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Sheltered housing should lead to lower energy bills

3rd August 2006

Elderly people living in a retirement complex in Bournemouth have not been reaping the benefits of cheaper electricity bills that should follow from being in sheltered accommodation, according to reports.

Instead, many have become distressed after they were sent "hugely overestimated" bills, reports the Dorset Echo.

The cost of electricity is rising all over the country, but those living in communal villages would be seeing a reduction in their expenditure were it not for the poor estimates made by one provider, the Sandringham Court complex's warden has said.

"Quite a few of my residents are concerned about bills that have been hugely overestimated," Steve Phelps told the newspaper.

"We have 33 flats and it seems that everybody who has come to me has been charged £50 or £60 too much."

The company, Southern Electric, responded by saying that it was already doing more than it was required to do by checking the meter every six months.

"Customers can phone us at any time to make sure their bill is accurate," said a spokeswoman.

Energy bills are becoming an increasing worry across the country: British Gas recently announced its second price rise this year and many other energy suppliers are expected to follow suit.