Credit Query

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I've noticed we are in a high amount of credit for electric and gas, currently £374 for electric and £763 for gas. Could anyone tell me if I'm correct in thinking this is an usually high amount? I've noticed on the app that we have only used over £50 once for electric in 6 months and that month was only just over £50 yet we have been paying over £90 throughout those months and it was probably the same for the six months before that. The app doesn't show usage for the gas for some reason but i assume we must have been paying much more than we have needed to as the credit amount is so high. It's frustrating as with energy prices increasing it would have been very helpful to have been paying less per month than we have been. I feel like our energy company, SSE should have picked up on this and lowered our direct debit payments but I'm not sure if I'm correct in thinking this. I'm aware it is recommended to stay in credit so as to protect ourselves during the winter months but the credit amount seems excessive and our last bill was the highest it has been all year so I don't see how being in credit is helping. I feel I would be better off having the credit reimbursed and using the money towards the cost of our bills. 

Grateful for any insight into this.
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Comments

  • EssexHebridean
    EssexHebridean Posts: 21,482 Forumite
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    First thing is to work out your actual  use for gas IMO - have you been giving readings regularly? 
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  • matelodave
    matelodave Posts: 8,622 Forumite
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    As above, make sure that the bills show a meter reading that corresponds with your meter and are not based on estimates.

    Even if you've got a smart meter, check that they are using actual meter readings - there are an awful lot of smart meters that aren't being read automatically and customers are still getting estimated bills. TBH £60 for leccy over 6 months is unfeasibly low (it doesn't even cover the standing charge)

    Lots of people can end up with a lot of perceived credit if they don't send in regular meter readings and the suddenly get hit with a ginormous debit when the meter does eventually get read. Dont rely on apps, download a bill as a PDF and check it against the meter.

    TBH it's always a good idea to download PDF's of your bills and save them (you dont have to print them) rather than relying on apps, you've always got your own record just in case the apps or on-line account goes awry.

    When I was with SSE some years ago, their billing was around six monthly (even with a smart meter) and although we could end up with a hefty credit, it got wiped out when the bill was actually produced, so check carefully
    Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large numbers
  • badger09
    badger09 Posts: 11,247 Forumite
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    I've noticed on the app that we have only used over £50 once for electric in 6 months and that month was only just over £50 yet we have been paying over £90 throughout those months and it was probably the same for the six months before that. 


    @matelodave
    I think you’ve misread. 
    OP is saying the cost of their electricity usage is generally below £50 per month, and only once in the last 6 months did it slightly exceed £50. 

    OP
    The first thing to do is get accurate up to date bills for both gas & electricity. Then contact SSE for a refund of some of your credit if appropriate. 
    Different suppliers have different processes. Some review once a year & automatically make refund if appropriate. Octopus puts a message on my account that I might like a refund if my credit exceeds it’s suggested figure
  • MWT
    MWT Posts: 9,289 Forumite
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    badger09 said:

    I've noticed on the app that we have only used over £50 once for electric in 6 months and that month was only just over £50 yet we have been paying over £90 throughout those months and it was probably the same for the six months before that. 


    @matelodave
    I think you’ve misread. 
    OP is saying the cost of their electricity usage is generally below £50 per month, and only once in the last 6 months did it slightly exceed £50. 

    Just because the app is only showing low usage, doesn't mean the usage is low if it is not based on actual meter readings, hence the advice stands to start from an accurate assessment of actual annual use.
    Similarly looking at the last 6 months over summer is no guide to the next 6 months over winter...

  • badger09
    badger09 Posts: 11,247 Forumite
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    MWT said:
    badger09 said:

    I've noticed on the app that we have only used over £50 once for electric in 6 months and that month was only just over £50 yet we have been paying over £90 throughout those months and it was probably the same for the six months before that. 


    @matelodave
    I think you’ve misread. 
    OP is saying the cost of their electricity usage is generally below £50 per month, and only once in the last 6 months did it slightly exceed £50. 

    Just because the app is only showing low usage, doesn't mean the usage is low if it is not based on actual meter readings, hence the advice stands to start from an accurate assessment of actual annual use.
    Similarly looking at the last 6 months over summer is no guide to the next 6 months over winter...

    Why have you selected only the first part of my post to score your point? 

    That part of my post was purely to correct matelodave’s misinterpretation that OP had used less than £60 worth of electricity over 6 months. 

    Nowhere did I suggest figures from the app showed accurate assessment of annual usage. 
    In fact I advised that OP’s first step should be to obtain accurate & up to date bills for both gas and electricity. And then request a refund if appropriate. 
  • Prymus
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    Sorry for the late reply. Thanks very much for the info. I've been giving regular meter readings so i imagine they should be correct. I was thinking of switching to Octopus Energy and it's a good sign that their customer service is better than SSE if they actively contact you regarding credit (SSE are incredibly difficult to contact). So i think i may ask for the credit to be reimbursed and make the switch. 
  • ariarnia
    ariarnia Posts: 4,225 Forumite
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    thats about the same amount of credit as us and our bills are also only rarely over £50 but we are still on a cheap fix so our prices are going to go from 20p/3p for electric and gas to maybe 50p/12p in april depending on which forecast you beleve. working our our usage at the new rates our large credit wouldn't even give us 4 months cusion in the worst case. 
    Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you. Anne Lamott

    It's amazing how those with a can-do attitude and willingness to 'pitch in and work' get all the luck, isn't it?

    Please consider buying some pet food and giving it to your local food bank collection or animal charity. Animals aren't to blame for the cost of living crisis.
  • Prymus
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    Well I've had all my credit except one months worth direct debit refunded. Not sure if it's the right thing to do but I'd rather have the money in my bank account than in the hands of SSE. I can't recommend them any less
  • ariarnia
    ariarnia Posts: 4,225 Forumite
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    thanks for coming back to update :)

    worst case scenario if you have the cash in your account then you can always make a payment back into the energy account or by card if you find youve taken to much out. be aware that they might want to up your dd if they were including your credit in the sums for what it should be set at.

    if they do then working out what your annual usage should be based on meter readings is the best way to get them to set it to the level you think is right (and people here can always help with that if you need us to). 
    Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you. Anne Lamott

    It's amazing how those with a can-do attitude and willingness to 'pitch in and work' get all the luck, isn't it?

    Please consider buying some pet food and giving it to your local food bank collection or animal charity. Animals aren't to blame for the cost of living crisis.
  • [Deleted User]
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    I'd rather have the money in my bank account than in the hands of SSE

    What would SSE do with your credit balance other than deduct charges from it for energy used? If their billing is suspect that having a credit balance or not will not change anything.

    PS: Your credit balance is fully protected by your fellow energy consumers.

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