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## Moving into a New Property in England

I recently moved into a new property, a flat, in England on December 28th, ’23. The property’s electricity was under British Gas, but I encountered issues with accessing the electric meter. The inventory provided by the letting agent did not include an opening electric reading due to difficulty accessing the meter in a locked communal cupboard.

## Challenges Accessing Electric Meter

Despite multiple attempts to obtain access to the meter key from the block management company, I faced delays and only received a meter reading on January 30th (dated for January 26th). This caused a delay in switching from British Gas to SoEnergy, which was finally resolved on February 6th, ’24. The lack of readings earlier in January has resulted in billing discrepancies from British Gas.

## AI Legalese Decoder Assistance

AI Legalese Decoder can help in deciphering the legal jargon and complexities surrounding the refusal of access to the electric meter by both the letting agent and block management company. The platform can provide guidance on possible actions against the parties involved and advise on seeking prior readings from alternate sources.

## Steps to Take

Considering the substantial bill from British Gas and the lack of evidence for most of the time under their service, it is crucial to explore options for resolving the situation. Seeking assistance from the Property or Energy Ombudsman may be worthwhile, along with requesting information from British Gas regarding the basis for their estimated readings.

## Conclusion

Navigating the complexities of utility billing and access to meter readings can be challenging, but with the help of AI Legalese Decoder, you can better understand your rights and options for addressing the issues faced with your electric meter.

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View Reference


  • Ambitious-Border-906

    Three questions: 1) Is this a dual fuel property (gas as well as electric)?; 2) Does the bill say when the last meter reading was? (Presumably there was one at or about the time the last occupier moved out / just before you moved in); and 3) How accurate or otherwise was the last estimated reading to your actual meter reading?

    That does seem high whatever, but if it is dual fuel, then that may go so some way to explain why. Equally, if there was a reading shortly before you moved in and the reading you took in Feb was broadly accurate, it may be better to talk to them about payment options.

    However, it does seem a lot higher than it should be. Good luck getting to the bottom of it!

  • sezzy3

    You generally can’t go to the ombudsman until you have formally complained to your supplier and they have taken more than 4 weeks to resolve your issue.

    Also try and find what the average energy use is for similar properties and calculate what the energy usage should be. Your supplier may eventually agree to a lower bill if their calculations are unreasonable.

  • simonpatterson

    I would not be paying any of the estimated bills. You asked for a key in order to get correct meter readings, and were denied. They could have provided you a meter reading, but somebody was either too busy or didn’t care. Well now it will cost them.

    If i were you i would calculate your usage going forward, in meter readings not money, weekly for say 1 month, take an average, then pro-rata it backwards until the date you moved in. It is the most fair way to get likely meter readings.

    You weren’t trying to avoid paying, and you weren’t even given an opening reading on move-in day, so an accurate bill is not possible.

    As for any ‘missing’ reading numbers, they can’t prove you used them, as they don’t have a start reading, and i would tell the letting agent they will have to cover any costs for those.