Ismail Patel, postmaster at Batley Carr Post Office and NisaLocal store, has been locked in a dispute with energy supplier British Gas since 2008. Late last year he received his first bill in four years, requesting immediate payment of £18,000.
Four months later British Gas said there had been a mistake – the actual figure he owed was more like £45,000.
Mr Patel, who has owned the post office for four years, said he was still in a state of shock over the bill.
“I’ve been making regular payments based on what I thought the supply would cost, even without the bills,” he said.
“This has caused a big problem for me, financially. I can’t pay that amount.”
Before March, the last bill Mr Patel received from British Gas was in March 2008 for £96.
In July last year he received his first alarming bill, after several requests for it to be sent out.
In an internal British Gas log, a member of staff said the £18,000 figure was ‘fictitious’. This log was later released to Mr Patel and has been seen by the Reporter.
In November Mr Patel was sent another bill, this time for £43,520.