Hampstead creperie could be forced to close after shock £15k electricity bill

Edward de Mesquita said the bill would give anyone a heart attack. Photo: Polly Hancock

Edward de Mesquita said the bill would give anyone a heart attack. Photo: Polly Hancock - Credit: Archant

The owner has launched an investigation, as it would be ‘impossible’ for the famous stall to run up that amount of electricity in such a short amount of time

Edward de Mesquita, owner of La Creperie de Hampstead, was astounded when he was presented with the £15,000 electricity bill.

He normally pays around £900 a year for electricity, and he had been paying this amount based on estimates from British Gas for the last two years.

British Gas engineers had not been allowed in to access his electricity meter in the King William IV pub next door for two years – and when they were finally able to in January, they sent him the bill for £15,300.

The company originally took the money out of Mr de Mesquita’s account, but have since returned it while they are investigating.

Mr de Mesquita told the Ham&High: “I was pretty desperate, I didn’t know where to turn. If I can’t pay my suppliers, I’m finished. The bank will foreclose on me. I’m hanging on the edge of a hook – £15,000 is enough to give anyone a heart attack.”

He opened the famous La Creperie in 1980, and since then it has attracted queues down the street on the weekend and celebrity customers including Judy Dench, Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis, Pierce Brosnan and more recently singer Harry Styles.

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The previous landlord of the King William IV pub, Elaine Loughran, moved out in Autumn last year, and Mr de Mesquita said his electricity readings have been as normal under the new owners.

Mr de Mesquita commissioned East Finchley Electrical to see how much electricity La Creperie had used in the last month.

In the report, the independent electrician said: “Basing my results on approximate figures on the back of the utility bills I estimate that the bill from 4th January 2017 until 6th February 2017 would be about £86.50, (therefore £930 a year).

“Based on this calculation it would take La Creperie over 15 years to run up a bill of £15,332.52

“Having seen the setup for La Creperie I would say it’s impossible for La Creperie to use enough electricity, even if everything was on all the time, to run up a bill this high.”

Catrin Millar, of British Gas Business, said: “We are looking into the issue with Mr De Mesquita’s business electricity bill as a priority. We will be contacting Mr Mesquita again today to reassure him that the account is on hold until we have fully investigated the situation.”