Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Pensioner Angie Beer celebrated victory over energy giant E.ON, who refused her a free boiler. E.ON said its original decision was a ‘mistake’.
A diabetic Exmouth pensioner is celebrating victory against one of the ‘big six’ energy firms who refused her a free boiler.
Last week the Journal reported how Angie Beer, 65, of Morton Road, had been without hot water and heating since January – strip washing to stay clean – because E.ON refused to fit a free government-scheme boiler at her home.
This week the pensioner’s flat was fitted with a new boiler after E.ON climbed down over its original decision to deny Angie heating and hot water.
The energy giant held its hands up and admitted an error had been made.
Angie, who relies on benefits, had been forced to beg for baths and showers from friends since her boiler broke down at the start of the year.
She said E.ON told her she failed to qualify for a free gas boiler under the government scheme because she would not use enough energy or heating.
In desperation Angie contacted MP Hugo Swire and was shocked to learn she could not be refused help because E.ON deemed her a low energy user.
Without the energy supplier’s help it looked likely Angie’s family would have to fund a new boiler.
Angie said: “I am really chuffed with the Journal, bringing this to light.
“There wasn’t a mistake. E.ON didn’t want bad publicity. If I hadn’t gone to the press nothing would have happened. I would still be in the same situation.
“There will be a lot of vulnerable people out there that don’t know how to go about dealing with this if it happens to them, and they may not have the backup of family to pay for it.”
Angie was keen to test her new boiler with a shower and hair wash. “I won’t have to do it over the road,” she said. “It will be lovely not having to worry my friends for showers or baths.
“I haven’t got the worry of my heating going wrong. I had been using convector and oil radiators. They are expensive.
“This winter will be lovely.”
A spokeswoman for E.ON said property type or energy consumption was not a factor when qualifying for the free boiler.
She said: “We are really sorry for the delay Mrs Beer has faced and we will put this right.
“It was a simple mistake where the original application had been filled out incorrectly, but now we have the correct details we will be able to provide the help she needs as soon as possible.”