A 73-year-old was shocked to discover her energy bills had soared by as much as £ 4,480 a month amid the cost of living crisis. Mum-of-three Phyllis Kennedy was used to paying just £ 120 per month for her bills before it skyrocketed to a whopping £ 4,600.
Phyllis, who is a widow and lives in a three-bed bungalow, was stunned at the excessive amount billed by Scottish Power and says it is simply unaffordable. The mum-of-three lives on a state pension of £ 12,000 a year, meaning that the total cost of her energy bills per year now adds up to more than four times her annual income.
From April 1 Ofgem raised the energy price cap for around 22 million customers in the UK, which saw a yearly increase of around £ 693. Since then, many homeowners have been struggling to adjust to the price hikes and pay their bills.
Phyllis says she been threatened with debt collectors and has no way of paying the massive bill. She also said the stress of the situation has had a massive impact on her life di lei-and the issue is not expected to be resolved for another couple of weeks.
“I moved into the house in October and it went from £ 120 per month to being told it was £ 4,600 per month in March,” the 73-year-old said.
“It’s a small three-bedroom bungalow and I don’t understand how anyone could think I should be paying £ 4,600 a month. It’s insane. They are still saying the readings are more than £ 4,000. It works out that the annual bill is £ 48,000 which is four times my annual income.
“Unless I was growing cannabis in the loft that’s not possible. I’m a pensioner living on £ 12,000 a year.”
Phyllis, of Basingstoke, says she received an email from Scottish Power in March to say her bills would be going up by £ 500 a year. But on April 5 she got a text from the energy firm stating that her latest bill di lei was for £ 4,606.
She has called and emailed Scottish Power as well as sending pictures of her meter reading through the online chat, but she claims that they are still insisting the bill is correct. Phyllis claims she was told it was in the hands of the debt collectors but that they could be held off if she makes a payment.
On April 19 she reportedly paid £ 100 towards the huge bill, but is worried that having not paid anywhere near the full amount, her power will be switched off.
“It jumped from £ 120 per month to £ 4,600 and it is very worrying when you get a text like that with a bill,” Phyllis said.
“I’ve been trying to get in touch with Scottish Power but I’m not tech savvy. They said I sent a smart meter reading in and it’s £ 4,600 a month.
“I have sent photos, but they are insisting the bill is correct and that I owe £ 4,600. I phoned up and said ‘What’s happening, I haven’t got £ 4,600’ and they said it is now in the hands of the debt collectors.
“They said if I paid something they would put the debt collectors on hold, so I paid £ 100. This has been going on for a month now, and I am worried they are going to turn off my power or debt collectors will turn up at my door. “
Phyllis said the smart meter was taken off a wall by engineers in March and said she thinks it may have caused a glitch. Phyllis, who has one of her sons di lei staying with her, added: “They came round and looked at the smart meter, it was taken off the wall and put back on. It could be a fault with the smart meter.
“I’m a widow, things haven’t been easy. My husband died at 47 of a brain tumor and I’ve worked hard all my life to keep a roof over my head as money has been very tight.
“The thought of my energy bill adding up to around £ 48,000 a year, at £ 4,600 a month, is very worrying.”
When approached for a comment, a Scottish Power spokesperson said: “We’re currently investigating the concerns raised about the energy bill issued to Mrs Kennedy for March 2022, and will be in touch with her to discuss directly.”