AN ELDERLY mum with dementia has been sent a shared electricity bill of almost £50,000.

Helen Nicoll has been hit with a £47,380.54 tab that she must split with more than 50 other flats at her retirement block in Crathes Court, Glasgow.

The 90-year-old must also pay her own electric bill on top of her £911.18 share of the mammoth invoice sent by James Gibb Residential Factors to pay Brook Green Supply.

This is to cover the cost of the building’s lifts, communal lighting in corridors, door entry systems, communal heating, and the communal lounge.

Glasgow Times:  Helen Nicoll age 90 pictured with her daughters, from left- Helen Saunders and Rona Nicoll. Helen Nicoll age 90 pictured with her daughters, from left- Helen Saunders and Rona Nicoll.

The giant shared charge extends over six months of the shared electricity use between October 2021 and April 2022.

This comes as the country faces one of the worst economic crisis since the 1970s with household bills skyrocketing after a UK Government decision to increase the energy price cap by a whopping 54%.

Helen’s furious daughter Rona Nicoll, 62, is outraged over how the bill was delivered.

She told the Glasgow Times: “The entire thing is appalling. My concern is the utter shock it will have on the elderly people who live there.

“I’ve not told my mum about it as it would upset her, and she has dementia so she would forget but still be upset.

“It is a retirement block though so other people in the building might not have family to help them though.

“The price we have been sent is just unbelievable, it has never been anything like this before.

“It has come right out of the blue so there is going to be so much anxiety and aggravation as a result of this.

“There are ways of managing this. You think they might have held a meeting or told us in a better way but just sending an email or letter isn’t right.

“I haven’t paid the bill yet. I am so annoyed by the way it has been dealt with - with no regard for the impact this will have on people.

“I'd like to know why this has been sent out with no explanation. I don't understand how they can behave like this.”

Glasgow Times: Residents face a huge bill increaseResidents face a huge bill increase

James Gibb Residential Factors, which operates the factor costs of Crathes Court, has now apologised for its handling of the bill but said it is “regrettably” part of a wider issue facing Scotland.

It is now offering homeowners the option to pay their increased bills in installments, and welcomed individual discussions with residents about their financial situation.

Nic Mayall, executive director for operational delivery at James Gibb, said: “We appreciate that such a substantial increase is worrying.

“We are extremely sorry for not handling the news in a more sensitive way and will listen carefully to the feedback from the collective homeowners of Crathes Court.

“This approach did not align with the process we have in place for this type of situation arising, which is to initially arrange a meeting of homeowners.

“We will be contacting each homeowner individually to offer them the chance to discuss their financial situation and to outline the options available to them.

“Regrettably, the situation at Crathes Court is representative of a wider issue facing homeowners, tenants and landlords around Scotland.

“The wholesale price of electricity rocketed fivefold last year and those costs are only now starting to filter through to residents.

“When their most recent fixed energy deal expired, we immediately sought out the most competitive price available to alleviate the problem in the future.

“We have successfully halved their energy bills for the next 12 months and have offered all homeowners the opportunity to pay their bills in installments.”

Organisations such as Citizen's Advice Scotland say people are "holding on by their fingertips" following a surge in requests for advice.

Derek Mitchell, chief executive of Citizen's Advice Scotland, said: “We are facing a nightmare scenario in the spring as the rising cost of living and increases in energy bills collide with flat or falling incomes.

“Around half a million people are already cutting back on food shopping to deal with unaffordable bills, and looking at the demand for advice the Citizens Advice network saw during the pandemic, we see a link between the need to use a food bank and the need for advice around utilities.

"People are holding on by their fingertips.

"They can’t afford a big rise in bills with no support. Some sort of emergency action from the government is essential."

Brook Green Supply was contacted for comment.