Electric bill

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    Electric bill

    I'll try to explain this as best I can. My wifes old shop we live above and she moved her business to a bigger place but as she was there a long time the gas and electric ran our flat as well. A friend then rented the shop and the utilities were included in the rent. After 2 years he moved out and someone else took the shop on. Now the electric bill has doubled over the last 12 months but the current tenant does open 7 days a week and open sometimes until after 9pm. Now doing a bit of maintenance in the shop ages I noticed a second electric metre? I vaguely remember my mate saying he fitted it to pay for extra electric so at the time I thought oh well he's just being nice. Personally I just think because the shop is open a lot its using more electric but my wife thinks something sinister is happening? Charging up power tools doesn't use that much does it? They have 4 more years on the lease so not much I can really do but just wanted opinions on it? Commercial property I have no clue about and my wife said leave it to her to LET out but slowly there's been a few minor things she hasn't checked correctly.

    Get an electrician to check how the meters are wired.

    There are three posibilities.
    1. The meters are seperate supplies, one for the shop, one for the flat. (Unlikely if you only have one bill and it's increased like you say).
    2. There is one main meter and a sub-meter for the flat or shop. (You need to check exactly which lights/sockets are being supplied by the sub-meter).
    3. The second meter is not connected to anything.

    If it's 1 then there should be two seperate bills anyway.
    If it's 2, and the sub-meter is metering the whole shop then it will show how much the shop is using.
    If it's 2, and the sub-meter is metering the whole flat then you can work out how much the shop is using.
    If its 2, and the sub-meter is only metering certain things (ie. not the whole shop or the whole flat) then get it rewired to do so.

    That then gives you seperate metering for the shop and flat.

    But- if the lease for the shop says that utilities are included in the rent then you can't just change that.
    You would need to change the lease to say that the shop pays for their metered usage, which can only be done with a new lease.
    You would have to agree a change of lease with the tenant of the shop, or wait until the current lease expires.


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