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13 Oct, 2008 08:25

UK pensioner ‘living by candlelight’ in protest at energy bills

UK pensioner ‘living by candlelight’ in protest at energy bills

A British pensioner has decided to cut her house off from all power sources after her providing company sent bills she describes as “crazy”.

Anne Myall, 72, has being living without hot water and by candlelight for more then two weeks now, reports the Daily Mail.

She does not watch TV, use computer or recharge her mobile phone. All her hot food comes from a local takeaway restaurant, and for lunch she usually gets pre-cooked chicken and cold salads from the supermarket.

Myall, who has been living alone since her husband died eight years ago, is protesting against a series of large fuel bills sent to her by the Npower company. She says the bills are inaccurate.

“They have been bullying me and browbeating me for three years with silly, inaccurate bills upwards of £700 a quarter,” she said.

The widow added: “I only have a one-bedroom flat and I'm very economical. It's just crazy. My electricity bill should be about £18 a quarter.”

The retired journalist moved into the flat in Pocklington, North Yorkshire, three years ago.

She said: “I received a demand for £53 just days after arriving. I have tried many times to contact Npower with no success. I'm often away in the winter and I never turn my heating on so I feel that they have just been using guesswork based around an incorrect meter reading they took when I moved in.”

Myall decided to boycott Npower after her old meter was replaced with a new pre-payment system without prior notice when she was away.

But her almost Victorian lifestyle is less troublesome then one might expect.

 “I can't believe how well I feel for doing this,” she said. "The biggest loss is not being able to eat fresh vegetables because I love them but I'm getting by with eating salad.

“I love reading so I'm not really missing the TV, although I do miss my hot water bottle and I'm now looking for a gas camping stove.”

The pensioner believes if others followed suit power companies would understand that “they’re not untouchable”.

An Npower spokesman said Myall owed the company £225 but they were willing to clear the debt as a goodwill gesture.

“It is vital for customers who feel they are struggling with their payments to contact their energy supplier as help is available,” he said.