Written 31/8/22 – Giles Bryant LL.B, World Healing Project Founder
Family in Norfolk with disabled child have electricity cut off for refusing a smart meter.
In a story that beggars’ belief in ‘Great’ Britain, a mother with a disabled child and elderly parents has had her electricity cut off, which at the time of writing (27/8/22) has been over 4 weeks, for replacing a smart meter with a digital meter in her home.
The story starts in 2020 when Stephanie Lund, who cares for her disabled daughter and elderly parents, started to develop headaches. She then discovered a smart meter had been fitted in her home without her knowledge. Researching electro-sensitivity, she found information about the potential harmful effects of smart meters. Ms Lund doesn’t have a mobile phone or any wifi internet in her home for these reasons.
She contacted her electricity supplier Utility Warehouse (UW) in May 2020 and told them that the smart meter wasn’t safe and she wanted it removed. She asked if it could be put on a ‘dumb’ mode, with no active wi-fi but was refused. UW refused to replace the meter or come to test the radiation levels, saying it was safe by ‘EU’ standards.
Fast forward to April 2022, and frustrated with her headaches worsening due to the smart meter, and with the failure in the duty of care of UW for her and her families health, she contacted a qualified electrician and had the smart meter replaced with an industry approved digital meter.
In June 2022 she had an un-announced visit from Revenue Protection Services, saying they were there on behalf of UW, saying there had been a problem with the connection to the smart meter. The electricity bill had been paid throughout this time. Ms Lund refused him entry into the home as it was an un-accounced visit and she wasn’t able to identify him. He left her with a letter, saying they may return with a warrant to access the property to check on their property (ie the smart meter). She handed him the smart meter back.
Without any further correspondence on 27th July 2022 at 2.14pm a man from Revenue Protection Services returned to her property with another man. The man wouldn’t give his name or identify himself, so he was refused access. The men claimed they had a digital warrant, which Ms Lund thought ‘had been made up on a computer’. She asked if it had been signed by a judge, in requirement of a warrant, and the men refused to answer.
The man then gave an ultimatum that they can fit another meter, cut the electricity off or call the police. Ms Lund, alarmed by this bizarre turn of events called the police herself.
Shortly after, the man and a crew of about 5 people from UK Power Network – started digging up the road opposite Ms Lund’s house. The police claimed that the process was fine, and although they said Ms Lund had committed no crime, they allowed the men to dig up and disconnect Ms Lund’s electricity supply. At 6.38pm the power cut off. Ms Lund and her family, including a disabled child, and elderly parents had to manage in the dark.
Because of her special needs, Stephanie’s disabled daughter has to have certain food prepared in batches, which necessitates 3 large fridge-freezers, which are registered as medical aids. For this reason she is registered as a ‘priority customer’ with UW. And they had just cut her electricity off by digging up her road. As Ms Lund says: ‘I am not going to let me child go hungry, I’ll find a way to make sure she can eat her special food, but the electricity company didn’t care, they would let her starve.’
The following day (July 28th) Ms Lund contacted Ashley Harris from UW, who admitted they had made a mistake and authorised the power company to re-connect the electricity.
On 29th July the power company cancelled the appointment. Ms Lund’s father (whose name is on the electric bill) received a ‘dead lock’ letter from the energy supplier saying they were not going to re-connect the power.
Ms Lund had contacted the Energy Ombudsman, the Extra Help department and her MP, Jerome Mayhew. To date, none of these people have been able to help her.
Her father was sent a letter saying they were going to be charged £2500 for a disconnection fee.
On 9th & 11th August, Ms Lund was contacted by people from UW which has not lead to any movement on the reconnection of their power. On 24th August Ms Lund received a call from UK Power Networks, saying she needed to get authorisation from UW to reconnect power. She told them authorisation was given on 28/8/2022 and then I received a deadlock letter by email. She is still waiting to find out more and still managing to feed her family with no electricity.
If this can happen to a woman with a disabled child and elderly parents, what is stopping similar things happening to you or I? If you would like to complain about this case please contact:
Andrew Lindsay, CEO Utility Warehouse. Customer line 0333 777 0777
Ms Lund’s MP - Jerome Mayhew. email@example.com
Your local MP