£74-a-day electric bill for new hosts

By John Harrington

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: British gas, Electric charge, Leasehold estate

Delwyn Lewis and Martin Bates were charged £74 a day for electricity
Delwyn Lewis and Martin Bates were charged £74 a day for electricity
Hosts were charged a staggering £74 per day for electricity at a 40-cover pub after being stuck paying inflated "out-of-contract" rates. BizzEnergy...

Hosts were charged a staggering £74 per day for electricity at a 40-cover pub after being stuck paying inflated "out-of-contract" rates.

BizzEnergy has admitted there may have been a mistake after the MA got in touch, and promised to reduce charges.

Delwyn Lewis and Martin Bates asked to switch supply from BizzEnergy to British Gas when they took on the tenancy at the Queens Head in Mold, Flintshire.

They asked British Gas to switch two weeks before they entered, but were told nothing could happen until they moved in, at which point they were told by BizzEnergy to register as the new tenants.

It took 20 days to switch supplier, during which time the licensees were charged out-of-contract rates of £1,473 for that period. "It's a staggering amount for 20 days of usage," said Lewis.

"It's just wrong — a licence to print money for energy companies. I was told I could be charged out-of-contract rates for six weeks. It would have cost something like £4,000. My argument is that I didn't have a contract so I don't owe any money."

A BizzEnergy spokeswoman said: "BizzEnergy is able to complete a supply transfer within 24 hours, but in the case of Mr Lewis, British Gas took 15 days to request the transfer.

"During those 15 days, Mr Lewis was placed on our standard 'out-of-contract' rates, generated when a customer does not wish to take up our introductory offer for new customers.

"We are confident that we were 100% transparent during the time we were supplying his premises. However, on investigation it appears that there may be a mistake in the amount that has been charged for the period we supplied the customer.

"We will look into the amount due for the period in question and will contact the customer directly to confirm the revised, lower figure."

A spokeswoman for Energywatch said: "In general, out-of-contract rates aren't based on estimates of energy use — suppliers can charge whatever they like. They are a killer for businesses."

She advised licensees to do all they can to sign an energy contract when they enter a pub to avoid out-of-contract charges.

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