Relocating the electricity meter
How difficult can it possibly be to relocate the meter from the inside of my house to the outside? Let me make it even easier for you. I just want it on the opposite side of the same wall. Simple?
Being a London resident, it made sense to first try the London Electricity Board (LEB) on their toll-free number. The lady who answered was quite knowledgeable and said that it would cost a lot of money if I ask them to do everything. But if I get my own electrician to move the gate box (or something like that) and also obtain an insulation certificate, it might cost nothing if I am physically present when the appointment with their engineer is made.
But since I'm not a customer of theirs, I'd have to call my own electricity supplier. I called NPower, who had acquired the bankrupt Independent Energy. The queuing time was 6 minutes, and I hung up.
Later I called the customer service number again (this was not toll-free, but equivalent of a local call). This time, the wait was a mere 3 minutes. So while I got the lady on the phone, I also enquired why was that I owe about 100 pounds when I had been substantially in credit with Independent Energy. She then found out that the credit never got transferred. Anyway, back to my original query, she told me that I should call another number.
The number she gave me was in the Midlands. The person who answered the phone told me that they didn't serve London. So I had to call their Swindon number. This time the operator answered and quickly put me to the right person.
Well, it seemed like the right person, until he said that he would have to contact the company that serviced the meters in my area - Southern Electric. He asked for my details and informed me that somebody will contact me in 10 days.
Meanwhile, I can't wait. So I've called my electrician to come and relocate the fuse box. At least I'm getting closer to moving all that electric kit hiding inside the delapidated make-shift cabinet. All I want is to make space. All I want is to get rid of clutter that should have disappeared long ago.
12 March 2002 Sunday
NPower (formerly National Power, before it split into NPower and International Power) offers a combined gas and electricity supply at fixed prices, quarterly direct debit for a 7% discount.
There's a catch to it however. The gas and the electricity bills come in separate statements at different times. It's hard to tell them apart. Plus, there are different contract numbers and customer account numbers - i.e. 4 numbers I have to keep track of. Add this to standing charge, unit charge, value added tax,..... it's more complicated than necessary.
All I want is one consolidated bill for my gas, electricity, water, and telephone. And then give me a discount for paying by direct debit. Is this too much to ask?