Model Boat Mayhem

Mess Deck: General Section => Chit-Chat => Topic started by: Capt Podge on November 15, 2014, 12:07:36 am

Title: Electricity Bills - Again!
Post by: Capt Podge on November 15, 2014, 12:07:36 am
Hi All,
 
The purpose of this thread is just to say "CHECK YOUR BILLS". :police:
 
Some of you may recall a similar thread from last year in which I intimated my determination to closely monitor my usage of electricity.
 
On checking my latest electric bill I discovered a discrepancy whereby they have billed me an extra 19.19p.
Having gathered all the necessary information I phoned my supplier to query this and sure enough, they have overcharged me.
As a result of this I was told that the discrepancy was the result of a "computer error" and that the money would be taken off my next bill as "a goodwill gesture" %% .
 
Anyway the point I'm making is "don't accept the bills at face value".
 
Regards,
 
Ray.
 
Title: Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
Post by: Brian60 on November 15, 2014, 12:37:34 pm
LOL you should try living here in Spain where it is some kind of national contest for suppliers of anything to overcharge. Point it out to them and they make seem they are doing you a favour to correct it and give you your money back.

But I did have this in August with NPower in the UK. They decided that I wasn't paying enough on my direct debit to take into account my winter useage, so they upped my payments from 70 amonth to 130 :o Even though the enclosed bill showed we had already for the year paid 111 more than the power supplied %%
 
On querying it they refused to budge on their projected figures, saying that any overpayment would be refunded in January %% yeah right overcharge me and make interest off my back and its all legal, I don't pay a bill and I am in court for it, what is the world coming to?
Title: Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
Post by: inertia on November 15, 2014, 01:09:58 pm
Brian
Just change supplier. They all love new customers; it's the old ones whom they regard as unwary and thus deserved of their contemptuous little scams. Mentioning the word OFGEM seems to make them sit up and listen, too. My DD went up from 90 to 130. Their 'estimated use' figure for the subsequent twelve months was less than the credit balance on my account at that time i.e. I'd already paid for more than a year's worth in advance. I was able to persuade them not only to cancel that increase but to reduce my monthly payment to 45 until my use of electricity had actually caught up with my payments. I even receive an annual "loyalty" payment these days but I'd change supplier tomorrow if I found them being underhand again.
Could be worse. After the usual paper-shower of ever-increasing threats my friend was on the verge of being taken to court by Scottish Power for repeated failure to pay his electricity bill. He even had the date and details of which court to attend. The problem was that he had been unable to persuade them that he had never bought energy from them (at any address), and neither had the previous owner of his house. Why would he? His wife is Treasury Officer for SWEB Energy! Much to John's disappointment at being denied his day in court they backed off at the 11th hour.
Nil carborundum.
DM

(Still no-one has come close to my being charged 12.01 for a 25p battery - that's an overcharge of approx 4600%).
Title: Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
Post by: carlmt on November 15, 2014, 02:40:07 pm
I flatly refuse to enter into DD arrangements with energy suppliers.
I much prefer to read my meter every 27th day of the month and pay the corresponding bill on or around the 5th of the following month. With it all being on-line and paperless, I only pay for what I have used and nothing more. And doing it this way, I have more control over how much energy we actually use by monitoring it monthly.
 
 
Title: Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
Post by: inertia on November 15, 2014, 02:47:54 pm
I was about to ask if that isn't more expensive, but given that the ratbags took over a grand off me that I didn't yet owe them then it's a moot point! I guess the very best way is to check your DDs every month and watch the buggers like a hawk.
DM
Title: Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
Post by: U-33 on November 15, 2014, 03:14:19 pm
I had a similar situation earlier in the year, had a visit from a meter reading person asking to read my gas meter. I told him I don't have gas here, he told me I did. I said I didn't, and asked him to close the door behind him.


A week or so later I received a gas bill...which I totally ignored.


Fortnight or so later I received a letter saying ''you may have forgotten to pay your gas bill...etc''. Again, I totally ignored it, filed it with the previous bill under B1N.


Next came a letter in red ink saying Final Demand...pay up or else. Again, it was filed under B1N.


Little while later came a court summons for non payment of my gas bill...this time I called them and explained that none of our flats in my block, or any of the other four blocks in the road, have gas fitted to them. Obviously they didn't believe me, 'cos they sent a very officious little man round to check...he was here for a good couple of hours searching my flat and the grounds for a gas pipe. Needless to say, he didn't find one. He went off muttering to himself, and I heard no more. Until a month or so back when I received...yep, you guessed it...a gas bill.

It makes you wonder, it really does.


Rich





Title: Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
Post by: Brian60 on November 15, 2014, 06:16:36 pm
Brings to mind many years ago a guy I used to know. His house was connected to water but not sewerage, he had a septic tank. His water bill was itemised and of course he always went to the local office to pay because he refused point blank to pay the sewage charge. Eventually it did end up in court and the judge found in his favour asking the water company to explain how they could warrant charging him for a service they did not provide! All his costs and an amount for his time etc were awarded against the water company.

Of course his next bill arrived with the sewage charge on and so it started again  :}
Title: Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
Post by: grendel on November 15, 2014, 06:38:52 pm
I used to work for the an energy company, they gave me a 'staff discount' and then sold the part of the company I worked for - ok still getting the discount - the new company had staff cuts - and axed my department - yes still getting my staff discount - they set my DD to a ridiculous amount - I stopped the DD, and set up a standing order - took a while to find the right account to set it up with, this pays most of the costs, and every quarter I get my bill, and pay any remainder, only once did they send a letter demanding more, it was when they sent out the bill 2 days before the standing order was paid, was told I owed them 130 - when I checked my account on line - it was just 10 I owed. they dont like this as my account is rarely much in credit, so they dont make anything from my money they hold. (and I still get the staff discount)
Grendel
Title: Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
Post by: Colin Bishop on November 15, 2014, 06:53:20 pm
They love to blame their computers but basically it is down to sheer incompetence. There are a lot of stupid people out there and many of them are employed - unfortunately.

Colin
Title: Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
Post by: U-33 on November 15, 2014, 07:02:03 pm
Just pray that they don't breed...


Rich
Title: Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
Post by: Bob K on November 15, 2014, 07:26:03 pm
(Still no-one has come close to my being charged 12.01 for a 25p battery - that's an overcharge of approx 4600%).

At that percentage it must have been through a Pay Day Loan Company.

PS:  Changing energy provider can be very expensive.  When I switched gas provider I found out that I was 280 in credit with them, they having conned me to loan them money in advance by "over-estimating".  They pocketed the balance when I switched.

They still call regularly to ask if I'd like to switch back. I bring up the 280 they still owe me and they keep promising to check into it, but never do.

Nowadays I check the readings regularly and if they try the usual loan bump-up I get on to them to reduce the monthly bill based on the actual usage.  After all, the meters are outside the house, not my fault if they can't be bothered to read them.
Title: Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
Post by: sparkey on November 15, 2014, 07:40:09 pm
 :-)) they owed me 384 when I switched and were slow to pay me back, so I threatened them with small claims court the money was in my account after 3 days,I have used small claims court in the past to get my money back on a new washing machine that broke down 11 times in 5 months,it was more out of order than working,machine cost 350 got back 675 with costs and expenses as I did not want it repaired again,try the scc well worth it,Ray :-))     
Title: Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
Post by: inertia on November 15, 2014, 07:46:23 pm
Bob
There was something on the TV very recently about this trick. If I were you I'd contact Citizens Advice who seem to be the first port of call for most of these complaints. BTW the battery was fitted by a Toyota dealer - INCHCAPE - to my SPARE key! I took it back for a refund, made a bit of a noise at the counter and got my money back pronto. I don't suppose other dealers are any more honest. What a grubby little island this is turning into.
Dave M
Title: Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
Post by: Colin Bishop on November 15, 2014, 07:59:57 pm
Actually my main dealer and car servicer gives a pretty honest deal but many don't.

Essentially, you have to assume that any financial service, insurance or utility supplier is basically out to screw you if you give them the opportunity and if you have to have the service then you must be prepared to fight your corner.

They will NEVER have customer interests at heart, only theirs. It didn't always used to be like that but it certainly is now.

Colin
Title: Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
Post by: Capt Podge on November 15, 2014, 09:36:40 pm
A BIG THANK YOU to all for your input :-))
 
I have been with the same electricity supplier (npower and their predecessor Northern Electric) for over 28 years now and have never, ever, fallen for the Direct Debit routine.
 
I pay my bills quarterly, by cheque, and insist on paying for 91 days supply (per quarter) only.
(Note: One of the quarters must be for 92 days to account for the total of 365 days)
I also always insist on the 92 day quarter being in the summer months.
 
A meter reader attended on 29th Oct 14 asking for access to my meter. I told him he was too early as the quarter still had 13 days to run. He then stipulated that he needed access to check that all was well with the installation.
 
OK - I told him he could have access but that he must not record the actual reading as this would put my billing out of sequence. He agreed and made a show of checking the cupboard, torch in hand, then informed me that all was well.
 
Lo and behold - on the 8th Nov I received a bill for 77 days worth of supply >>:-(
 
Back I go on the phone to my supplier to complain.
The end result of this is that the bill has been cancelled and I will receive an updated one with my 91 day reading as the criteria for the billing.
 
Incidentally, the meter person was not an employee of my supplier (although he was wearing their logo) and actually works for an agency - good old SWMBO spotted him in his van on her way up the street.
 
....let's see what happens next time an agency tries to gain entry to my property <*<
....they won't get in without a warrant, that's for sure :police:  (lying little so and so)
 
Regards,
 
Ray.
 
NB Ref the overcharge - I would love to be able to find out just how many households have been ripped off by that strange bandit known as "computer error" - Yea, right >:-o
 
 
 
Title: Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
Post by: dougal99 on November 15, 2014, 09:45:26 pm
I pay by DD and read my own meter. The discount outweighs any loss of interest on the money I pay. I also keep a record of my use and use that to ensure my monthly outgoings match my annual consumption. Simples.




However, BGas will never ever have my custom again. Left them years ago after they tried to increase my DD when I was already in credit. I think they use the 'and one for the pot' algorithm when estimating.  <*< [size=78%] [/size]
Title: Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
Post by: Capt Podge on November 15, 2014, 09:49:58 pm
Nice one dougal99,
 
Likewise I check my meter at the same time every day and record the results on an Excel spreadsheet - this has the added bonus of monitoring our daily consumption AND it gives me a full record when queries arise :-))
 
Regards,
 
Ray.
 
Title: Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
Post by: ixion on November 15, 2014, 09:53:41 pm
British Gas must be the most incompetent company I have ever dealt with. I have spent hours lately on the phone due to their cock-ups which they always blame on updating their computer system. One day I came home to 10 letters from British Gas all with one sheet in each which was either a credit note or revised bill all different dating back to April 2013. I rang them for a explanation and the 10 letters were telling me my account was in credit by 1p.

Title: Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
Post by: Brian60 on November 15, 2014, 10:18:30 pm
 This is what we are having to deal with currently in Spain. On July23rd we went to our local office of Santander and asked to close one branch account  90 kilometres away and open a new one there. No problem done in an hour except it wasn't.
 
 Since then the old account  has gone into the red due to bank charges levied against it, because  the old branch refused to close the account! Then Madrid clearing transferred 700 into this old account even though the money transfer agency we use sent it to the correct new account number. Then they took out all the overdue charges they said we owed- still refusing to close the old account.
 
 Now  with many other hassles of transferring direct debits and actually getting them paid along the last few months. We called in at the bank to make sure the money all 700 was transferred from the old account to the new one-  they agreed we had paid the charges from the new account, so them taking it from the old account meant we had paid twice and theygrudgingly agreed to reimburse them.
 
 Then the branch manager was blocked from accessing the old account, he rang our old branch to be told that now the account was closed, with our 700 still in it  they had no way of accessing it either!!!! He rang Madrid and it seems that when he opened our new account they lost the faxed paperwork to confirm it was a non resident account! So now we have a new account we and the branch staff can't access, we have an old account in Torrevieja that is closed and can't be accessed to get our 700 and Madrid sat on their arses demanding more paperwork be signed and faxed through. ARGGGHHHHH!!!!!!
 
 To be fair the manager is most apologetic and says it will sort itself out given time, but he's said this every two weeks for the last couple of months.
Title: Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
Post by: Brian60 on November 15, 2014, 10:28:59 pm
By the way the list of bank charges in Spain is quite ridiculous and makes UK banking a dream to behold!

We have a joint account- we get charged each quarter for having that account 10- each! So 80 a year just to have the account.

We both are charged 14 a year for a debit card- 28 a year, this has been charged every year since 2006, the cards expired in 2009, no new cards have ever been issued, but that doesn't stop them charging for them!

Each time we transfer an amount from the UK into the Spanish bank we are charged a handling fee of 24 It is cheaper to buy tourist money in the UK and then hand euro's over the counter at the bank!

Then for each direct debit taken from the account racks up another 3 administration charge.

Yep, UK banks have a lot to learn on ripping off their customers!
Title: Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
Post by: grendel on November 16, 2014, 08:35:12 am
with energy suppliers you should be able to set up a security password for them yo use for any visitors to your house, so that you know that meter readers etc are legit.
Grendel
Title: Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
Post by: Nordsee on November 16, 2014, 11:01:08 am
I had a similar situation earlier in the year, had a visit from a meter reading person asking to read my gas meter. I told him I don't have gas here, he told me I did. I said I didn't, and asked him to close the door behind him.


A week or so later I received a gas bill...which I totally ignored.


Fortnight or so later I received a letter saying ''you may have forgotten to pay your gas bill...etc''. Again, I totally ignored it, filed it with the previous bill under B1N.


Next came a letter in red ink saying Final Demand...pay up or else. Again, it was filed under B1N.


Little while later came a court summons for non payment of my gas bill...this time I called them and explained that none of our flats in my block, or any of the other four blocks in the road, have gas fitted to them. Obviously they didn't believe me, 'cos they sent a very officious little man round to check...he was here for a good couple of hours searching my flat and the grounds for a gas pipe. Needless to say, he didn't find one. He went off muttering to himself, and I heard no more. Until a month or so back when I received...yep, you guessed it...a gas bill.

It makes you wonder, it really does.


Rich
I had a similar experience years ago with Southern Electricity, when we lived in England. We had a seperate power supply to the Garage and Workshop, which was never used and the Connection was severed. One day we got the Meter Reader there to read the Garage meter, result, 0 Power used, I got a Bill for 0 Pounds 0 Shillings 0pence. This too went all the way to court, which of course threw it out. I thought that was the end of the matter, but several years later when I applied for a Credit Card it was rejected as I had a County Court Debt case in my name.That took ages to get sorted!
Title: Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
Post by: U-33 on November 16, 2014, 11:08:02 am
Dear, oh dear...it's frightening. I know they blame 'computer error', but somewhere along the line there is a so called 'human' who presses the keys to input the information.
Where do they find these key pressers, I wonder? My parrot could have done better!


Rich
Title: Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
Post by: inertia on November 16, 2014, 11:25:19 am
There seems to be an absence of the same commodity in all of these stories - common sense. The truly scary thing is that the folk who are responsible for such monumental cock-ups are allegedly the BEST who could be found for the job. God help us all if the rest get hold of any responsibility. Make that a grubby and stupid little island..............the lunatics are taking over the asylum.
DM
Title: Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
Post by: Netleyned on November 16, 2014, 11:38:23 am
We have G4S reading our meter >>:-(
After the Olympics  mess they shouldn't be allowed to read
Kids comics let alone things with numbers on them
That's if they can read <:(

Ned
Title: Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
Post by: grendel on November 16, 2014, 12:36:17 pm
the problem is that everything is totally automated, once the meter readings go in, everything is processed by the computers, and printed, enveloped and sent out - all without human intervention, thus if a meter reading is put in with one too many digits, a spurious amount goes through the system, without ever being checked by human eyes, most of the customer service advisors would agree with you that the situation is stupid, and such bills should never have been sent out in the first place (all it would need was for any bill above a certain amount to be routed through a human checker - but then that would mean employing someone more than they need (of course they havent worked out that if this cut down on customer calls by just a few percent they would be saving on customer service advisors)).
As mentioned above, to avoid estimated bills, regularly read your meters and submit readings, this will also mean that they can chart your usage better, so if anything suddenly shoots your usage much higher it will be easier to track down the mistake or fault.
Grendel
Grendel
Title: Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
Post by: Nordsee on November 16, 2014, 03:01:45 pm
There seems to be an absence of the same commodity in all of these stories - common sense. The truly scary thing is that the folk who are responsible for such monumental cock-ups are allegedly the BEST who could be found for the job. God help us all if the rest get hold of any responsibility. Make that a grubby and stupid little island..............the lunatics are taking over the asylum.
DM
One big problem is the culture of not failing, also that People who are useless in their job but  cannot  be dismissed, so they are promoted to get rid of them. This gives you an upper Echelon of useless Berks running everything from the NHS to Power Companies.
Title: Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
Post by: NFMike on November 16, 2014, 04:23:45 pm
The truly scary thing is that the folk who are responsible for such monumental cock-ups are allegedly the BEST who could be found for the job.

I assumed they were the cheapest. And since UK fat cats only pay peanuts for their staff these days ...  O0

There was a supposed quote by an astronaut about launching to the effect "... you know that every last part of this huge rocket was built by the lowest bidder!"
Title: Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
Post by: inertia on November 16, 2014, 04:27:15 pm
One big problem is the culture of not failing, also that People who are useless in their job but  cannot  be dismissed, so they are promoted to get rid of them.

I was a civil servant for over 30 years and I've seen off nearly as many of those as I've seen. They become so lost in their own little worlds that they forget what they are there for.
Just yesterday I had an altercation with the local sub-postmaster who, despite having taken similar packages from us for seven years, still insists on asking me what's in them; having me reply "Electronics", and then following it up with "No batteries, then?". After seven years it's become a silly pantomime, so I told him instead it was "the usual rat-droppings" and he did a very good impersonation of Basil Fawlty - complete with red face, bulging eyes and head-tossing. Told me that it was THE RULES TO ASK EVERY TIME (I bet it's not) and that if "THEY" found out that he hadn't asked then "THEY" would take away his mail and his livelihood. I have this morning posted the letter of complaint to THEM c/o his head office. He's clearly terrified of THEM - I wonder if it's occurred to him that THEY are as dumb as he is, if not dumber i.e. all of THEM were promoted there.

I've found that the two things encountered most often in life which settle upwards are draft beer and incompetence. Actually I've just thought of a third, but this is a family forum.........

Dave M

Plague - Just seen your post. How much cheaper than a 'zero hours' contract on national minimum wage can you get? No - these were the ones with PhD's.................
Title: Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
Post by: dreadnought72 on November 16, 2014, 08:35:07 pm
Told me that it was THE RULES TO ASK EVERY TIME (I bet it's not)

... I bet it is.

I was in a queue in one of the discount stores a couple of days ago. After each customers' final product was scanned, the till operator asked if they'd like "a discounted packet of Polo mints today?"

When she was about to scan my first item, I said "I don't want any Polo mints, thank you. You must be sick of saying that a hundred times an hour."

She agreed, yet at the end of my items, I was offered "a discounted packet of Polo mints today".

I blame the faceless people who dream up these stupid systems and turn people into automata.

Andy
Title: Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
Post by: grendel on November 16, 2014, 08:49:26 pm
my daughter eventually quit mcdonalds after refusing to ask customers if they would like to upgrade to a large meal.
Grendel
Title: Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
Post by: malcolmfrary on November 17, 2014, 10:40:44 am
I suspect that the culture of incompetence rising up the ladder has a great deal to do with the fact that large corporations and government agencies use promotion boards, where the ambitious one faces a few senior managers.  The thought has crossed my mind, having looked at said senior managers, that they don't want anybody joining their club who might rock their boat, so they have a strong tendency to pick contenders who have parroted the same answers to the questions that they were primed with.
A few years back I got the impression that if grittish bas ever gets its act together, there will be a huge saving when their complaints department gets cut to size.  This could be very bad news for employment in Hampshire.  It won't happen, though.  I'm guessing that the outfit is run by an empire builder, who sees competence as detrimental to the size of his/her empire.
Title: Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
Post by: inertia on November 17, 2014, 12:55:30 pm
I've had an E-Mail from Model Slipway who have had exactly the same experience as I did with the Post Office. For the sake of those of you who firmly believe that Jackie is an angel without blemish I won't reveal what she told them was in the package........save to say it was neither model boat fittings nor rat droppings. Mr White was not impressed!

Ref promotion in large organisations, it seems that you have a career choice. If you concentrate on doing a good job then "they" will just let you carry on, because every organisation floats on its worker-bees. You will be marked as 'capable but unambitious' and ignored for the rest of your time there. On the other hand, if you devote all your time to making sure you say the right things to the right people in the right places then you will, in time, be invited to join their table. After all, there's usually another level of incompetence that they can aspire to - in the absence of being capable of doing a good job at their present level.

I had a colleague who, much to everyone's surprise, was invited to a promotion interview. At the end of the interview he was asked if there were any questions he would like to ask the panel. He said "You know when you see a list of successful promotion candidates and there's always a name that makes you say "How the $%**! did he get through? Please could that name be mine?" He passed! I've also just remembered - with a deliciously circular irony - that he retired early under a cloud and became the village's sub-postmaster (which is where I came in to this thread).

DM
Title: Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
Post by: sparkey on November 17, 2014, 02:52:43 pm
Where I used to work there was a nice lady who worked on the switchboard who happened to be blind,her husband who taught braille was also blind,one evening she got a knock on the door by the TV licencing people,she told them that she did not have a TV licence as she did not have a TV as both of them were blind,the man did not believe them and said they would be summonsed for the offence,it went to magistrate court and was thrown out,as she and her hubby were very upset about the whole affair so we advised her to level action which she did with the help of a friendly solicitor,she was awarded quite a large sum for harassment and pain,this money should have come out of the pocket of the idiot who decided to prosecute for not using a bit of common sense and humanity,Ray
Title: Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
Post by: canalpilot on November 17, 2014, 08:12:01 pm
REF; Electricity bills, I signed up with Utility Warehouse for my electricity supply and have to send them, by computer, the meter readings at the end of every month.  If there is a big difference in what the readings should be if they were estimated, then they are questioned and I have to check I have entered the correct readings.  It works and I never get anything but the correct bill. An added bonus is that they also provide  my broadband, my house 'phone and my mobile.  I only get one bill a month to pay for them all.  I also have a cashcard with them which gives me discounts in a large variety of shops..   
Title: Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
Post by: Peter Fitness on November 17, 2014, 10:34:23 pm
I am amazed that people over there actually read their own meters :o  ours a read by the power company. I'm assuming that there are checks in place to ensure people don't give false readings, otherwise you could say whatever you wanted?


My youngest son is a meter reader with the local power authority, and most of his runs are in the rural areas of the district, where he has to contend with numerous farm gates, and the occasional unfriendly dog. By law, all meters must be accessible at all times to the meter readers, so consequently most are on the outside of buildings, and any gates to the meter must not be locked. In the event that a reader cannot access the meter, an estimate is sent, which is usually significantly higher than actual usage.


Peter.
Title: Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
Post by: Capt Podge on November 17, 2014, 10:56:57 pm
I am amazed that people over there actually read their own meters :o 


Peter.

Hi Peter,
 
Up until about 6 years ago, we did have power supply company meter readers and they used to come bang-on time every 3 months and there were rarely any discrepancies.
If they couldn't get an answer at the property, they would leave a meter card for the occupier to write down the reading and place it in a prominent position at the door / window and the guy would come next day and take the reading that way.
 
Now however, they use the services of a meter reading agency who attend just once a year. (Said agency employ people on minimum wage only) :-X
 
Regards,
 
Ray.
 
Title: Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
Post by: Peter Fitness on November 18, 2014, 04:13:33 am
The meter readers here come regularly, every 3 months, and are currently employees of the power company concerned. However, that seems set to change. As I mentioned earlier, my youngest son is a meter reader, but the power company has put meter reading out to tender which means he could well lose his job as a reader. They claim that it will save money whereas, in fact, it may cost a lot more than it currently does. It seems that the displaced power company readers will be found work in another section, but we will have to wait and see.


There is a big argument going on here concerning the escalating cost of electricity, much of which has been blamed on so-called "gold plating" of the network infrastructure. This has involved unnecessarily upgrading power line capacity well beyond any future prediction of usage, at great expense. With the high uptake of domestic solar power here, consumption from the main grid has decreased, making costly upgrades extremely wasteful. Another cause of price increase has been, ironically, the very fact that so many people are using solar panels. This reduces income to the power companies who then increase the unit cost of their electricity to those of us who don't have solar, to maintain their income stream. The whole idea of solar was to reduce conventionally generated power consumption, thus reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and saving money.  Yeah, right >>:-(


And to think I actually believed them %%


Peter.
Title: Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
Post by: derekwarner on November 18, 2014, 05:15:52 am
mmmmmmmm >>:-(

Once upon a time in NSW we had a company called the Electricity Commission of NSW  O0 ......this entity owned the following

1. the coal mines that fed the boilers that fed the turbines at the power stations
2. the electricity generators fed by the steam turbines  :-X
3. the State power grid
4. the sole responsibility for the provision of electrons to both domestic and industrial consumers
5. the sole responsibility for administration , accounting, maintenance of all the states power utilities

From this they had a Board of Directors, a CEO and ancillary staff .........yes of many....but what has happened you ask after privatisation  >>:-(  ?

6. the coal mines group now has a board of directors and a CEO and ancillary staff
7. the electricity generation group now has a board of directors and a CEO and ancillary staff
8. the distributions group now has a board of directors and a CEO and ancillary staff
8. the numerous electrical supply Business groups [6 in NSW alone] now each has a board of directors and a CEO and ancillary staff

So that is what has happened ...effectively our Governments have multiplied our senior electricity management costs by six fold....but with essentially a static number of consumers ........ <:( >>:-( ..... Derek

PS....if there is a life after & I could return again  %) .....I think I would choose a vocation that started with P ....yes p

P for Parliamentarian
P for Prostitute


>>:-( ..... Derek
Title: Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
Post by: Brian60 on November 18, 2014, 07:40:16 am
Here in Spain the government about 5 years ago introduced massive support grants to those people who installed solar electricity both private and corporate. This made it practcally free for anyone willing to put the panels on the roof. Of course corporate bodies including the generating companies bought up vast areas of land and put up essentially fields of solar panels.

You store your  electricity in special batteries, any excess could be sold back to the national grid.

This worked for about 3 years until the generating companies petitioned the government about private households generating their own power and reducing their profits! So last year the government changed the rules for private households, you can no longer purchase storage batteries legally ( a black market thrives on them now!) you can install the special crossover box to connect to the national grid, but any excess power you generate has to be given freely to the energy companies, Then the huge subsidies for installing it has been removed---can you say stitch up?

Meanwhile the only beneficiaries of the whole scheme is yep you guessed it, the energy companies. They still get the subsidies for installing the panels which have turned large parts of the countryside into fields of black panels. They increased the price they charge for electricity supplied to take into account 'how much' they had to pay to put the panels into the fields, and of course as has been mentioned earlier, put the price up because of the reduced profits due to private homes installing their own solar!

At the end of the day no matter where you live its win win for the power companies, who due to the 'muscle' they have can get governments to do whatever they want.
Title: Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
Post by: dougal99 on November 18, 2014, 11:51:19 am
I am amazed that people over there actually read their own meters :o  ours a read by the power company. I'm assuming that there are checks in place to ensure people don't give false readings, otherwise you could say whatever you wanted?

Peter.


Most companies that let users read  meters, read, or have read, meters once a year. However, even without this, under reading your meter would only work for so long. Eventually the meter would be changed or you will move out/die then the true reading would be known and the appropriate bill would arrive! Anyway, you can bet your bottom dollar that although the companies appear not to be able to spot excessive bills, they can spot bills that appear too small!


If the companies have their way meter reading will shortly be obsolete, as new smart meters will read themselves and report over the internet! Joy oh Joy  <:(
Title: Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
Post by: warspite on November 18, 2014, 11:54:51 am
I am amazed that people over there actually read their own meters :o  ours a read by the power company. I'm assuming that there are checks in place to ensure people don't give false readings, otherwise you could say whatever you wanted?

Peter.

Until recently the 'BIG 6' energy companies had control of the whole market - taking several months if you wanted to switch to another, now that there are several small investor companies that have set up a company, where they buy large quantities of 'units' at a vastly cheaper rate than the rate sold to joe blogs (business rate prices), they then offer joe bloggs a rate slightly cheaper than the 'big 6' to have then switch to them and make a profit from the difference, for essentially doing nothing other than paperwork. this means that they usually rely on having joe bloggs go on line and tell them what there meter readings are per month, and at least once or twice a year they confirm the reading with a meter reader coming round, hell of a bill if you get it wrong. The cost of a meter reader agency going to all your customers once a year is a pittance to what profit they make on selling the units.

I get a feeling the agencies do a blanket reading for an area on behalf of the meter owner - who is a single company - say British Gas (it is their meter) or a comparable regional energy company and the customers energy company access the list of readings paying for the priviledge.

I believe smart meters will use the power lines to a central junction that then connects to the internet, so you don't get chance to intercept the reading.
Title: Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
Post by: Capt Podge on November 19, 2014, 01:08:13 am

If the companies have their way meter reading will shortly be obsolete, as new smart meters will read themselves and report over the internet! Joy oh Joy  <:(

....and I, for one, will be digging my heels in on THAT !
 
I have no idea of the "workings" of a Smart Meter - but, (and this is where my naturally suspicious mind kicks in) what's to stop them serruptitiously hiking up the Unit price "just a little at a time" without you knowing about it ?
...or perhaps giving you less "juice" for the same price ?
All done remotely of course >:-o
 
Food for thought anyway O0
 
Regards,
 
Ray.
 
Title: Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
Post by: derekwarner on November 19, 2014, 05:04:08 am
 ok2...may years ago in my vocation at the Garden Island Naval Dockyard in Sydney.......the electronic master clock system for the entire base was controlled from the Weapons building where I resided  %)

Typical of Naval bases with civilian workers .....the local pubs were bursting at the seams during lunch times

Senior management [both Naval and civilian] could not understand how the 1200 lunch siren actually sounded at 1155 and the 1230 return to work siren sounded at 1235 O0

You trust those electronic people?  <*< ...some smart ar*e had reprogrammed the electronic master clock system to turn a 30 minute luncheon into a 40 minute luncheon @ the Pub..............

 {-) went on for over 7 months before the reprogramming glitch was discovered  %% ..... the culprit was never found......however we suspected he was one of the persons who frequented the Rockers Pub @ the Loo every day......... :o ......Derek

Title: Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
Post by: Brian60 on November 19, 2014, 07:32:09 am

I have no idea of the "workings" of a Smart Meter - but, (and this is where my naturally suspicious mind kicks in) what's to stop them serruptitiously hiking up the Unit price "just a little at a time" without you knowing about it ?
...or perhaps giving you less "juice" for the same price 

Take a look at the photo. Notice how much is on the pump, then at the bottom how much it says it is per litre!

 1.1p difference, the pump had been altered to deliver less fuel, the guy complained to the kiosk who said nothing was wrong even when he showed them photo! Of course he handed it over to trading standards for investigation.
Title: Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
Post by: warspite on November 19, 2014, 01:06:23 pm
Thing is if you divide 123p by 1000 and then times by 9 which then equates to 0.009 of a litre then it does figure out as the resultant calc comes out as 1.107p.
The calc is based on 1 litre is shown and the decimal after it is two zeros, 1.000 is the next decimal place and it has to get to 1.009 before one more 0.001 pushes it up to 1.01 litres, so depending upon on how accurate the pence is calculated against the litres the difference could be that the pence is shown at 125p since the litres equal 1.009. just a thought  %)
Title: Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
Post by: roycv on November 19, 2014, 02:00:58 pm
Going back to the time before we all had computers, I had an electricity bill that was very high I checked the meter and it had been misread by one digit.  However this was on the million dial!
I rang the company and some one tried to convince me that I had used an extra million watts that quarter, easily done of course!

The bill was paid but I had the last laugh as the price went up in between times so I had boughty ahead and saved a few quid.  The next bill was of course unusually low.
I confess I have a problem with company employees relying on computer information.

 I used to be a computer engineer and so all day long I only saw broken ones.

regards Roy