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Tonik Energy "Your Direct Debit is Changing"

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Energy
10 replies 1.3K views
drgenetixdrgenetix Forumite
10 posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Energy
Hello
A couple of months ago, I received an email from Tonik Energy saying “Your Direct Debit is Changing” and in the mail they said they are going to take a £150 more to make sure that all the debts are cleared.
This is my first year in the UK and so I don’t have a good grip on understanding the energy bills. I called them to enquire about this dramatic change. I was told that I have been using way too much energy and that my debt is now £400 which they want me to pay by increasing the monthly direct debit payments.
I work 12 hour shifts in hospital and most of the times only get home to sleep and wake up to get back to work (I have never used electric heater overnight). On my days off, I watch tv for a little while, use one electric heater (never for more than 3 hours), cook food on the electric hob (not more than 3 hours) use electric shower and use washing machine. I am the only person living in the property.
I explained this situation to people at Tonik that I couldn’t have used so much energy. They cancelled the increment on my direct debit and asked me to provide meter readings for 7 consecutive days to ensure if my electric meter is not malfunctioning. After checking the meter readings for 7 consecutive days, they concluded that there was nothing wrong with my meter and that I will have to clear my debt.
I am still not convinced that I could have used so much energy. I am on a fixed price, paying £32 monthly. There has to be some mistake or is there something that I am not able to understand. Please help/suggest/advise.

Thanks
Haider Ali

Replies

  • matelodavematelodave Forumite
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    The fact that you don't think you are using much energy isn't quite the same as checking your meters & bills and knowing how much you use

    £32 is unfeasibly low so it's not surprising that you've managed to ramp up the sort of arrears that you've now got.

    You really need to read your meter(s) yourself a bit more frequently, send the readings into your energy supplier and most importantly CHECK your bills at least monthly. Then you'll know whether your DD is sufficient to pay for your consumption.

    Understanding your consumption and how much it's costing is the key to avoiding nasty surprises and direct debit hikes.
    Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large numbers
  • Neil_JonesNeil_Jones Forumite
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    Your £32 is not a "pay us £32 and use all the electricity you like" figure, that's just a payment towards your usage.

    In fact £32 for an all electric property is far too low. It might have been slightly more feasible if you have gas to the property as well but it doesn't sound like you do, it should be closer to somewhere near £60 a month.

    Are you on Economy 7?
  • drgenetixdrgenetix Forumite
    10 posts
    Yes, I am on economy 7.
  • Neil_JonesNeil_Jones Forumite
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    Okay so what is your usage and what are your unit rates? See a recent bill. I suspect the figures Tonik have used are estimates and this is probably going to be the bulk of the problem.
  • drgenetixdrgenetix Forumite
    10 posts
    Unit Rate 12.92 p/kWh
    Standing charge 25 p/day


    Yes, they use estimated readings. I have only been able to submit actual readings thrice in the period of 1 year.
  • Neil_JonesNeil_Jones Forumite
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    Okay but what is your usage? How many kilowatts are you using between bills? What's your night rate? How come you've only bee able to submit actual readings three times in the space of a year? Does your meter live in a locked cupboard that a janitor or landlord only has access to or is it in your kitchen or somewhere like that?
  • victor2victor2 Forumite
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    If you can get actual (not estimated) readings from an old statement around a year ago, and take readings now, you can calculate what your annual usage has been on each of the E7 rates - rate 1 & rate2, day rate & night rate, or whatever the supplier refers to them as.
    Your monthly payments will almost certainly have been woefully inadequate for an all electric property. So you have to cover the debt and your ongoing usage now.
    It may be that you are not understanding how best to benefit from being on E7. Do you have night storage heating and do you know how to use it to the best effect?
    Do you know how much your electric heater costs per hour on the expensive (daytime) rate?

    More questions than answers at the moment, but people will be able to give you some meaningful advice if you are able to answer at least some of them.
  • drgenetixdrgenetix Forumite
    10 posts
    victor2 wrote: »
    If you can get actual (not estimated) readings from an old statement around a year ago, and take readings now, you can calculate what your annual usage has been on each of the E7 rates - rate 1 & rate2, day rate & night rate, or whatever the supplier refers to them as.
    Your monthly payments will almost certainly have been woefully inadequate for an all electric property. So you have to cover the debt and your ongoing usage now.
    It may be that you are not understanding how best to benefit from being on E7. Do you have night storage heating and do you know how to use it to the best effect?
    Do you know how much your electric heater costs per hour on the expensive (daytime) rate?

    More questions than answers at the moment, but people will be able to give you some meaningful advice if you are able to answer at least some of them.


    I have only lived in this property for over a year and the previous tenant does not live in the UK anymore.



    The property has dimplex 2.0kW wall mounted heaters installed in all three rooms. I only use one. The others, I have never even turned them on even.


    I do not have any night storage heating unit.
  • drgenetixdrgenetix Forumite
    10 posts
    Neil_Jones wrote: »
    Okay but what is your usage? How many kilowatts are you using between bills? What's your night rate? How come you've only bee able to submit actual readings three times in the space of a year? Does your meter live in a locked cupboard that a janitor or landlord only has access to or is it in your kitchen or somewhere like that?


    I was not aware of the fact that I should be submitting the meter readings. In one of the bills, they have mentioned revised statement and after that the debt started to creep up.
  • victor2victor2 Forumite
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    drgenetix wrote: »
    I have only lived in this property for over a year and the previous tenant does not live in the UK anymore.


    The property has dimplex 2.0kW wall mounted heaters installed in all three rooms. I only use one. The others, I have never even turned them on even.

    I do not have any night storage heating unit.
    Did you have actual meter readings when you moved into the property? They should have been used to open your utility account.
    Of the three sets of readings you did submit in the year, pick the ones closest to a year after the starting readings. From that you can get an idea of your actual annual usage for both the day and night rates.

    The 2KW heater you have will cost nearly 26p per hour at the unit rate you quoted earlier, but in reality it should be less than that, as the heater will switch on and off due to the thermostat setting.
    How do you get hot water?
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