Stunned woman told she owed £44,000 for energy on one-bed flat

An energy customer was left stunned after seeing her bill rise to a staggering £44,000 by mistake, it has been reported.

Julie Lines, not her real name, was told by her supply Ovo earlier this year that she owed the eyewatering sum.

Customers across the UK have in recent months been hit by rising gas and electricity bills, fuelled by Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine.

Data errors and overinflated energy projections have resulted in many customers being hit with astronomical bills in error.

Ms Lines said Ovo told her that she owed £44,800 for just two months’ supply for her one-bed flat.

She told The Guardian that the firm - which bought SSE’s retail division in 2020 - had asked her to send it photos of her meter “because Ovo believed there was an issue”.

“I did so and my account went from £600 in credit to £19,000 in debt,” she added.

Ms Lines said that when she contacted Ovo the energy company reassured her that it was a mistake.

Despite this her bill rose again in September, taking the total amount of debt on her account to £44,800.

Ovo has admitted that meter reading errors have affected some customers.

Customers have been hit with higher bills fuelled by Russia’s war with Ukraine (PA)
Customers have been hit with higher bills fuelled by Russia’s war with Ukraine (PA)

It said this was because some SSE accounts were transferred over to Ovo, resulting in a mismatch between the opening and closing meter readings, The Guardian said.

Ms Line was paid compensation for the error.

She is not the only person to be stunned by Ovo sending out a bill upwards of £40,000.

A couple was shocked when they received a statement from Ovo projecting their annual bill to be £40,052 – more than 20 times the energy price cap.

Whenever they queried the apparent error, Ovo admitted a mistake, saying it should have been even higher: £52,235.

The estimate was eventually found to be based on incorrect meter readings and was revised after the couple provided Ovo with more readings.