Direct Debit Help (Shell Energy)

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Hi -

I'm looking for some help if possible. We were moved to Shell late last year and we had quite a lot of problems with them in the beginning but this has now settled down. What I'm confused about currently is our direct debit and Shell wanting us to increase our direct debit substantially but I don't think it's necessary but I may be wrong on my understanding of this!

We are a 4 bed detached and accurate current annual usage is at 5654 kwh electric and 19080 kwh gas. We have a direct debit set for £350 per month.

We are currently £459.54 in credit, but this will be £875.54 in credit before our next bill (d/d + government £66).

When Shell emailed me with updated Oct tariff they stated around £4000 per annum usage and MSE's direct debit calculator agrees with these figures as well which would be pretty accurate to our d/d amount.

However, now Shell are saying they want us to put it up to at least £487 per month and then also have a box on the dashboard saying 'Predicted Monthly Usage £601.67' despite the accurate annual usage being stated differently on our main bill.

Can anyone advise here? If I have to put the d/d up I will but I really don't think it's correct and the figures add up with that so I want to try and get my head around it before speaking to Shell. 

Thanks!
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  • QrizB
    QrizB Posts: 13,822 Forumite
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    Based on your usage figures i make it £350 a month too.
    Last winter was quite a bit milder than usual so it's possible Shell are adding a % on to the calculation in the expectation that this winter will be more typical?
    N. Hampshire, he/him. Octopus Go elec & Tracker gas / Shell BB / Lyca mobi. Ripple Kirk Hill member.
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  • [Deleted User]
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    QrizB said:
    Based on your usage figures i make it £350 a month too.
    Last winter was quite a bit milder than usual so it's possible Shell are adding a % on to the calculation in the expectation that this winter will be more typical?
    Thanks. At least I know I'm not going mad with my calculations. We are fairly high usage (both work from home + 2 teens) so I want to make sure I'm on top of it but I'd rather top up with a bit here and there if necessary that take my d/d far too high. £137 more seems a lot of extra so I'll try and stick to my guns at £350 and monitor it I guess. I'll just ignore the other references to £600+ on the dashboard!
  • lisyloo
    lisyloo Posts: 29,639 Forumite
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    Ask them to switch you to variable DD if you prefer that to their estimates.
    You'll still get the DD discount but pay for exactly what you use.
    Obviously this will be higher in the winter and the first month you won't pay anything due you your credit.

    I'm on variable with Shell and happy with that.
  • ariarnia
    ariarnia Posts: 4,225 Forumite
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    edited 21 October 2022 at 2:01PM
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    QrizB said:
    Based on your usage figures i make it £350 a month too.
    Last winter was quite a bit milder than usual so it's possible Shell are adding a % on to the calculation in the expectation that this winter will be more typical?

    i'm wondering how if they are also thinking about whats now happening in april. 

    the op's annual usage is 5654 kwh electric and 19080 kwh gas

    electric is capped at (average) 
    34.04p and gas at 10.33p until april 

    thats £1924.62 and £1970.96 for usage plus £103.99 and £169.21 for standing charge. that totals £4168.78 or about £347 a month. 

    complication is that the capped rate is now only valid until april. if we assume you use all of your gas at the cap rate but only half your electric and we bill the rest at what should have been the october rate 
    (which is wrong ob both counts but gives an idea) then the math is then 

    2827kwh electric costing £962.31 on the cap and 
    2827kwh electric costing £1467.21 post april. plus your gas use at the april rate of £1970.96 and standing charges of still around £103.99 and £169.21

    that puts a new annual total at £4673.68 or £389.47 per month (not inc 400 rebate or exiting credit)

    if i were you op i'd consider putting my dd up a little if i could afford to but i agree the forecast they've got seems a little high. 


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  • Spacie22
    Spacie22 Posts: 36 Forumite
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    edited 21 October 2022 at 2:06PM
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    Shell calculate your DD so that your account will be at £0 (more or less) on the 12 month anniversary of you joining them. (its not a rolling 12 months)

    If you click the "edit payment " button that should be next to your current DD amount you will see a graph showing your expected balance between now and then.  If your anniversary date is quite soon it can distort the required payment quite a bit.


  • [Deleted User]
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    Spacie22 said:
    Shell calculate your DD so that your account will be at £0 (more or less) on the 12 month anniversary of you joining them. (its not a rolling 12 months)

    If you click the "edit payment " button that should be next to your current DD amount you will see a graph showing your expected balance between now and then.  If your anniversary date is quite soon it can distort the required payment quite a bit.


    I think it is due to this @Spacie22. But even with that it's not really right because my first bill with them was from Oct 21 but yet they are saying we have 4 months left until our anniversary so it's very strange. 
    It really does distort the figures doing it like that. 
  • pochase
    pochase Posts: 3,449 Forumite
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    There were a few threads in the last days where Shell is trying to increase the DD higher than what is really needed,

    I usually see people complaining about high debit orders without realising what they will really need, but what Shell is doing baffles me.

    This seems to have started after Monday's announcement that the EPG will be reviewed in April, but I can't see how they can increase the DD without any information what is going to happen in April.
  • [Deleted User]
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    pochase said:
    There were a few threads in the last days where Shell is trying to increase the DD higher than what is really needed,

    I usually see people complaining about high debit orders without realising what they will really need, but what Shell is doing baffles me.

    This seems to have started after Monday's announcement that the EPG will be reviewed in April, but I can't see how they can increase the DD without any information what is going to happen in April.
    You're right - a majority of the recent DD queries have been Shell.

    I wonder what's made them go so hard and so early.  Looking at the various posters' information suggests that it has been unnecessary in almost all cases.
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 0 Newbie
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    edited 29 December 2022 at 6:45PM
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    pochase said:
    There were a few threads in the last days where Shell is trying to increase the DD higher than what is really needed,

    I usually see people complaining about high debit orders without realising what they will really need, but what Shell is doing baffles me.

    This seems to have started after Monday's announcement that the EPG will be reviewed in April, but I can't see how they can increase the DD without any information what is going to happen in April.
    You're right - a majority of the recent DD queries have been Shell.

    I wonder what's made them go so hard and so early.  Looking at the various posters' information suggests that it has been unnecessary in almost all cases.
    This is really interesting, thanks both @pochase and @sparkygrad. I'll have a read through, I didn't realise there were a lot of others in the same boat. The information between their email, what the annual usage is on the bill and then the direct debit setting / predicted usage on the dashboard are completely contradictory. It was last Monday (10th) that I received the notice of them wanting to edit my direct debit.
  • daaave
    daaave Posts: 703 Forumite
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    edited 25 October 2022 at 5:33AM
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    My advice, for anyone who is reasonably good at budgeting, is to just go on variable direct debit.

    That’s what I did.

    I don’t see the downside. I don’t need shell’s help with my budgeting throughout the year. I’ll do it myself.

    Just charge me for the energy I actually use.

    I think the energy industry has taken the p*ss, normalising this “trust us to estimate your usage and we’ll help you smooth out your payments over the year” malarkey. It’s in their interests, not the customers.
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