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  • FIRST POST
    • leni
    • By leni 18th Mar 06, 11:53 AM
    • 926Posts
    • 458Thanks
    leni
    17 monthly increase in my gas DD
    • #1
    • 18th Mar 06, 11:53 AM
    17 monthly increase in my gas DD 18th Mar 06 at 11:53 AM
    Finally got round to filing my bills and stuff, and noticed that my gas DD is increasing this month from 18 to 34 reflecting the amount of gas I use! :confused: I'm 18 in debt to British Gas, but have always been in credit, my 18 a month means I over pay in spring and summer but the over payment covers my extra usage in the Winter! But this time I went 18, but to me, that doesn't warrent a hike of 17 per month!

    what can I do about it?

    DEBT FREE for the first time in 10 years and with savings!

    1st Baby due May 2011 it's a BOY
Page 1
  • magentadreamer
    • #2
    • 18th Mar 06, 12:46 PM
    • #2
    • 18th Mar 06, 12:46 PM
    Have you actualy worked out how much you will pay with the new increases for the next year? If you've got last years bills to hand work out how much gas you did use then mutiply it with the cost per unit now and if it really is going to be a lot less then your present payments I'd ring then with your calulations.
    • leni
    • By leni 18th Mar 06, 1:16 PM
    • 926 Posts
    • 458 Thanks
    leni
    • #3
    • 18th Mar 06, 1:16 PM
    • #3
    • 18th Mar 06, 1:16 PM
    I suppose, this time last year I was in credit, so it might work out even, but still! Think it was just a shock, I don't know how to work it out - I'm not sure I've worked this out right but I think we've used 15934 kWh of Gas and 3963 kWh of Elelctric, I looking through USWITCH and allot of others are coming out cheaper so I think I'll look at switching!

    DEBT FREE for the first time in 10 years and with savings!

    1st Baby due May 2011 it's a BOY
  • magentadreamer
    • #4
    • 18th Mar 06, 1:49 PM
    • #4
    • 18th Mar 06, 1:49 PM
    My DD went up in Jan with Scottish power but when I worked out how much Gas/Elec I'd used over the last year with the new prices it did actually work out to the new DD level. If switching is going to be cheaper then I'd say go for it. Use a cash back site like quidco.com and you might make some on switching as well if your new supplier is listed on there or any other cashback site.
  • Van1971
    • #5
    • 18th Mar 06, 2:07 PM
    • #5
    • 18th Mar 06, 2:07 PM
    Ring them up and tell them that 17 more a month is too much and negotiate something in between. It shouldn't be a problem.
    • Cardew
    • By Cardew 18th Mar 06, 9:17 PM
    • 27,861 Posts
    • 13,728 Thanks
    Cardew
    • #6
    • 18th Mar 06, 9:17 PM
    • #6
    • 18th Mar 06, 9:17 PM
    I suppose, this time last year I was in credit, so it might work out even, but still! Think it was just a shock, I don't know how to work it out - I'm not sure I've worked this out right but I think we've used 15934 kWh of Gas and 3963 kWh of Elelctric, I looking through USWITCH and allot of others are coming out cheaper so I think I'll look at switching!
    by leni
    18 to 34 is a hike of 16 a month.

    15,934 kWh at BG's post March prices will cost 447. So if that is the tariff you are on, 34 a month will not be sufficient to cover this - especially as BG usually take 11 months DD payments in a year.

    Also 18 was not enough to have paid for last year's gas at their old tariff.

    Who do you pay your electricity to? How much you pay depends on the area in which you live but an average cost from BG for 3963 kWh would be approx 420pa. (and BG are reasonable for electricity)

    So allowing for discounts for the consumption you quote your dual fuel payments should be in the order of 65 a month.

    Your dual fuel consumption is below the national average.
    • Louisepp
    • By Louisepp 23rd Mar 06, 12:41 AM
    • 299 Posts
    • 188 Thanks
    Louisepp
    • #7
    • 23rd Mar 06, 12:41 AM
    Mrs
    • #7
    • 23rd Mar 06, 12:41 AM
    Ring them up and tell them that 17 more a month is too much and negotiate something in between. It shouldn't be a problem.
    by Van1971
    Similar problem here. My Scottish power DD has just gone up from 53 per month to 165 pm

    Someone else suggested I phoned them and negotiated, but I assume that I will have to pay it all in the end? So reducing the payment is just going to delay and put me in debt for longer?

    Or do they actually write off some of the bill? Okay...possibly stupid question, but these boards are really getting me thinking

    BTW, we have only been with Scottish power for 10 months. I assume they gave us such a low gas/elec monthly DD price to entice us?

    We should have been more on the ball checking the estimated meter readings. Used to always check them, but been a bit lazy recently
    Last edited by Louisepp; 23-03-2006 at 12:47 AM.
    • Henry-Root
    • By Henry-Root 23rd Mar 06, 1:59 AM
    • 23 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    Henry-Root
    • #8
    • 23rd Mar 06, 1:59 AM
    Powergen overestimated the savings
    • #8
    • 23rd Mar 06, 1:59 AM
    About 18 months ago now I gleefully switched to Powergen from British Gas having used Uswitch. Unfortunately, I did not keep an eye on my energy bills and after 12 months noticed that I was over 250 in debt as the DD was not recovering my actual energy usage. In the time stated, my energy usage had not increased so far as I was aware but I was forced to repay the overdue balance or remain in debt. I chose the former but have always wondered why I finished up paying far more than I did with my original supplier.

    I am now considering another change but am a little sceptical as to the accuracy of energy comparison services and also the rates "new" suppliers say they will charge.
    • Cardew
    • By Cardew 23rd Mar 06, 7:53 AM
    • 27,861 Posts
    • 13,728 Thanks
    Cardew
    • #9
    • 23rd Mar 06, 7:53 AM
    • #9
    • 23rd Mar 06, 7:53 AM
    BTW, we have only been with Scottish power for 10 months. I assume they gave us such a low gas/elec monthly DD price to entice us?
    by Louisepp
    That is exactly what hapens all the time. There is only commission to be made if a customer switches.

    I am pretty certain that if you were paying 50 a month with Company A and quoted this figure to Company B they would say 40. Quote 40 to Company C and they would say 30 etc etc.
    • smartie1976
    • By smartie1976 23rd Mar 06, 11:41 AM
    • 1,874 Posts
    • 1,849 Thanks
    smartie1976
    Before you switch, take time to consider a few things.

    Cardew is of course correct - I think you are currently Underpaying and when you get your next bill you will be more than 18 owing on gas.

    Looking at this simply (using round figures cos it's easier!):

    Example: If gas has gone up by 30% then so should your DD.
    18 x 1.3 = 23.40

    However, if you are owing money (and it will depend on how much) you will need to pay that back over the year. So if you owe say 50 it is reasonable you will pay an additional 4 odd per month. (50/ 12 months)

    Your total would then be 28 per month.

    So, in conclusion 34 seems high compared to your 18, but even I pay more than 18 pcm on gas and I'm at home only half the week in a 2-bed terrace, and I'm not so sure the 18 wasn't too low in the first place.

    You need to make sure your current reads are inline with those on your bills/ account.
    Last edited by smartie1976; 23-03-2006 at 11:43 AM.
    It's BOUGHT (to Buy), not BROUGHT (to bring) AND you cannot be frauded, only DEfrauded.

    Please do not buy animals from a pet store. Visit your local sanctuary or centre and give a good home to an unloved or abandoned animal.
    • melbury
    • By melbury 23rd Mar 06, 1:38 PM
    • 11,019 Posts
    • 19,053 Thanks
    melbury
    BG recently tried to put my DD up from 49.50 pm to 79.50 pm - I was so angry I phoned and said that if they didn't bring it back to a reasonable level there and then I was switching without delay. The guy was very helpful and apologetic and basically added up my last four gas bills and divided by 12 and asked if I was happy to pay that amount each month, which I was - worked out to be about 57 pm. He says the computer works out what the new payments should be, so I told him to sack the computer!
    • melbury
    • By melbury 23rd Mar 06, 1:40 PM
    • 11,019 Posts
    • 19,053 Thanks
    melbury
    Reading about all of these problems, is it really worth switching at all? I never have but keep thinking about it.
    • Louisepp
    • By Louisepp 23rd Mar 06, 1:50 PM
    • 299 Posts
    • 188 Thanks
    Louisepp
    BG recently tried to put my DD up from 49.50 pm to 79.50 pm - I was so angry I phoned and said that if they didn't bring it back to a reasonable level there and then I was switching without delay. The guy was very helpful and apologetic and basically added up my last four gas bills and divided by 12 and asked if I was happy to pay that amount each month, which I was - worked out to be about 57 pm. He says the computer works out what the new payments should be, so I told him to sack the computer!
    by melbury
    But what if the computer is right? I'm thinking that if the comp is telling me my DD should be 165 and not 53, and we agree to pay say...70 pm, I might be getting 100in arrears each month.

    If I have been underpaying, then surely I'm going to have to pay for it someday? Asking them to reduce it is just going to delay that last bill.

    The thought of having to find an extra 112 per month is kinda scary, but I'd rather that than a 2,000 bill sent in 18 months time (which is pretty much what the child tax credit people did last week )

    So 'at the end of the day', will you have to pay for everything you use, or will they write some of it off?
    • Cardew
    • By Cardew 23rd Mar 06, 2:27 PM
    • 27,861 Posts
    • 13,728 Thanks
    Cardew
    BG recently tried to put my DD up from 49.50 pm to 79.50 pm - I was so angry I phoned and said that if they didn't bring it back to a reasonable level there and then I was switching without delay. The guy was very helpful and apologetic and basically added up my last four gas bills and divided by 12 and asked if I was happy to pay that amount each month, which I was - worked out to be about 57 pm. He says the computer works out what the new payments should be, so I told him to sack the computer!
    by melbury
    From your post it would appear that your bill last year was 684(12 x 57). However you paid 594 (12 x 49.50).

    So it appears that you are 90 in debit.

    This year BG has raised its prices by approx 20%. So if your bills totalled 684 last year they will be approx 820 this year.

    However after your phone call you are only going to pay 684. So you will be a further 136 in debt, making a total of 226.

    If you calculate what your next year bill will be and add the amount you are in debt the monthly Direct Debit initially worked out by the computer was about correct.

    Perhaps it should be the 'helpful and apologetic guy' that needs the sack and not the computer. He hasn't helped you(apart from a small saving in interest) and just ensured that you will get deeper in debt.

    You will not be able to switch utility companies until you clear your debt, so he is tying you into BG.
    • Cardew
    • By Cardew 23rd Mar 06, 2:45 PM
    • 27,861 Posts
    • 13,728 Thanks
    Cardew
    But what if the computer is right? I'm thinking that if the comp is telling me my DD should be 165 and not 53, and we agree to pay say...70 pm, I might be getting 100in arrears each month.

    If I have been underpaying, then surely I'm going to have to pay for it someday? Asking them to reduce it is just going to delay that last bill.

    The thought of having to find an extra 112 per month is kinda scary, but I'd rather that than a 2,000 bill sent in 18 months time (which is pretty much what the child tax credit people did last week )

    So 'at the end of the day', will you have to pay for everything you use, or will they write some of it off?
    by Louisepp
    Louise,
    You are quite correct. Despite the protestations of some people on this forum the 'computer' for all the utility companies is usually correct.

    All it does is take last years consumption as a guide. It then predicts your annual bill, based on that consumption, for this year(after the inevitable price rise!) adds any accumulated debit balance and works out the monthly DD using that total.

    There is no doubt that nearly all of the utility companies are at fault in fixing direct debits at an unrealistically low figure in order to obtain customers. Using this as a reason, there have been cases of customers 'negotiating' a write off of some of the accumulated debt; often on the grounds of financial hardship.
    • melbury
    • By melbury 23rd Mar 06, 6:18 PM
    • 11,019 Posts
    • 19,053 Thanks
    melbury
    Unfortunatley I think you are correct!

    Having phoned in my gas meter reading today, I am awaiting the dreaded gas bill for the quarter Dec-March and have just done some rough calculations - think it will be around the 400 mark and so there is no way that my current DD will clear that until well after the next bill is due. Suppose the bet way forward is to just write them a cheque for the amount I will be in debit and at least start this new quarter with a clean slate.

    These utility bills are really stressful aren't they.
  • grabbit
    Louise,
    You are quite correct. Despite the protestations of some people on this forum the 'computer' for all the utility companies is usually correct.

    All it does is take last years consumption as a guide. It then predicts your annual bill, based on that consumption, for this year(after the inevitable price rise!) adds any accumulated debit balance and works out the monthly DD using that total.

    There is no doubt that nearly all of the utility companies are at fault in fixing direct debits at an unrealistically low figure in order to obtain customers. Using this as a reason, there have been cases of customers 'negotiating' a write off of some of the accumulated debt; often on the grounds of financial hardship.
    by Cardew
    Louise
    Just out of interest when you originally switched to scottish power did you use their own onlnie savings calculator ? I did and found that the savings they predicted did not materialise. I disputed the bills 6 months ago as the difference between what I was paying and what they were charging was getting wider. They said I must be using more gas and elec (I'm not). I said that their calculator was wrong (they said proove it). I said what figured were they using in their calculator and they went quite. All they then said was that it was right and it was tough luck. However they did offer to write off 20% of the bill allegedly because of their poor response to my complaint. However I still maintain they are wrong becuase I gave them accurate figures when I joined. So we are now in a stalemate position but I still have my money in the bank.

    Personally I think their online tool was wrong, but don't have the evidence to challenge it because they wont give it to me.

    So if you are in the same situation, it may be that they are deliberately and knowingly over selling the savings just to get business.

    Anyone else had a similar experience with scottish power ?
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