A widowed pensioner recovering in hospital from a heart complaint was hit with a giant £27,000 electricity and gas bill – two years after leaving ScottishPower for overcharging her.

Elizabeth Ramsey said she got a "big scare" when she opened the bill – and it could have given her a heart attack, her grandson says.

Despite the 86-year-old’s family making repeated calls to flag up the mistake, she was sent a final reminder threatening her with debt collection.

Usually Elizabeth pays around £40 a month for utilities for her one-bedroom home in a sheltered housing complex.

She moved from ScottishPower after it slapped her with a string of inflated bills which left the great-gran struggling financially.

Her family lodged a complaint with Ofgem and the watchdog ordered the company to pay her back about £1,500 plus £500 in compensation.

Now the new bill for £27,493 has appeared out of the blue and Elizabeth said it has given her sleepless nights.

After the Daily Record intervened, ScottishPower apologised for the “distress” caused but was still unable to explain the mistake.

Elizabeth, from Lochwinnoch, Renfrewshire, said: “I got the first bill five or six weeks ago saying I owed them over £27,000.

“I nearly had a fit when I saw it and never slept all night really.

"I was rushed to hospital a couple of weeks ago with my angina.

"I’m not supposed to have big scares or stress.

“Half the time you phone ScottishPower, wait ages to get through to speak to someone then the calls hang up in the middle of it.

“My grandson Alex got in touch with them to try and sort it out.

“They weren’t able to give any explanation.

"They didn’t admit it was a mistake either.

“A couple of days ago, I got a letter saying they’d send the debt collectors.”

Alex Ramsay, 31, a railway project manager from Glasgow, said: “Gran had an electrical storage heater.

"Everything was electric but her housing association switched to gas central heating and put in solar panels to save residents money.

“But ScottishPower didn’t take her old meter off their computer system.

"They couldn’t get meter readings so they did estimated readings based on a large family home.

“Gran was getting bills for £240 a month for gas and electricity and she was just paying it.

“She changed provider but now ScottishPower are claiming £27,000 and can’t tell us why.

"They could’ve given my gran a heart attack.”

A ScottishPower spokeswoman said: “We sincerely apologise to Mrs Ramsay and her family for any distress caused by this matter.

“We’re carrying out a full investigation and rest assured, we will compensate Mrs Ramsay for the inconvenience.”

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