Me and my partner moved into our rented home about a year ago. My partner called the electric company to change the pre-payment meter that was installed for a monthly-billed meter and move everything over to our name.

The engineer came and changed the meter and everything was sorted.

Then, a few days ago, I received a letter from the electric company telling us "you haven't topped up your pre-payment meter in a while". Sure enough, when I checked my bank account, I couldn't find any payments taken by them.

It appears the electric company didn't register the property as a monthly payment property properly.

Do I have any argument legally to stop myself being hit with a year's bill all at once?

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    Money owed is money owed, but they will more than likely come to an agreement with you. – Terry Sep 21 '15 at 13:39

From a financial perspective, the electric company's error has worked to your benefit - you have had the use of money that you should have paid to them many months ago. This would make it hard to take common law legal action.

I suggest that before you resort to the law you talk to the electric company and make an arrangement to pay the year's bill by instalments. You might also try to pursue a discount if the amount of electricity consumption seems high - you can argue that you would have changed your usage if you had seen the monthly bills.

If you are unsuccessful in this there is probably an ombudsman or equivalent that you can go thru before going to court (I am unfamiliar with UK consumer law).

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