Electric bill shock for Pendle couple

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A Pendle couple had a bit of a shock when their monthly electric bill came – it went up from £87 to £53,480,062!

And it was suggested that they would have to make a total payment of £500 million, too.

But fortunately they have not had to pay it all.

Grandparents Nigel and Linda Brotherton – who live in a historic 16th Century cottage in Roughlee where Pendle Witch Alice Nutter is thought to have lived – were amazed when their direct debit bill appeared.

But it was a result of problems with their home electric meter.

They had been customers of Scottish Power and in 2012 the firm replaced their meter.

In February last year Mr and Mrs Brotherton changed over to the electric firm npower.

Accountant Mr Brotherton (63) explained: “I went to check the meter and it was reporting zero.”

Earlier this year work was carried out on the meter and he said: “A guy came out to fix the meter. It was incorrectly wired. They changed the wires. He told me he was sorting it out.”

They then got the bill from npower with the monthly payment said to be almost £53.5 million!

And that meant a total of over £500m.

Mr Brotherton said: “I think it was a real shock to get the bill!

“They didn’t actually take the £53 million and I was pleased they didn’t do that.”

But because of the problem he added: “They should have something in place so that this doesn’t happen in the future.”

There has been an apology from npower who have made it clear it was a mistake.

And they have made sure not to take all the cash from the Brothertons.

Mr Brotherton is an accountant in Bolton at Kia Bolton and his wife Linda is a buyer of children clothes for retailers and wholesalers.