A DROITWICH man has hit out at Worcester energy company npower after receiving a bill for £5,649.50 for just six months of use.

In February 2012 James Ford bought a building plot in Saleway with an existing npower electricity supply.

The meter was relocated to an outside box while the existing bungalow was demolished to make way for a new house.

The site was left vacant with no electricity being used, until building work started in May 2013. But in December last year he received a bill from npower with an estimated reading of 48,244 units, way over the actual figure of 13,179, totalling £5,649.50.

Mr Ford said he called the company advising them of the correct reading but was then sent another bill for the same amount.

“After two more phone calls in the new year they sent out a meter reader on Monday, February 10,” he said. “After this I thought they must send me a correct bill now.

“Wrong. On Thursday, March 6 they sent me a letter telling me they are going to apply to the courts for a warrant to gain access to my property to isolate my supply if I don't pay the £5,649.50.

“So I called them again to see what happened to the meter reading, to which they replied they had not received it.”

The 36-year-old self-employed digger driver said he had since received three more bills and final demands for payment.

“To put it mildly they are idiots,” he said. "Today, Friday, March 14, they sent me a letter from their complaints department saying they are looking into it and it could take 28 days before they can resolve it.

“I don't think the right hand knows what the left hand is doing.”

An npower spokesman said the company had not been informed Mr Ford had taken over the property until December last year, which is why estimated bills were based on previous energy use.

He added Mr Ford’s account had now been amended to reflect his actual energy use.

npower is the most complained about of the top six energy suppliers in the country. The most recent figures show the company received 253.1 complaints per 1,000 customers from June to September last year, more than three times as many as its closest competitor EDF Energy and about eight times more than SSE.