CHARGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE; Huge Electricity Bill Is a Turn Off

Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England), August 17, 2007 | Go to article overview

CHARGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE; Huge Electricity Bill Is a Turn Off


Byline: By ROB PATTINSON

SHOCKING electricity bills sparked anger today.

Villagers claim they've been left in the dark over the reason why their bus shelter lightbulb bills have gone through the roof.

The 16-watt bulb was installed by Otterburn Parish council as a cheap alternative to street lighting in the village.

But since 2005, nPower has charged the Northumberland village pounds 215 for the bulb - which has only used pounds 13 worth of electrici ty.

The bills have left council chairman John Hartshorne dazed.

He said: "I feel exasperated.

It's a ludicrous situation that I should be paying pounds 200 for pounds 13 of electricity. It can't be justified.

"When the first bill came, I thought it was a mistake. I rang them several times and was told it wasn't. I was flabbergasted. I can't believe the company can charge that much money for an account that only has one bill a year."

On top of the pounds 8.10 of electricity used during the last year, the bulb generated an pounds 116.72 administration fee. This was on top of the 2005-06 tariff of pounds 90.19, when only pounds 4.81 of electricity was consumed.

The council planned for low power consumption by programming the shelter light to switch on and off automatically at dusk and dawn. Now John and Otterburn Parish Council are refusing to pay and have contacted energy watchdogs Energy Watch.

John, said: "I contacted Energy Watch and it agreed the bills were ridiculous. …

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