The Daily Telegraph

Energy customers confronted with bills that bear no relation to reality


SIR – Last year I paid British Gas £378 monthly by direct debit, and the cost of my energy consumptio­n over three months was £577.

When I received my statement, however, the direct debit had been increased to £472 (“Energy firms hoard £9bn of customer cash”, report, February 3). The statement suggested that I had paid nothing, which was completely untrue, and I am currently about £1,000 in credit.

When I eventually managed to contact a company official, I was told that everything would become clear at the end of the contract in April. This accounting system is inexplicab­le.

Dr Daphne Pearson


SIR – My energy supplier emailed, advising me to increase my monthly direct debit by £40.

It went on to say that if I didn’t do this, it would. So why bother asking? Alan Bristow

Little Neston, Cheshire

SIR – My advice to those being charged excessivel­y: cancel the direct debit and pay monthly on a usage basis.

It takes very little time and saves a lot of money and stress.

Pamela Wheeler


SIR – Thank goodness for our woodburner (Letters, February 3). Our central heating system crashed – but at least our lounge is warm. We are waiting for a spare part for our boiler, which has been out of commission for more than a week.

Dr Trevor Masters Southend-on-sea, Essex

SIR – Your Leading Article (February 2) criticises the plan to fine wood-burner owners who use the wrong sort of wood.

I disagree. A small but significan­t minority of people in houses fitted with wood-burner flue pipes burn material that causes a level of air pollution clearly in breach of smokecontr­ol rules.

Recently, while cycling along a local road, I had to do a U-turn to avoid a house emitting brown smoke that smelt of burning plastic. Some wood-burner owners burn totally unsuitable fuel, and the Government is right to send a strong signal to them. John Leng

Christchur­ch, Dorset

SIR – Stan Kirby (Letters, February 3) recommends eco-coal, made partly from olive stones.

There are also coffee logs – compressed waste coffee grounds from restaurant­s, which would otherwise make methane in landfill. They are widely available, clean and mix well with wood.

Mark Robbins

Bruton, Somerset

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