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Ecotricity gave Queenstown man shock $4000 power bill to pay by Christmas

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Mike Legge was invoiced for $4048.81 by Ecotricity. Photo / Rhyva van Onselen

A power provider has apologised for stinging a Queenstowner with a shock $4000 power bill that had to be paid by Christmas Day.

Mike Legge, a comedian in his spare time, didn’t see the funny side when Ecotricity invoiced him last Friday for $4048.81.

He says when his wife Kate complained, she was told the amount was a “wash-up” — “and all they did was send the bill again”.

In August, he’d also been billed $1200, which was again deemed to be a wash-up.

“They somehow deem you haven’t paid them enough, so they just give you a bill.”

Legge says the $4000 invoice made no sense as he has solar panels and a battery, and his household wasn’t consuming any more power.

“That’s like a year’s supply, or even two years’ supply for most people.”

Kate wrote to Ecotricity on Sunday, saying these “surprise bills” were “very stressful”.

The next day the company got back to her, reversing this latest one.

“It looks like the meter sent an incorrect reading into our system so the $4000 invoice is incorrect,” Abigail from “the team at Ecotricity” told her.

A new invoice was issued for just $182.90, with an offer of a $50 credit “due to the frustration this has caused”.

Legge says he’s been flat-out pre-Christmas with his window-cleaning business, and thinking any money he’d made would have to go to the power provider was “totally demoralising”.

“Now it’s quite a relief … we can have something for Christmas dinner with the power on – we won’t have to go cold turkey.”

Despite Ecotricity’s backdown, Legge says they’ll no longer employ the company’s services “because we really don’t want this to happen again”.

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