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Excessive usage

14.09.2017 09:23 #1
Hi, I moved into an apartment at the beginning of July this year and received my first bill last Tuesday. The bill was estimated and a little higher then I'd expected so I took a meter reading when I got home from work. The meter reading was 5000 units higher than the estimate.

I live alone and I'm either asleep or out at work 20 hours a day 5 days a week and nothing is running except my small fridge during this time. Instead of a 200 euro bill that I thought was a little high I now have a 2 month bill for 975.90 euro.

In a 24 hour period (Tuesday to Wednesday) despite being asleep or at work for 20 hours, the meter has registered usage of 77 units. Before seperating from my wife, as a family of 6 (with 3 teenagers) the highest usage we ever registered was 30 units over 24 hours.
14.09.2017 10:32 #2
Hi Witchy.ie,

Thank you for getting in touch.

Please send us the following information via private message:
  • The name as it appears on your Electric Ireland account
  • The first line of your address
  • The date of birth or contact number on file
  • Your account number
  • Confirmation you are the account holder (Yes/No)
We can then look into your account.

1 thank
14.09.2017 10:41 #3
Thanks Aoife, PM just sent
1 thank
14.09.2017 14:01 #4
When I first reported the issue on Tuesday night the customer service rep asked me to switch off the power at the main circuit breaker for 30 mins and check if the meter stopped moving. It did after about 45 seconds but I noticed that communal lighting on the stairs and hall outside my apartment went out when I flipped the switch. This suggests that, the external lights at least are connected to my meter but that wouldn't on its own explain the massive usage.

The next evening I left the mains switch on but turned off and unplugged everything including the fridge in my apartment and the meter kept moving quite rapidly throughout the 30 minutes I tried it. I have contacted my landlord and he is getting an electrician to come and check what is actually connected to my meter. My fear is that you guys will try and take this money from my account on the due date which will cause me serious financial problems.
14.09.2017 15:23 #5
Hi Witchy.ie,

We understand your concern and we have responded to your private message.

15.09.2017 09:12 #6
I just pm'd you a photo of my meter taken when I got home from work last night. I took another reading this morning at 6am and in 12 hours the meter has increased by 130 units
15.09.2017 11:10 #7
Hi Witchie,

We received your private message and have responded to you.

18.09.2017 08:57 #8
To recap:
I moved into my apartment at the beginning of July. I live alone and I am either at work or asleep for around 20 hours a day, 5 days a week. Apart from the small under counter fridge, I use my TV, laptop and other appliances for only 4 hours on average a day. All my lights are low wattage LED bulbs and I'm very careful to always switch of lights and unplug appliances that I'm not using.

Last week I received my first 2 month bill for the property.The bill was estimated and I thought it was a little high @ 223 Euro given the above. so I went  to get an actual meter reading hoping to be able to reduce my bill by 30 euro or so. The bill estimated that I had used 1066 units over 2 months but the meter reading was 4600 units higher than the estimate.

Estimated Reading: 11480
Actual Reading:       16086

I rang your customer service immediately and the response I've received so far has been a revised bill for 975 euro, an offer of an easy payment plan and advice to chase up my landlord so that he can get an electrician to check whats going on.

So despite being away for most of the weekend and given my average active use above . My meter has registered usage of 500kw in the last 5 days. As a "Valued Customer" I feel disappointed, let down and angry that the only real response I've gotten is a massive bill for electricity I haven't used.
18.09.2017 11:12 #9
Verified representative
Hi Witchy.ie,

We wish to advise that we do understand your concern regarding this spike in electricity units.

We are only able to advise regarding the number of units that appears on a bill - we do not have the information regarding what has led to these units clocking up on a meter. Therefore, we recommend having the internal wiring (and perhaps other wiring in the building) checked by an electrician in order to establish what has caused this spike.

We can certainly send a service order to ESB Networks (who look after the meters for customers of all electricity providers) to carry out a test on the meter. However, if it turns out that there is no fault with the meter, an ESB Networks call-out charge applies.

If it turns out that there is an issue with the meter, the call-out charge does not apply. However, all other possibilities need to be eliminated first, in order to ensure that you will not be charged the fee, should it turn out that there is no issue with the meter.

You mentioned you have carried out the check that involves powering everything off, waiting a matter of minutes and then checking whether the meter is still moving. If the meter is not still moving, this indicates that there is unlikely to be an issue with the meter.

Let us know if there is anything else we can assist with.

18.09.2017 15:03 #10
Thanks Una,

I do appreciate that there are limitations on what you can do. It's just very distressing to come home from work night after night to an empty apartment and find that up to 40Kw have registered while I was out.
18.09.2017 17:13 #11
Verified representative
Originally posted by Witchy.ie
Thanks Una,

I do appreciate that there are limitations on what you can do. It's just very distressing to come home from work night after night to an empty apartment and find that up to 40Kw have registered while I was out.

Hi Witchy.ie,

We can certainly understand this.

If you were to switch everything off, then switch every item on individually (checking the meter for each item as you go) you may be able to gauge an idea of what specifically is causing the increase in units consumption.

We also wish to advise that this seems like a matter of urgency for an electrician if an appointment is pending arrangement.

I will private message you now also.

Best regards,
20.09.2017 10:51 #12
Hi, I just wanted to post another update. Its is just over a week since I discovered a massive unexplained usage on my meter. In just over 7 days the meter has registered usage of 596 units. As I said before I live alone, I am at work or asleep for roughly 20 hours per day (5 days a week). In the evenings I use the TV, laptop, have a shower and do laundry once a week. I cook one meal per day and constantly switch off lights and appliances I am not using. I have been in touch with the landlord several times and he says he has left messages for his electrician but as yet has not heard back from him. Between 8pm last night and 6.14am this morning the meter registered 51Kw units usage. From today I am switching off as many of the circuit switches as I can when I leave for work.

Update: 11.34am. Just got a call from landlords electrician. He's coming tonight to check out the wiring.

20.09.2017 13:09 #13
Verified representative
Hi Witchy.ie,

We have sent you a private message.

Thank you for the update - a thorough check by an electrician of the building's wiring is highly recommended for investigation as to why this many units are being clocked up on the meter.

21.09.2017 08:33 #14
Hi another update.

The electrician spent nearly 2 and a half hours checking the meter and wiring in my apartment last night. He said he'd never seen a domestic meter move that fast. He checked my apartment and didn't find anything that could explain the usage. He said  he believes that my circuit has been compromised and that someone else in the building has connected to my supply. He is going to talk to the landlord today to see if he can arrange access to the other apartment and if necessary the commercial premises below.
40Kw usage registered overnight
25.09.2017 08:29 #15
PM sent
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