AN ELDERLY resident has had her “nonsensical” gas bill revoked after reporters of the Hampshire Chronicle intervened.
Joy Morgan, 83, of South View Road in Oliver's Battery, said she was outraged when she first saw the demand as she does not own a single gas appliance and all her heating is electric.
After writing to the Chronicle explaining her quandary reporters challenged Southern Electric for a response as to why she was being charged.
“When I moved here eight years ago I decided to go 'all-electric' and remove the outdated 1970s gas boiler and radiators,” Mrs Morgan said.
“Southern Electric told me they would leave the gas metre in, should I change my mind in the future, and put me on a zero tariff. Since then I have received bills with nothing to pay.
“Then they suddenly sent me a bull for the last quarter estimating a yearly charge of £100 for using no gas at all - there isn't a single gas appliance in the house - meanwhile I have paid thousands for their electricity, £160 per month in fact.”
A spokesman for Southern Electric said: "Due to new regulations introduced recently by Ofgem to help simplify the energy market, we are no longer able to offer two-tier unit rate tariffs, and recently completed the process of moving all our customers onto a simple standing charge plus unit rate structure.
The change in November meant that Mrs Morgan's gas meter began to build up a small daily standing charge. We have since been in touch with Mrs Morgan to apologise for the inconvenience, arrange for the redundant gas meter to be removed and clear the outstanding balance associated with it."
Mrs Morgan said: “This nonsensical and iniquitous policy by Scottish and Southern Energy Group needs to be highlighted. To introduce a tariff which penalises small users places a great financial burden on the poorest, often elderly, but it benefits the mainly affluent.
“It's hitting people who use very little or, in my case, nothing at all. I keep the place warm because I'm elderly and find it an absolute nonsense.”
“I give credit to the Chronicle. This is what the local press is here to do and I'm so grateful the issue has finally been resolved.”