OpenRent Community

Eon chasing me for money

Couldn’t find a relevant thread, sorry if this is in the wrong place.
Tenant moved out, I went in, checked everything was turned off and unplugged fridge/freezer to defrost ready for next tenant.
Informed eon the flat was empty, when new tenant moved in they sent me a bill of £23. Not breaking the bank, but that seems very excessive for an empty unplugged flat. I’ve asked them to tell me how this could happen, they have dodged my questions and are insisting I pay. I know the previous tenant didn’t pay any electricity bills, so it kinda feels like they are trying to get some money out of someone regardless of who or how! If anyone has been in a similar situation, would like to hear what you did/what happened?

Could be:

  1. they estimated how much would be used during the vacant period and charged you accordingly*, or
  2. the meter reading you (or previous tenant) gave on the last day* (ideally) of occupancy was different from the one you (or new tenant) gave on the first day* of occupancy, and is a likely reason, or
  3. someone did the vacuuming and kitchen, etc., cleaning and the place was visited during the vacant period requiring the use of light and heating (gas heating needs electrical energy to work) or after the meter reading (most likely) at the end of the tenancy and that may account for some of the costs, and is a likely reason, or
  4. minor overlooked items still take power such as clocks, computers, burglar alarms, external intruder detectors that trigger lamp activation, etc. and these may account for part of the bill, or all of it if the vacant period was for a very long time.
  • Use their portal or your records or call them for the dates of the meter readings + meter reading + whether submitted or estimated and check these against your diary entries to confirm that the tenant leaving and joining readings are acceptable, bearing in mind any visits made during the vacant period. Meter reading submission errors may have occurred, by the submitter or the company rep who took the reading over the phone (assumption), e.g. someone did a digit swop such as 3069 to 3096.
    Your bill should have stated these and whether they were estimated or not. Estimates can easily give rise to this situation, as I have experienced in my own home!
    A) Are their meter readings the same as your record of them?
    B) Are those readings actual or fiddled by the leaving and joining tenant?
    C) Is the leaving date later than the meter reading date, as submitted by the previous tenant/you? If so, this accounts for the discrepancy.
    D) Has anyone been there during the vacant period, and was the heating on to protect against frost damage?

I hope this helps.

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In addition to the above check what the daily standing charge is.

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Hi Victoria, in my experience if you raise a formal complaint with energy companies and then threaten to escalate to the energy ombudsman once that complain has been live for the minimum period (I think six weeks), then they often back down. In fact, I once ended being paid hundreds in compensation simply because it took the energy company so long to reply to my complaint!

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Sounds like the standing charge
Ask for a breakdown
Threaten to contact the ombudsman
All utility companies have a standing charge policy and can negate these if the property was empty
I think legislation was passed on this so people aren’t paying for rental of meters

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