Energy Direct Debits: Get money back & your payments lowered Discussion
edited 10 June 2010 at 5:36PM in Energy
326 replies 55.6K views
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They agreed to refund this sum without any query, and were unable to explain why they were repeatedly increasing my direct debit when there was a growing surplus.
It does make me wonder how many millions of pounds are sitting in their account when they should be returned to customers.
If the £250pm was based on real meter readings over a year and reflects the current unit prices then you wouldnt expect an increase. However, if it is based on estimated readings, then the direct debit has a high chance of being higher than it should be.
You pay for your usage. If you don't pay enough then you need to pay more. It really is as simple as that. Then if you chose to budget your annual costs over 12 months, then there will be months you go into credit and there will be months you will spend more than you pay by direct debit and eat into that credit.
If someone cannot understand how budgeting workings then they can always move to variable direct debit and pay each month based on their actual use that month. In the summer, they may only pay £100 in a month (instead of £250) but in the winter they may pay £750 in a month.
Using their own figures for my predicted annual consumption, I used the tool found here and it calculates an approx annual bill of £3240 (before the £400 reduction) which is approx £270pm. So where oh where have they got £364 from? Especially as I'm currently £400+ in credit.
Although you may find the initial customer services advisors will say there is nothing they can do or that they can only consider a 15% reduction on the increased DD amount.
Stick to your guns and ask for a complaint to be put through.
I had exactly the same with OVO, although in the end I had to cancel my DD to get them to be reasonable and when their customer relations/complaints management department called a few days later they agreed to reinstate my DD at the amount I thought was fair and then also freeze that for 3 months.
I do not agree that they can have hundreds of pounds of my money sitting there when a month in hand is more than enough !
I will pay extra as and when it comes to it because I know how to manage my house accounts.
I also cancelled my direct debit because their website states that they will not penalise those who do not pay by DD. Paying by DD with Octopus gains no special favours, they don't deduct anything because they say that their prices are fair and low enough already so they don't have to.
I don't ever want my energy account to be in credit, whoever supplies it to my home. If most of their customers have credit in their accounts, that's more credit for them. I don't want to be brainwashed by the well-known phrase or saying, "building up credit in summer is good because then you can spread payments over winter". I'd rather have my own money in my own bank account.
I'm now paying when the bill comes in by debit card - immediately after I've submitted my meter readings at the end of every month. It's easily done online and it's no more time consuming than submitting meter readings.
When I login to my energy account they still try to encourage me to sign up to DD but I won't. Now my account's in credit by £66, courtesy of the government and I'll just leave that in situ until the end of the month when I'll settle up again. That suits me fine. Like you (and after a long struggle with my financial situation) I now know how to manage my household bills.
You should probably ring them and set up a VARIABLE DD, which means you will pay the bill in full each month, but Octopus will claim this by DD around 10-14 days after each bill is issued.
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I'm battling OVO still regarding them using inflated estimated readings every month to generate my bill despite me supplying a customer reading. They've just moved me off my fix and onto the new capped variable rate so I'll no longer be penalised if I leave.
I'll have to take a look at Octopus. Sounds a much better way of doing things.