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Dina’s* property had a cross-metering issue. She needed EWOV’s help getting the $4,000 refund processed.

In 2013, Dina moved into her new home and opened an electricity account. There are two residences with the same street number at the property. In mid-2017, she learnt that she had been incorrectly billed for the other property’s meter. This is also called cross-metering. Her energy company told her it would review her account and backbill her for usage on the correct meter. These bills are also called catch-up bills.

Dina believed that she shouldn’t be responsible for a backbill caused by a retailer or distributor error. The retailer is the company that sends bills, while the distributor owns the meters and wires. You can choose your retailer, but cannot choose your distributor. In June 2017 we raised a case for Dina, where she asked her energy company to waive the backbill. Dina’s energy company told her that the distributor said it will investigate the cross-metering issue.

In October 2017, her energy company explained that it had billed her for usage on the wrong meter. It told her it would refund the $4,130.70 she had paid. It also told her it had opened a new account for the correct meter, and that it will start billing her from June 2017.

Dina didn’t receive the refund. Her energy company told her it needed manager approval due to the high amount being refunded. Later, her energy company told her it had been blocked by its credit department. It said it needed further information from her. In November 2017, we opened an Investigation after Dina asked for our help again. In an Investigation, we review all relevant information and work with the customer and the company to reach a fair and reasonable outcome.

The energy company agreed that Dina’s version of events was accurate. It apologised for the inconvenience. It explained that her refund was delayed until the distributor corrected the error in the metering database.

The energy company processed the refund and deposited $4,130.70 into Dina’s account. She was happy with this outcome and we closed the case.

Case number: 2017/17530

*Names have been changed

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