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Heating settings incorrect - Cost me £400, who's at fault?


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Hi guys,

So up until a few months back me and my partner had never used the storage heaters in our flat, as it is generally a warmer flat. However, as it dropped to sub 0, we have had ONE heater on.

Unfortunately (unknown to us), the timer on the fuse station had the Economy 7 storage heaters input setting on all the time. We didn't know any different, we were under the opinion that like the boiler they would just use night time electricity and that would be that.

This has cost us a staggering £300 more than we would usually pay over two months.

I like my landlord, however me and my partner are both furloughed, her being on significantly reduced pay. Should I, am I within my rights to, ask for a discount on rent given this? 


Is this their responsibility?

Best,

Mike

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Sorry - I think this is your responsibility.

The amount of your bill suggests to me that something more is going on here that one storage heater being on for 2 months at night - that seems a really big bill. Is it on during 'non-economy 7' hours and producing heat on your day rate?

I think you need to look at all you heating and hot water appliances to work out what is going on.

Check whether your bills are estimated or actual usage; check you are on an economy 7 tariff; check what time the how water tank (not boiler) is coming on, when the storage heaters are drawing power.

By all means ask your LL to come and advise you but unfortunately for you, I believe this is your usage and your bill.

I always recommend reading meters regularly to keep an eye on usage - this helps prevent unexpected large bills. I appreciate this is no help to you now but might be a good plan going forward. Perhaps keep a spreadsheet of daily readings to try and identify what is using all the electricity. 

You could also contact your utility supplier and ask to spread the payments if that would help.

Good luck :)

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  • 3 weeks later...

Really an ambiguous situation, but a short answer is that you are responsible for that, and it was your fault you haven't checked the setting first. It is the same logic as with lamps if a flat had lamps which you assumed were LED and they were not it is not the land lord's fault that you overplayed your electricity bill. However, you can speak to your landlord about that and if he is nice and moral you can use this fact to negotiate a lower pay for a long period of stay. It might not be a whole sum but if you spread it over a year that would only be 25 Pounds. For your landlord, it would not be a large subtraction. Really I had the same problem but in reverse, when I moved in into a new apartment they gave me a really good contract in which hot water was free. But when I used it it was just slightly warmer than tap. I assumed it was the price of free hot water but apparently the boiler was off. But I found that out only after a Chicago electrician came to check it out. So essentially I had a month of free hot showers which I didn't redeem;)

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