Roughlee couple sent £53m electricity bill

Nigel Brotherton Nigel Brotherton said he would need to win the lottery to pay the bill

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A Lancashire couple were left shocked when they received an electricity bill for more than £50m.

The blunder occurred when former electricity supplier Scottish Power installed a new meter but connected the wires the wrong way round.

Nigel and Linda Brotherton, from Roughlee, were told by Npower that their monthly direct debit was going to increase from £87 to £53,480,062.

Npower has apologised and the incorrect bill has been cancelled.

Mr Brotherton, a 63-year-old accountant, said: "Unfortunately I don't have this kind of money in my account. It was a massive shock."

'Lottery win'

Earlier this year, an electrician from Scottish Power installed a new meter at the couple's home.

The electrician connected the wires the wrong way, which had a "knock-on effect" on how the bill was calculated, a spokeswoman for Npower said.

Electric meter bill The monthly direct debit was set to increase from £87 to £53,480,062

The couple had switched supplier and an electrician was sent to read the meter.

Mr Brotherton said that they did not notice anything as they paid their bill monthly by direct debit and were never asked to provide a meter reading.

They were told that they did not need to do anything because the money would be automatically taken out of their bank account.

"My wife was worried if they had tried to take the money it could have affected our credit rating," Mr Brotherton said.

"Even if we had won the lottery I still wouldn't have had that sort of money".

A Npower spokeswoman said: "This was clearly a mistake and has now been corrected.

"Mr Brotherton's meter was incorrectly wired by his previous supplier, which had a knock-on effect to how we billed the account.

"We've now refunded him £1,300.95 and called him to apologise."

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