An East Yorkshire Council is facing a huge energy bill after being told that it hasn't paid for its gas supply for more than 17 years.
Beverley Town Council discovered the problem after investigations into a faulty boiler at its offices on Well Lane.
A report to the council said: "In attempting to resolve this technical issue, it became clear to the acting town clerk that the council does not have a gas supplier, despite using and receiving gas since 2004."
Communication with distribution company Northern Gas Networks (NGN) confirmed that there had never been a registered gas supply to the property.
The report said that it is the council's responsibly as the tenant to register a gas supply "and that this legislation instructs NGN to recover monies lost from unregistered gas usage."
It added: "NGN have confirmed that they will use standard rates provided to them by the gas regulator, Ofgem, to calculate a back payment going back to 2004 for unpaid for gas.
"NGN have also instructed the council to take immediate steps to appoint a gas supplier."
The council has now launched an investigation into the situation.
Cllr Denis Healy, leader of the Liberal Democrat group, said people would "want answers".
"At a time bills are rising sharply, they’ll think how can a council get away with not paying its gas for 17 years?" he said.
"But I am going to find the answers. I also think that as well as the council’s job it was Northern Gas Network’s job to address the issue given it’s gone on so long.
"I’m looking into a cap which means we might not have to pay back beyond a few years.
"It could be tens of thousands but we do have budget which will pay for this so the public will not meet the cost of this."