A Darlington man was sent a whopping electric bill for almost £45k, despite living in a one-bed flat.

Paul Lamb, from Darlington, was sent the bill after an issue with his electricity meter, which went on for more than a year despite him complaining to Eon, meant his readings showed through-the-roof energy usage.

The ex-military man said the meter in his one-bedroomed sheltered accommodation flat was clocking up 1kWh of electric used every five minutes. Most homes use 7.5kWh a day.

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In February he received the bill for a massive £44,191. The energy firm has now apologised to him, after being contacted by The Northern Echo.

Paul, 70, said: “It’s a crazy amount. I could never afford that - I'm a pensioner.

The Northern Echo: Paul Lamb with his whopping bill from Eon. The energy firm has since apologised.Paul Lamb with his whopping bill from Eon. The energy firm has since apologised. (Image: SARAH CALDECOTT)

“It started at £4,000 and it doubled then trebled and then it eventually went up at the beginning of this year to £44,000.

“I had complained long before that and told them the meter was faulty, but it’s taken them over a year to come out and replace it.

“It was faulty for well over a year, going on a year-and-a-half to two years.

“They replaced it but that was only after the ombudsman had given them a slap on the backside and a £250 fine.”

The Northern Echo: Paul lives in a one-bed flat.Paul lives in a one-bed flat. (Image: SARAH CALDECOTT)

Having had a new meter fitted Paul says Eon told him they would wipe the debt racked up by the faulty meter, but last month he was sent a bill for £4,000 which he says includes some of the usage on the old meter.

According to Ovo a medium-use household would use 7.5kWh a day, but Paul’s meter would clock the same amount in less than 40 minutes. The average annual electric bill for a one or two bed house is £403 a year, according to UKPower stats.

He says he reported the issue to his electricity provider Eon in January 2022 but still had the dodgy meter a year later and was landed with a bill for £44,000 in February of this year.

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He continued: “I was under the impression they were going to wipe the debt from my account when they changed the meter.”

Eon said it had apologised to Paul for the issues and removed all “incorrect” charges.

A spokesperson for the company said: “We have apologised to Mr Lamb again today for the issues he has experienced with his account.

“We have now removed all incorrect charges from his account, offered a gesture of goodwill and advised Mr Lamb to contact the independent Energy Ombudsman if he feels we have not implemented their original remedies correctly. We hope to fully resolve this matter soon.”