Heaven-sent? £20k energy refund for Welsh monks

Monks on the remote island of Caldey in Wales are counting their blessings after getting a £20,000 refund on their energy bill. The Abbey on the tiny island off the […]

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By Vicky Ellis

Monks on the remote island of Caldey in Wales are counting their blessings after getting a £20,000 refund on their energy bill.

The Abbey on the tiny island off the Pembrokeshire coast stumbled upon errors in their energy bills dating back several years.

The strict Cistercian monks pledge to live simply and spiritually – but even they deserve a warm home.

Father Daniel, a spokesman for the Abbot said he’s “not sure” what the monks will decide to do with the money but added: “I’m sure it will help. We have had a lot of work done in the Abbey and we’ve put in a lot of new heaters.”

Colin Pritchard at the Energy Company which acts as an energy broker for customers suggests there was something wrong with the tariff they’d been on.

He said: “I realised that there was potentially erroneous billing with the previous supplier who they left five years previously and after investigating discovered the errors.

“We took this up with the energy companies involved, npower and Swalec, and we have now managed to get them a rebate of just over £20,000.”

Clearly in a forgiving mood, Father Daniel said they will continue to work with their current supplier: “You have to take it on trust that you are being billed correctly but we hadn’t been.

“We are still with Swalec because in other respects they have been good to deal with and we did want to stay with them.”

The current Cistercian monks have been there since 1929 and the island is also tourist attraction with 55,000 visitors a year, 750 of them using it as a spiritual retreat and staying in the Abbey guesthouse.