We can't get an electricity meter for our vital church building


I’m vicar in one of Britain’s most deprived communities. We’ve been working for some time on providing an affordable base for our social activities and decided on eight portable cabins interlocking to make one large building. We were expecting to open at the beginning of September with a food bank, youth groups and activities for older people when the electricity supply was due to be connected. However, we need a three-phase electricity meter to power the unit and this appears to be impossible to get hold of. Our provider, Utility Warehouse (UW), has none in stock and no technicians trained to fit them. It has to subcontract to a firm which says it has not been contacted about the job, despite UW assuring us it has.

We are advised that it may take another three months to be installed – if it can be done at all. In the meantime, our much-needed building will sit empty and unusable. During the pandemic, the need is even greater.
HE, Liverpool

Three-phase meters are required for larger buildings which consume more electricity and they are a standard piece of kit. There is absolutely no reason why it should take over three months to install this and it’s disgraceful that you had to resort to media help to get a result.

After I contacted Utility Warehouse, your complaint was escalated and an appointment was confirmed for the following week with the promise that a senior management team will monitor proceedings. The company blames a “breakdown in communication” for your cancelled installation at the beginning of the month.

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“We can only apologise for the delay and confusion caused by this,” it says. “UW doesn’t fulfil this kind of work directly as there is limited demand. Instead, we outsource these installations as needed.”

If you need help email Anna Tims at your.problems@observer.co.uk. Include an address and phone number. Submission and publication are subject to our terms and conditions



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