A LORRY driver says his daughter can’t visit him as he’s living in a van after a battle with his energy company left him homeless.
Darryl Moore, from Poole, was switched to gas supplier OVO in 2020 after moving into his flat in Upton, West Yorkshire, around five years ago.
As a result, his payment system switched to an online pay-as-you-go meter, connected to a smart meter in the property.
After a two-week outage, and several complaints to OVO and the energy ombudsman, it was sorted and Mr Moore, 32, had heating again.
However, on August 23 of this year Mr Moore’s gas went out again, leaving him without heating, hot water, or gas hob.
He said: “It’s absolutely freezing. It’s horrible, you can’t even wash your hands with warm water. I have an eight-month-old daughter who can’t visit because of this.
“I can’t do anything here. I have more luxury in my lorry where I have bare essentials.
‘It’s getting colder and colder and I’d like to come home to the flat I pay £1,200 a month and be warm.”
Mr Moore, who spends around two days a week at home – the rest spent on the road for his job – contacted OVO on August 29 to complain.
After eight weeks of no responses, he contacted the ombudsman again to raise a further complaint on October 4.
This time, he received no ombudsman response and OVO told him in early November that an engineer would have to be sent out.
However, the company told Mr Moore that there were no slots available and he would have to wait.
Fed up, the lorry driver has decided to take drastic action.
Mr Moore continued: “It’s been three months and I haven’t had heating. I put in my notice to the flat today, it’s not my landlord’s fault.
“I’m moving into my camper van, where I have heating, electric, and everything. What’s the point in living in a flat where I Have it all there.
“I drive a lorry all week anyway, apart from two days, I’ll happily go to a campsite.
“It’s appalling. I’m making myself homeless and living in my campervan, this is completely unacceptable from a large company like OVO.”
An OVO spokesperson told The Sun: “We’re very sorry to Mr Moore for the shortfalls in service.
“We can confirm his meter is now working following a visit from an engineer and he’s back on supply.”
Mr Moore has since responded that he was given a manual top up code of £50, which has restored his gas for now, but that no engineer has visited the property to look at the meter.
What should I do if my gas supply is cut off?
If you are affected by the problem, check your email as So Energy should have contacted you to explain how to get reconnected.
It will call customers who don’t have an email address.
The company said: “We’ve identified the meters affected, so there’s no need to get in touch – we’re working to rectify this issue, and will have supply reconnected shortly.”
It’s a good idea to take a photo of your meter’s display as evidence of the issue.
The majority of the smart meters have been fixed by customers pressing a button that restored the gas supply.
This process has been outlined over the phone or in emails to customers, So Energy said.
In some cases, engineers have been sent out to resolve the issue.
Can I get compensation if my gas supply is cut off?
So Energy said all affected customers will get at least £30 of compensation.
If your supply was cut off for longer, you’ll get more cash back.
In the meantime, make a note of any extra costs you’ve faced due to the disconnection – for example using an electric heater or ordering food.
Generally, you might be entitled to compensation if your gas or electricity supply goes off, according to energy regulator Ofgem.
It depends on if the cut was planned, how long it lasts for and whose fault it is.
You should contact your local network company – which is different from your supplier – if you get cut off.
Customers can find their local network company for gas or electricity online.
But you may need to contact your energy supplier if you’ve been cut off because of a faulty energy meter or if you run out of prepayment meter credit.
If your gas supply is cut off due to planned works, and the network operator didn’t give five days’ notice, you can claim £20.
You’ll get more if you’re off supply for more than 24 hours – the amount will rise depending on how long the disruption lasts for.
You can get more if you are off supply for more than 24 hours. The amount rises depending on how long it lasts for.
If the supply cut was unplanned you have three months to make a claim.
Otherwise, customers have one month to ask for compensation.
Travel/ 14 hours ago
Ten reasons for Lübeck
It smells like marzipan here. Shipping and trade flourished here. Lübeck offers maritime history and famous...
Travel/ 5 days ago
Ten reasons for Portugal
Brazilians love it, as do their Spanish neighbors, and Portugal is also a popular...
Travel/ 7 days ago
Ten reasons for Schleswig-Holstein
State elections will take place on May 8th in the federal state between the...