossible amount of usage for my house (I have ground source heating) 5 bed house, kids at school all day, we both work basically we use lights, tv’s cooker/tumble dryer etc.
Typical family use.
I’m told this should average about 3,000-4,000kwh per year.

Been fobbed off with a call back on Friday (today is Tuesday) what can I do to get this resolved?



posted by Davc | 7 days ago
Re: Massively high usage, HELP!

@dantheman  Hi, take a manual meter reading and compare it with the latest bill and the previous bills, they are all available in your account online. Your high bill is obviously wrong and you should be able to spot what the error is from the readings. Then the next time you speak to SP you will have all the evidence in front of you.  Make sure that the bill readings are marked actual and not estimated. 

posted by dantheman | 7 days ago
Re: Massively high usage, HELP!
Thanks for your reply.
I’ve checked and the readings are actual not estimated.
Clearly have a faulty meter as my usage is about 5 times higher than what Scottish power deem to be in their “high” usage band.

I originally complained on the 25th of June and they kindly decided to “resolve” my complaint without letting me know and gave me some shpeil about it being a work order not a complaint, I’m confident Ofgem won’t see it that way.

Next I was offered a subject access request form to obtain some previous readings and was quoted a month to receive the form 😂 is it me or is the customer service department purposely geared up to cause obstruction and delay to resolving these issues?

posted by Davc | 7 days ago
Re: Massively high usage, HELP!

@dantheman    Do you have solar panels? and could your ground source heating be affecting the meter readings? Both of these can be recorded as costs rather than benefits if not installed correctly. Faulty meters are rare but do happen occasionally.  I agree SP are not quick in resolving such problems so I hope in your case they do try harder.  Can you see when your meter is recording peak demand and relate it to any other factor?   But you should not have to watch your meter 24/7.

posted by dantheman | 7 days ago
Re: Massively high usage, HELP!
The draw on the ground source heat pump is minimal as it’s only a pump it’s running, the heat element comes from the ground pipes so it’s supposedly super economical and green.

Nevertheless I would expect that even if I was the most inefficient home in the UK (same size houses) I would be at worst maybe double the average? So perhaps somewhere between 6-10,000kwh per year? The fact that I’m 23k plus seriously concerns me.

I’ve tested the supply at the house by switching off the consumer unit and the meter didn’t move so it’s most definitely not something drawing from the supply externally.

That leaves 2 possibilities; either the meter is recording incorrectly or there is something within the house drawing an enormous amount of power, the amount it’s drawing (assuming it’s a faulty appliance) theoretically would have melted months ago!

I can only conclude there’s something up with the meter at this point.

posted by dantheman | 6 days ago
Re: Massively high usage, HELP!
Ok So I’ve just had an NICEIC electrician test my house, here’s what the findings suggest...

I was asked to turn on every appliance and circuit in my house and the drawn on am page was measured at 29.5amps.

Converted to KW is 6.9kw.

Assuming every single item in the house was on for 2 hours a day (including oven, tumble dryer, washing machine, dishwasher, underground heat pump, all lighting and every single socket/device/tv) it would use 6.9kw x 2 hours x 365 = 5037kwh per year and even this would be considered high usage.

So my current usage should be no more than circa 5000kwh per year and the Scottish power meter is recording 23,000kwh per year!

Would anyone from Scottish power care to comment on this before I go legal?


posted by Davc | 6 days ago
Re: Massively high usage, HELP!

@dantheman   Seems you have a good case, but SP do not react to Community posts, so you have to stick to customer services. The Ombudsman or Ofgem will need evidence of disagreement before they can take up a case. 

Note, Do you have a smart meter? If not SP will quickly agree to replace your conventional meter with a smart meter. They are very keen to hit their installation targets.   This would confirm or otherwise that your meter is over recording. You could then claim back the over recording.

Has this situation recently occurred or are you in a new property? Can you fix a point in time when you think the meter started over recording?   Finally are your bills in line with using so many kwh?  It is an outside possibilty that your statement of annual consumption is wrong and the actual billed amounts are more in line with average consumption.  You could look back over your bills (all on line and you do not need SP to send them to you) and from the quoted meter readings check your high annual usage.  Each bill shows the meter readings and also gives a statement of total annual consumption at each point in time.

I know it is a pain to do all this checking, but as you said SP admitted a Transposed Rate, and it could be that this whole problem is not a meter issue but human error at SP??

posted by dantheman | 5 days ago
Re: Massively high usage, HELP!
I left SP a few years ago and came back in 2016, I can no longer access my old account information. Since I’ve been back it seems the meter has been over recording and it’s gone unnoticed. It’s only now I’ve come to the end of my deal and went to look at new tariffs that it’s flagged up. I genuinely cannot believe that SP wouldn’t have flagged up such high usage in a single dwelling.

I have made a formal complaint and put this in writing now too since SP denied my first complaint and said they recorded it as a “work item” and it wouldn’t count towards the 8 week time limit they have to deal with the complaint, I really don’t think the ombudsman will see it that way so I will escalate this next week if I’ve not had an engineer out to correct it.

posted by Jonnel | 5 days ago
Re: Massively high usage, HELP!

@dantheman Scottish Power probably never flagged it up because you never queried the bill over 3 consecutive years.... must have been in the region of £3000 - £4000 a year before you added the gas bill.

Just a word to the wise. When you contact the Ombudsman, the first thing they'll do is ask if you've followed the SP complaints process fully, and/or received a deadlock letter from them - my experience of the OS is that they're reluctant to do anything unless the customer has followed procedure to the letter.

Also, I wouldn't have the meter repaired or replaced (by SP or anyone) until you have acknowledgement from them in writing that they accept the meter is faulty. That way, you have possession of the faulty meter until a refund of your over-payment has been agreed.

Lastly, when smart meters are installed in non-standard installations - such as ground source, turbines, solar panels and the like - they have particular fitting needs so as not to record electricity generation as usage, as Davc said above. Personally, I wouldn't have smart meters put in if I had a non-standard setup.

posted by dantheman | 5 days ago
Re: Massively high usage, HELP!
Thanks for the heads up mate