Sometimes, your energy or water company won’t send you a bill for a while. If you haven’t been billed for all the energy or water you’ve used, the company can send you a catch-up bill later. This is also called a ‘backbill’.
Reasons for a catch-up bill
You can receive a catch-up bill because:
- there was a problem with the company’s billing system and it couldn’t send you a bill for some time
- your last bill was based on an estimate of how much you used, but the estimate was too low
- one of your earlier bills had a mistake, or it was based on a meter reading that was wrong.
Rules about catch-up bills
There are rules about how far back your company can bill you. Water companies can backbill for up to 12 months. Usually, energy (including LPG) companies can only backbill you for nine months. However, if the backbilling is your fault – for example, because you wouldn’t let the company read your meter – then it can backbill you for longer. These limits only apply to residential customers, not to businesses.
Usually, energy and water companies have to give you an equal amount of time to pay a catch-up bill, up to one year. So, for example, if your catch-up bill covers six months of use, the company must give you six months to pay.