A WOMAN has been sent a gas bill for almost £1,600 - by a company she's no longer a customer with.
Mrs Jackie Sill's problems started when she switched her gas supplier from Npower to Southern Electric Gas.
She has since been threatened by a debt collection agency - while it remains a mystery as to who took the final reading which led to the huge bill.
Mrs Sill, who changed suppliers in mid-May, pays no more than £35 every three months for her gas fire, gas cooker and gas-fired water heater at her Meltham home.
She thought she had paid up to date with Npower, but in July received a bill for £1,594.63.
She told Npower she was no longer with them and the bill was clearly badly wrong. They told her a wrong final reading must have been taken by Southern Electric Gas and told her to call them.
She did and was assured everything would be sorted out. But the bills kept coming and she contacted the Examiner when she received a final demand from Npower threatening to send a debt collection agency to her home.
Npower insists Southern Electric Gas took the final reading but Southern Electric Gas says the reading would have come from Npower or been estimated.
The bill claimed her meter reading had soared from 1,916 units to an estimated 5,356 between February and May.
"To have used that amount of gas I must somehow have been heating the rest of my street!" said Mrs Sill.
A spokeswoman for Npower insisted the mistake happened when they were given a wrong reading or estimated reading by Southern Electric Gas. She said it was the responsibility of the new supplier to provide the final reading.
Once Mrs Sill complained, the bill was suspended while both companies investigated.
But the spokeswoman said the process took longer than expected and Mrs Sill's name ended up in the computer system again and two further reminders were sent out including the final reminder.
But she said Npower would no longer ask for any money from Mrs Sill for gas she had used in her final months with the firm as a gesture of goodwill.
The spokeswoman added: "We are very sorry for any distress we caused Mrs Sill and for the delay she experienced transferring her gas account.
"We can now confirm that we have finally agreed a correct closing reading with her new supplier and have withdrawn the final balance of £63.57 from her account as a gesture of goodwill."
A spokeswoman for Southern Electric Gas said it was Npower's responsibility to take the final reading.
So who was right? A spokesman for energy watchdog Energy Watch said: "The regulations state it is the responsibility of the new gas energy supplier to provide the final reading."