Pensioner ‘trapped’ with £265-a-month energy bill as rates TRIPLE – and he’s ‘not allowed to switch’

A Bury pensioner says he is “genuinely worried” after having his energy bills tripled in just a few months.

Tom Page has been left disgusted by the recent price hike, which saw his payments increase from £89 to £265 a month.

The 74-year-old, who lives in Ramsbottom, fears the rising costs will mean he will struggle to afford other bills.

speaking to the Manchester Evening News he said: “Here I am, in a fairly good position, and I’m worried about it.

“How are normal people going to cope? It’s disgraceful.

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“I just think it’s terrible. The pressure on ordinary families but be enormous.”

Tom, who lives in a two-bedroom terraced house, claims he regularly submits meter readings to his energy supplier, Bulb.

But he alleges these meter readings are not used and is instead charged on estimated readings.

The pensioner has attempted to switch providers but was unable to find a competitive price.

“I send my figures on an app yet they never use the figures I’ve provided,” he continued.

“The figures they provided me with were phenomenal.

“I went on the internet to compare providers and looked on there and couldn’t get any further.

“It was literally impossible to get a price. It’s like the system is completely controlled by the companies, there’s no such thing as competitive prices now and that worries me.”

The retired grandfather-of-two says he is now paying more for his energy costs than he was for his mortgage payments.

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“I thought when I paid my mortgage, I could sit back and relax a bit,” he added.

“But my energy bills are now greater than what my mortgage was.

“Compiled with the rising price of fuel, a lot of people aren’t going to survive.

“I’m genuinely worried about the cost because I live in a two-bedroom house.

“Given that they finally used the gas and electricity figures I provided them with they only charged me £170 for the month.

“How they manage to come up with the usage figures they assume I will use to arrive at £267 per month amazes me.

“They ignore the fact that summer usage will be much less simply because my gas fired boiler heating will not be used to heat the house and my lighting will also be reduced.

“All in all, I feel as though I’m the victim of a price scam.

“It’s getting to the stage where people are going to end up on the streets.”

A spokesman for Bulb said: “When Mr Page first joined us in June 2018, his monthly payments were £148.39. By October 2021 he’d built up a credit balance, so Mr Page lowered his monthly payments to £104.97 and asked for a refund of all the credit in his account.

“As we head into winter, we recommend customers have credit in their account, as we all tend to use more energy in the colder months. Mr Page used more energy over the winter, and his new payments didn’t cover his usage. So in January 2022, we increased his payments to £200.73.

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“Wholesale energy prices have quadrupled in the past year, so unfortunately we’ll be increasing our prices for customers on 1 April.

“Mr Page’s new monthly payments will be £265.33, based on the energy we think he’ll use over the next year. We’ll keep reviewing his usage over the next few months and will be in touch if we think he needs to change his payments again.

“Mr Page submits regular meter readings, and we take these into account when calculating his payments. We recommend he submits these readings at the end of each month so we can include them in that month’s statement.

“We know that this is a difficult time for many of our customers. We’ll send Mr Page details of the help we offer people if they’re worried about paying their energy bills.

“We can also look into getting Mr Page a smart meter which will make it easier to track and manage his energy usage, and means that he won’t have to submit meter readings.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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