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  • FIRST POST
    • Bexidecimal
    • By Bexidecimal 16th May 17, 7:04 PM
    • 9Posts
    • 4Thanks
    Bexidecimal
    Direct debit almost doubled
    • #1
    • 16th May 17, 7:04 PM
    Direct debit almost doubled 16th May 17 at 7:04 PM
    Hi everyone, first time posting but I have trawled through the forums before.

    So jumping right in.. I've been with npower for the last 2 years since moving in to my current flat. Never had a problem and the price has always been fine and convenient to stay with them.

    I have been paying around £60 a month for 2 years for both gas and electric. Yesterday my direct debit went out of my account and they had taken £110?!?!

    So I called them, obviously angry and they informed me that I had gone over the yearly estimation and from now on this was the amount I need to pay monthly. Also that I was now £270 in debt with them to make up for all this extra energy.

    I checked my metres today, both of them are right next to the metres for the shop below my flat and I was hoping that they just checked the wrong one. Unfortunately not and the readings are right.

    Honestly though I don't understand how they can double my bill, my usage hasn't changed and definitely not to almost double the amount?!

    Is there anything I can do? My credit score is untarnished so far and I've never been in debt. I don't want to start now but I also don't want to pay all this extra money. That is over £300 I wasn't expecting to pay out this month. I've never had this sort of issue before, I always pay my bills on time and I honestly don't even know where to begin to handle this properly.

    I plan on abandoning npower as soon as I can but I wondered if anyone knows a way I can at least lessen the amount they expect me to pay them before I change company.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks!
Page 1
    • daveyjp
    • By daveyjp 16th May 17, 7:18 PM
    • 7,151 Posts
    • 5,555 Thanks
    daveyjp
    • #2
    • 16th May 17, 7:18 PM
    • #2
    • 16th May 17, 7:18 PM
    Useage may not have changed, but the unit price and standing charge has probably increased.

    It is down to you to provide updated readings, check tarriffs and ensure you aren't getting in to debt.
    • keith1950
    • By keith1950 16th May 17, 7:23 PM
    • 2,412 Posts
    • 1,067 Thanks
    keith1950
    • #3
    • 16th May 17, 7:23 PM
    • #3
    • 16th May 17, 7:23 PM
    Hi, if the readings are right then you owe the money.
    You may be in £270 debt but that will be repaid bit by bit out of the increased monthly payment.
    £60 /month is a stupidly low price to have been paying for gas AND electric.
    You need to enter monthly readings to check your usage and keep on top of the problem.
    If you want to leave npower they won't let you switch until you owe less than £200 however you would have to be prepared to pay the final bill in full within about 6 weeks
    • Bexidecimal
    • By Bexidecimal 16th May 17, 7:31 PM
    • 9 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    Bexidecimal
    • #4
    • 16th May 17, 7:31 PM
    • #4
    • 16th May 17, 7:31 PM
    So my only option is to just pay and leave?? I understand tarrifs change but to almost double is a little bit insane in my mind.

    I didn't even receive anything from them to say "oh sorry you owe us this money"

    Will this effect my credit score at all or me in any other way?

    There are only 2 of us in my flat, we don't really use much electricity because we hate turning lights on and again only 2 of us. Plus we both like the cold so the heating may not be on as much as most.
    • Bexidecimal
    • By Bexidecimal 16th May 17, 7:35 PM
    • 9 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    Bexidecimal
    • #5
    • 16th May 17, 7:35 PM
    • #5
    • 16th May 17, 7:35 PM
    They even gave me money back last year for not using as much as expected
    • keith1950
    • By keith1950 16th May 17, 7:48 PM
    • 2,412 Posts
    • 1,067 Thanks
    keith1950
    • #6
    • 16th May 17, 7:48 PM
    • #6
    • 16th May 17, 7:48 PM
    If you take it that they expect you to pay £110/month over the next year...that would be around £1300 , deduct the £270 you owe and divide by 12 means they estimate your actual usage will be around £85.
    This means you have been paying around £25 less than you should have been paying for the last year.
    Have you been on the same tariff for the last two years.
    Could you have been on a special tariff for the first year and then gone back on the standard tariff for the last twelve months? This would account for a rise in cost even if your usage stayed the same
    • Bexidecimal
    • By Bexidecimal 16th May 17, 8:07 PM
    • 9 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    Bexidecimal
    • #7
    • 16th May 17, 8:07 PM
    • #7
    • 16th May 17, 8:07 PM
    @keith1950

    I didn't even think about it like that. That is not how it was explained so I will double check with npower. They made it seem like the £270 was separate from the £110 not that the debt was incorporated in to the new monthly payment. If so then I am slightly less enraged.

    I may well have been on a special tariff. Honestly this is my first flat away from my parents house so I'm not exactly a seasoned veteran at knowing how to deal with all of this. I'm usually quite responsible but I imagined that if there was a change the company would at least notify me.

    I think I'm going to just pay it off in one go and then look for a better deal else where.
    • keith1950
    • By keith1950 16th May 17, 8:20 PM
    • 2,412 Posts
    • 1,067 Thanks
    keith1950
    • #8
    • 16th May 17, 8:20 PM
    • #8
    • 16th May 17, 8:20 PM
    Remember that you cannot "leave" a supplier as such unless you move house, you have to switch.
    Work out you usage in kwh's over the last year then find the best deal then switch, this can take several weeks.
    When you give you new supplier your opening readings they will contact npower and they will supply npower with these readings .
    It usually takes up to a month for a transfer to take place and you should recieve a final bill from npower within 6 weeks of the switch taking place.
    Last edited by keith1950; 16-05-2017 at 8:23 PM.
    • SpotlandRules
    • By SpotlandRules 16th May 17, 8:57 PM
    • 158 Posts
    • 61 Thanks
    SpotlandRules
    • #9
    • 16th May 17, 8:57 PM
    • #9
    • 16th May 17, 8:57 PM
    Hi, if the readings are right then you owe the money.
    You may be in £270 debt but that will be repaid bit by bit out of the increased monthly payment.
    £60 /month is a stupidly low price to have been paying for gas AND electric.
    You need to enter monthly readings to check your usage and keep on top of the problem.
    If you want to leave npower they won't let you switch until you owe less than £200 however you would have to be prepared to pay the final bill in full within about 6 weeks
    Originally posted by keith1950
    That would depend on the OPs life style and the amount of people living in the property. Obviously it was not enough to be paying a month, but this does not mean that £60 is a silly price to pay in general.

    I am currently paying £54 a month and have just moved to get this lowered.
    • Richie-from-the-Boro
    • By Richie-from-the-Boro 16th May 17, 9:56 PM
    • 6,325 Posts
    • 4,758 Thanks
    Richie-from-the-Boro
    So my only option is to just pay and leave?? I understand tariffs change but to almost double is a little bit insane in my mind.

    I didn't even receive anything from them to say "oh sorry you owe us this money"

    Will this effect my credit score at all or me in any other way?

    There are only 2 of us in my flat, we don't really use much electricity because we hate turning lights on and again only 2 of us. Plus we both like the cold so the heating may not be on as much as most.
    Originally posted by Bexidecimal
    Having chosen your best tariff and supplier your ongoing best option is to self supply your 6 weekly meter readings. Paying monthly by direct debit and supplying your own 8 or so non estimated readings over a year will 'balance' your annual consumption through the 4 seasons - see below :

    Making sure you spend 2 minutes reading your online account at the same time as you submit your meter reads will mean you are familiar with your MPAN MPRN numbers and any cheaper offer from your existing supplier whilst never slipping into arrears. Best of luck, common knowledge to most here but read this for general understanding of your billing and use.
    Disclaimer : Everything I write on this forum is my opinion. I try to be an even-handed poster and accept that you at times may not agree with these opinions or how I choose to express them, this is not my problem. The Disabled : If years cannot be added to their lives, at least life can be added to their years - Alf Morris - ℜ
    • macman
    • By macman 16th May 17, 9:57 PM
    • 41,351 Posts
    • 17,001 Thanks
    macman
    The UK average is around £1250pa for dual fuel.
    No free lunch, and no free laptop
    • Xbigman
    • By Xbigman 17th May 17, 3:33 AM
    • 2,947 Posts
    • 1,203 Thanks
    Xbigman
    The UK average is around £1250pa for dual fuel.
    Originally posted by macman
    Not for single people living in flats it isn't.



    Darren
    Xbigman's guide to a happy life.

    Eat properly
    Sleep properly
    Save some money
    • Robin9
    • By Robin9 17th May 17, 12:42 PM
    • 1,852 Posts
    • 1,206 Thanks
    Robin9
    On face value your supplier is playing catch up because you have been underpaying.

    You won't have been on a special tariff - most tariffs run for a limited time, 12 or 24 months, after which you will be switched to their standard tariff unless you took some action.

    Do look back on you previous bills and see what tariff you are on and have a look at the bottom line to see if you are in credit or debit.

    Are your bills estimated or do you regularly (at least monthly) submit readings on line ? Are these readings listed in your bills ?
    • footyguy
    • By footyguy 17th May 17, 1:01 PM
    • 3,825 Posts
    • 1,521 Thanks
    footyguy
    Hi everyone, first time posting but I have trawled through the forums before.

    So jumping right in.. I've been with npower for the last 2 years since moving in to my current flat. Never had a problem and the price has always been fine and convenient to stay with them.

    I have been paying around £60 a month for 2 years for both gas and electric. Yesterday my direct debit went out of my account and they had taken £110?!?!

    So I called them, obviously angry and they informed me that I had gone over the yearly estimation and from now on this was the amount I need to pay monthly. Also that I was now £270 in debt with them to make up for all this extra energy.

    I checked my metres today, both of them are right next to the metres for the shop below my flat and I was hoping that they just checked the wrong one. Unfortunately not and the readings are right.

    Honestly though I don't understand how they can double my bill, my usage hasn't changed and definitely not to almost double the amount?!

    Is there anything I can do? My credit score is untarnished so far and I've never been in debt. I don't want to start now but I also don't want to pay all this extra money. That is over £300 I wasn't expecting to pay out this month. I've never had this sort of issue before, I always pay my bills on time and I honestly don't even know where to begin to handle this properly.

    I plan on abandoning npower as soon as I can but I wondered if anyone knows a way I can at least lessen the amount they expect me to pay them before I change company.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks!
    Originally posted by Bexidecimal
    Start here
    http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/utilities/lower-energy-direct-debits

    If you agree with the supplier that your anticipated annual consumption is different to what it was previously, then use this figure and consult a comparison site to find the best deal for you. It probably has changed if your account is currently £270 in debit.
    Some of the money you are now being asked to pay will be to pay back that shortfall. If you switch supplier, you will receive a final bill and will be expected to pay it all back in one go (although they may agree a short payment paln if you ask them nicely - say over 3 months)

    You should have been receiving regular statements. Is this really the first time you have been advised your account is in debit?
    Were you providing regular meter readings?

    Doesn't really make sense to me , so I'll wish you Good Luck! with whatever you decide.
    Last edited by footyguy; 17-05-2017 at 1:06 PM.
    • footyguy
    • By footyguy 17th May 17, 1:09 PM
    • 3,825 Posts
    • 1,521 Thanks
    footyguy
    So my only option is to just pay and leave??....
    Originally posted by Bexidecimal
    No you can remain with the supplier and they will recover the shortfall usually over a similar period it took to build up.

    But you may be paying more than you need to for the ongoing consumption. You need to refer to a comparison site to see just how it stacks up.
    • phillw
    • By phillw 17th May 17, 6:08 PM
    • 937 Posts
    • 555 Thanks
    phillw
    The UK average is around £1250pa for dual fuel.
    Originally posted by macman
    Sure, but mine is half that & so there must be people paying more than that to get to that average. Which of us is silly?

    How much you use depends on tariff and usage. I try to reduce both to the bare minimum.
    • ClaritaMax
    • By ClaritaMax 18th May 17, 12:51 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    ClaritaMax
    Hey Bexidecimal, interesting to read your post as something similar has just happened to me with EDF Energy and I'm looking for advice on it.

    I just moved into a 1960's 4-bedroom detached house from a 2-bed new build so had no idea how much energy bills should be. I signed up for EDF's online Simply Fixed November 2017 (E7) tariff which was £44/month. Having since googled the average energy bill of a moderate to large house, I now know this is very low! I only did this after my DD bounced because there wasn't enough money to fund an unexpected DD hike to £109 in May! I thought Simply Fixed implied that the price wouldn't change. In the introductory agreement no mention was made that the DD might go up depending on usage.

    I had missed an message in March asking for a meter reading so they could confirm the DD amount, so I will be more watchful for those in future. I could have avoided the DD surprise, but I'm still annoyed that I was able to sign up to such a low and unrealistic price in the first place due to their online form.

    It will even out to about £90/month the helpful yet uninformed lady on the phone said. Does that sound a good price for my home? It's the first place I have owned and done bills for so I am totally naive.

    Lesson learned!
    Thanks for any advice anyone can give, and I feel for you Bexidecimal your amount was much worse!
    • macman
    • By macman 18th May 17, 1:06 PM
    • 41,351 Posts
    • 17,001 Thanks
    macman
    What you pay per month is not relevant. What matters is the actual annual cost. You can find the best tariff in a couple of minutes armed with your annual kWh figures and your postcode.
    No one can tell you whether £90pm is good or bad because we don't know your usage.
    Fixed means that the unit rate is fixed. But if you use more units than estimated, your debt will build and your DD wiil be increased. Submitting regular reads will prevent this.
    Last edited by macman; 18-05-2017 at 1:08 PM.
    No free lunch, and no free laptop
    • JJ Egan
    • By JJ Egan 18th May 17, 1:27 PM
    • 9,852 Posts
    • 4,057 Thanks
    JJ Egan
    <<I thought Simply Fixed implied that the price wouldn't change >

    If you look at your bills it has not changed .
    Your usage may change up or down .
    Initial DD are an estimate based upon whatever the user enters not some mythical get you in low figure .
    • cifpower
    • By cifpower 19th May 17, 10:44 AM
    • 6,446 Posts
    • 4,099 Thanks
    cifpower
    I don't understand how the increased direct debits are "unexpected". You must have had bills either posted to you or made available to you online. It would say on the bill if the direct debit was changing.


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