Disabled man hit with £4,000 energy bill felt like he was ‘being mugged’

Christopher Barnes, 58, at his flat in Jesmond, where the electricity bill has increased to ?4,190.77.

Bills are going up for everyone – but this is something else (Picture: NCJ Media)

A disabled man has described getting his £4,000 energy bill as like ‘being mugged’.

Christopher Barnes’ electricity costs soared without explanation this month, up from less than £60 in October.

The 58-year-old from Newcastle was sent the steep demand for payment from Ovo, which was recently taken over by SSE.

He claims to have had no explanation as to why it was so high and was simply told it was a balance adjustment, ChronicleLive reports.

Mr Barnes said: ‘I felt absolutely shocked and I couldn’t believe it was real. There’s no way I would be able to afford it. 

‘I knew straight away that I would be phoning them up, complaining and fighting it because it is so extreme. It’s like being mugged.’

He said he worried about the impact on vulnerable patients receiving a similar letter, adding: ‘It can really affect their mental health. 

‘It could terrify them if they already have lots of debt. It could tip them over the edge into suicide.’

Christopher Barnes couldn’t believe his eyes when he opened up is latest electricity bill (Picture: NCJ Media)

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In a statement a spokesperson for the energy firm apologised to Mr Barnes for ‘shortfalls in service’.

They told ChronicleLive: ‘We can confirm his account is now up to date and we’ve offered a goodwill gesture for the inconvenience caused.’

Pensioners will begin to receive extra help paying for their energy bills from today.

The first chunk of up to £600 will land in the bank accounts of more than 11 million people.

An extra £300 per household cost of living assistance payment will …read more

Source:: Metro News

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