The owners of a city centre sports bar have emerged victorious from a lengthy battle with an energy company over a half-million-pound electricity bill.

Rod Cake and Leon Lindbald of Sharkey’s Sports Bar in Above Bar Street were left dumbfounded when their bills from Pozitive Energy began to skyrocket in September 2022.

The pair were adamant the smart meter reading was wrong - so they refused to pay, racking up an eye-watering bill of £490,000.

READ MORE: Furious sports bar owners fear they may have to close over £237,000 energy bill

But after installing their own meter, which gave a much lower reading, the Echo reporting on their plight, Pozitive has slashed the amount they have to pay down to £90,000.

Investigations by IMServ - which installed the meter - found it had been set up incorrectly, Pozitive Energy said.

Rod said: “This means that Pozitive were trying to overcharge us by £400,000, and we want compensating for that.

“How they can get away with it I don’t know."

Daily Echo: Rod (left) and Leon at the opening of Sharkey's in June 2022Rod (left) and Leon at the opening of Sharkey's in June 2022 (Image: Newsquest)

He added: "It’s a lot of stress they put us through for money we did not owe."

After opening in June 2022, the businessmen's first monthly bill was £8,000.

But the second month it shot up to £19,000, and then £27,000 the following month.

Leon calculated the third bill would be the equivalent of them running 1,000 of their TV screens, 24 hours a day.

As the months wore on, the initial total they owed was £237,000.

But as they dug in their heels and refused to pay, this went up to £490,000.

The David versus Goliath struggle reached its peak when Rod and Leon contacted electric utility company IMServ following the Echo report on December 15.

The company owns the meter and had set it up incorrectly.

Leon added a technician told them the original meter "had been installed incorrectly – and used his own test machine and got the same results as I did".

This evidence, coupled with the coverage, was enough for Pozitive Energy to revaluate their billing.

A spokesperson from Pozitive said they ‘now have the correct information and any billing errors will be amended in accordance with the data provided’.

The company clarified that the meter belongs to meter operator IMServe who has 'full responsibility for ensuring meters are set up and configured correctly, and that any potential errors are investigated fully and fixed where required.

A spokesperson from Pozitive said: "As the energy supplier, we have no control over the set up of the meter or the data that is subsequently issued to us - we rely on the data provided by the meters to produce accurate energy bills. 

"In this case, the meter had been configured incorrectly by the meter operator, and so the data we had been receiving as a result was inaccurate. 

"We are pleased that the meter operator has now rectified the fault with this customer's meter, which will now enable us to produce accurate bills based on accurate data."

Leon is pleased both he and Rod fought against the steep electricity bill, but fears what could happen to other businesses who pay the price.

He said: “Can you imagine the number of businesses who are overpaying each month?

“I had to come to the Echo for something that was resolved in 15 minutes.

“It shouldn’t have been that difficult before this, but it is a massive relief.

“We were fortunate that our bill was a ridiculous amount, so we noticed it, and we had our own meter."

The pair will keep their independent meter to check the accuracy of their bills in future.

The Pozitive spokesperson added that they 'always strive to support our customers in resolving any issues' and 'encouraged the customer to continue to communicate with us directly'.