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Ask An Expert: ENERGY

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Monthly direct debit regulation?

Are there any proposals to regulate the monthly direct debit amounts demanded by energy companies? If not, why are consumer champions like MSE not pushing for this?

Excessive amounts are still being demanded by energy suppliers. The worst personal example of this came before the recent rise in energy prices, I was with npower on a fixed tariff and it was mid-summer. I had estimated my annual usage costs as £890, and my account balance was near enough zero. The company's projection was £900 for energy - so very close to my calculation. I was happy to pay £76-£80/month, but they demanded £100/month. This was 25% too much and they effectively wanted me to lend them £300!

I believe that the algorithms used to calculate direct debit amounts should be examined by Ofgem so the consumer is not being exploited.
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