Residents in an apartment block are better off financially, thanks to their landlords.
People in Diamond House, in High Street East, Wallsend, were receiving some inaccurate bills from energy company npower, with some not getting any bills and others charged very high amounts.
One resident, who spent about £5 a week on electricity previously, was shocked to get a bill for £2,500. Several other residents had more than £1,500 owed on their accounts.
After contacting landlords Isos Housing, an investigation was launched with staff meeting building contractor Surgo.
The problems may have stemmed from the original installation of electricity meters and the building not having an apartment numbered 13, causing confusion when the meters were being allocated to each home.
When all the evidence of inaccurate billing had been gathered, benefits and money team leader Lee Forrest submitted a corporate complaint to npower.
Lee said: “It was clear to us that there were very large inaccuracies in the bills being sent to some of our residents – while others were not receiving bills at all. This was hugely worrying for those on relatively modest incomes, who could never afford the inflated amounts they were being asked for.”
Eventually, all residents’ queries were resolved, with several residents seeing huge balances slashed to zero.
Npower has now pledged to ensure all meter readings are recorded correctly, and for the correct flat.
Benefits and money adviser Lindsay Lusher, who worked on many of the residents’ queries, added: “This has caused our residents a lot of worry.
“People have been doing their best to keep track of their energy use, and they knew their bills were not accurate, but it took a lot of perseverance with npower before we could relieve our customers’ worries.”