Chris Maclean: Money to burn

By Chris Maclean

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Global warming Opus energy

This morning I received the bill for my gas for the last quarter. This is the gas for my heating, hot water and cooking.Nine thousand pounds. Well,...

This morning I received the bill for my gas for the last quarter. This is the gas for my heating, hot water and cooking.

Nine thousand pounds. Well, to be truthful eighty quid short of nine thousand pounds.

What added to the pleasure was that it arrived on a Saturday morning. That is just evil. Many years ago I had a boss who would send out his letters on Friday night guaranteeing that a person received it on Saturday and their weekend would be spoilt. I can do nothing until Monday.

When we took over, 18 months ago, we systematically went through all our energy usage and adjusted things. Low energy lamps, lower wattage, radiator thermostats and such like were introduced everywhere. I consider myself reasonably "green" although I confess I do drive a 4x4 justifying it by driving through fields occasionally and shifting barrels of beer in it. I've taken steps but £9,000 is a lot of money. For that I'd expect a gas platform named after the Railway Hotel.

In the absence of more information I can only speculate as to the reason for it. I can think of four possible scenarios.

The first is the fact that everyone is now paying higher gas bills ~ get used to it. But £9k for three months?

Secondly the bill has a capital E next to the consumption figure. It means they've estimated what they think I've used. Wow. What a great way of raising money! Imagine customers in the pub drinking all night and at the end I simply estimated a figure for the total owed! How far out could an estimate possibly be?

Thirdly I wonder if it could be some contractual scam. Having had my fingers burnt with Opus Energy when I first took over, I've been a little cautious about how I deal with energy companies. They are run by people who know contract law and will push it to the boundaries. I'm wondering if there might be a little clause that says during leap years the bill is increased by 300 per cent. That would explain it.

And finally, and more frighteningly, our energy bills are out of control, our heating system is archaic and the whole system needs to be replaced. That could be crippling.

I've asked for the brewery's surveyor to give me some guidance on the matter but it may entail hideous expense. Meanwhile I shall be wearing my cardigan more often and keeping the thermostat turned down.

It's been said that is global warming is to continue at its present rate we will soon have a climate like the Mediterranean. For my gas bill's sake lets make it happen.

Related topics Legislation

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