Energy customers set for refunds when direct debits are too high
17/03/2021 | news | business | 591
Energy regulator Ofgem says customers' overpayments are being used to pay for "unsustainable business".
1
17/03/2021 10:24:27 127 12
bbc
A toothless regulator full of people who previously worked and the industry and are sympathatic towards it (because they have shares in the energy companies). Not independent in the slightest. Another rip-off Britain stitch-up.
10
17/03/2021 10:27:27 89 78
bbc
how about people keep an eye on their own accounts instead of leaving all the decision making to the energy suppliers. As usual, a total lack of discipline by home owners, constantly passing on the blame.
228
17/03/2021 11:53:03 6 6
bbc
If you have overpaid you can ask for it back. Just because people are lazy its not the governments fault or that of a regulator. People moan about the nanny state until it suites them not to moan about it!
317
17/03/2021 12:10:00 2 2
bbc
Another tedious conspiracy theory.
2
44
17/03/2021 10:24:40 2 1
bbc
Just wondering if the recent increase in my tariff prices is a pre-emptive way in which the energy companies are responding to this? It means they use more of the money paid by DD each month, so less of a balance will accrue. Just curious
3
17/03/2021 10:25:24 4 3
bbc
a BRILLIANT and long overdue idea.
a practical way to help people get their surplus payments back and hold companies to account.
4
17/03/2021 10:22:51 52 35
bbc
Another total shambles due to yet another total failure of a Thatcher privatisation
29
17/03/2021 10:37:13 41 42
bbc
That's it... Blame "Fatcher"... You obviously don't remember the sheer awfulness that was the nationalised suppliers.
47
17/03/2021 10:46:58 9 9
bbc
Privatisation was a brilliant idea. Should not have been nationalised in the first place.
121
17/03/2021 11:14:17 6 4
bbc
Ultimately it’s not about Privatised v Nationalised, it’s how good the management of any entity is. Nationalised industries ‘can’ work very well in some sectors/countries after all. Unfortunately the historical lense many tend to view UK nationalised bodies is not favourable, though I would wager good money could operate better with political will, and there’s my real doubt unfortunately.
161
17/03/2021 11:27:34 5 3
bbc
Prices went DOWN after the market was opened up, purely through competition.
5
17/03/2021 10:23:52 8 2
bbc
I contacted my energy supplier this morning to alter my monthly direct debit.

I am not sure if the beeb allows me to name them, but they are named after an animal with 8 tentacles with suckers on. There was a James Bond film named after one of these animals, and at one point the animal SUCKERED on to the face of a villan.

They were helpful and adjusted my monthly payment lower.
6
17/03/2021 10:26:33 48 3
bbc
Octopus let you change your monthly payments, I set mine to £70 for the winter and £35/£40 for the rest of the year.

Even when I was -£80 they were recommending a monthly fee of £40.

Been pretty good last 3 years, stay away from the enormous companies.
311
17/03/2021 11:53:31 6 3
bbc
best supplier out there IMO. If your not on at least the GO tariff what are you doing!?
7
17/03/2021 10:25:45 59 7
bbc
Ovo Energy pay 3 to 5% interest on all credit balances so I do not want a refund, thank you!
24
17/03/2021 10:35:36 26 1
bbc
They are being investigated at the moment.
39
17/03/2021 10:30:43 11 1
bbc
I might chuck them my life savings then.
46
ant
17/03/2021 10:46:43 3 1
bbc
Same here! I'm happy for them having as much as possible.
156
17/03/2021 11:25:37 10 1
bbc
Too good to be true. Could it be a scam? I would suggest that this company's finances very definitely need investigating.
158
17/03/2021 11:25:55 3 1
bbc
This is only up to £1000 but if you remember to withdraw anything over that, which they pay into your account within a day or so they are the best paying bank around!
305
17/03/2021 12:08:27 0 0
bbc
Will they let you overpay by a large amount though?
472
17/03/2021 14:01:22 0 0
bbc
left them years ago after a price hike
8
ACA
17/03/2021 10:26:54 46 9
bbc
Wouldn't it be simpler if energy companies charge us for what we use? Most households have meter readers these days and if we provide a meter reading or if it is automatically read then an actual bill based on usage should be the standard
15
17/03/2021 10:29:34 44 4
bbc
We provide a monthly meter reading, but every year they try an put up our direct debit, and we always end up in credit. Reading the meter proves nothing.
31
17/03/2021 10:37:32 12 3
bbc
They're trying to smooth out the bills for people, effectively helping people save during summer so they can pay for winter heating. Seems a decent policy, just some bad implementation.
190
17/03/2021 11:38:49 7 0
bbc
That exists for every supplier now. However, rather than paying say £1000 for the 2 quarters in the winter and £440 for the 2 in the summer I prefer to pay £120 every month. Easier for me to budget. Yes that leaves a risk of under or overpaying but if you work it out properly the over or under at the end of the year is minimal.
209
17/03/2021 11:44:23 2 2
bbc
But that would mean we paid after using the service rather than before we used it based on estimates - now why wouldn't Energy companies not want that?
299
17/03/2021 12:07:50 3 0
bbc
Would work for some but for many the variability would be hard to manage.
310
17/03/2021 12:09:29 4 0
bbc
You can choose to pay for actual usage but a fixed monthly direct debit usually offers you a discount.
376
17/03/2021 12:30:18 0 0
bbc
Phone/broadband/mob phone companies do that. No excuse not to treat energy smart meter customers in the same way. Aah! But then energy companies would have to go cap in hand to their banks, like other industries, instead of getting an interest-free loan from the customers.
437
17/03/2021 13:18:09 3 0
bbc
Most people with a regular monthly income prefer to have regular outgoings as well as it is easier than having different amounts to pay each month.
576
17/03/2021 22:33:42 0 0
bbc
Many suppliers offer that
9
17/03/2021 10:27:04 39 27
bbc
Perhaps the BBC would like to start doing the same with the extra six months of licence fee that they currently take by direct debit?
Pot, black, kettle, calling...
56
17/03/2021 10:49:58 24 12
bbc
Not calling anything, just reporting the news.
1
17/03/2021 10:24:27 127 12
bbc
A toothless regulator full of people who previously worked and the industry and are sympathatic towards it (because they have shares in the energy companies). Not independent in the slightest. Another rip-off Britain stitch-up.
10
17/03/2021 10:27:27 89 78
bbc
how about people keep an eye on their own accounts instead of leaving all the decision making to the energy suppliers. As usual, a total lack of discipline by home owners, constantly passing on the blame.
16
17/03/2021 10:29:37 23 8
bbc
People do, but it's impossible to actually get the refunds. A bit like Easyjet ......
122
17/03/2021 11:14:24 8 3
bbc
Because that is less efficient, with no benefit. It is the same electricity. This isn't a market, it is a scam.
125
17/03/2021 11:15:36 11 4
bbc
They aren’t all computer literate, so that’s a tad disingenuous.
155
17/03/2021 11:25:17 10 1
bbc
Because suppling utility services shouldn't be about confusing and ripping off customers. Its about giving equal services everyone in the country needs so that they can concentrate on the important things in life.
198
Rod
17/03/2021 11:28:44 6 3
bbc
I check my account credit (usually at the start of winter) each time the energy company tell me they are increasing my direct debit to ensure I stay in balance, because 'customers tend to use more energy during the winter months'. I always reply saying my credit should be more than enough to cover any extra usage. They put the direct debit up anyway. So each year, my account credit creeps up.
251
17/03/2021 11:59:03 3 3
bbc
You are victim blaming. I for one do not want a system that lets companies pray on their most vulnerable customers who are incapable of keeping an eye on their accounts and being wary and reacting to profit gouging.
319
17/03/2021 12:10:57 1 1
bbc
Because Ofgen is such a weak regulator not everyone has choice.

Millions for instance on Economy10, have no access to switching sites.

And whilst other regulators including in NI kept prices low, prices in mainland UK were allowed to grow, double digits, sometimes twice per year.

Whilst foreign directors pocket millions.

But nationalisation didnt work for consumers either, just the unions.
370
17/03/2021 12:28:35 0 4
bbc
I do and always have done but it’s like pulling teeth trying to get a refund. And completely fruitless when your provider suddenly goes bust owing you £££ ????and absolves themselves of any responsibility!
407
17/03/2021 12:49:33 3 0
bbc
Exactly. I get notification of the bills with excess debit or credit showing. If the credit builds up I ask for a refund and a reduction on payment amounts. Never had any problem or waited months for the money.
445
17/03/2021 13:25:25 1 0
bbc
I do keep an eye on my account and had to take action when my supplier tried to increase my direct debit by 15% even though I was in credit at the year-end. It took lots of time on the phone and having to get stroppy to stop the supplier helping themselves to an interest free loan.
523
17/03/2021 15:26:19 0 0
bbc
Having taken on an electricity supply last October, complete with smart meter, I've yet to have a proper bill. All I get is emails from the company saying the bill is running late. Something about a brewery comes to mind when it comes to describing the modern way of producing bills.
528
17/03/2021 15:41:02 0 0
bbc
Obviously blaming the victims is easier than reading the article. As usual.

Why are you singling out "home owners" for your nonsense? Tenants have the exact same issue.

As usual, there is no "blame" being passed; only the self-evident idea that overpayments should get refunded automatically.

Why it took 30+ years to get this set up is the real problem. But don't tell Sid.
11
17/03/2021 10:27:38 87 7
bbc
Ofgem need to look at the arbitrary rises that Direct Debit customers seem to get saddled with. Every year my supplier tries to increase my direct debit from around £50 to as much as £90 based on the same usage patterns. Every year I argue back at them that I always end up in credit and all the rise will achieve will be an increase in their bank balance. Eventually they agree not to change it.
20
17/03/2021 10:33:21 36 33
bbc
Then shop around and change supplier. Simples. I do it every year
41
17/03/2021 10:42:32 2 11
bbc
yes shop around, it's pathetic how many people complain yet do nothing about it! Enter your energy usage figures in on a comparison website and you'll get the best prices from your area, so energy is very good for me. You can leave most suppliers for £5-20 if you are not happy.
129
17/03/2021 11:16:25 3 0
bbc
And they don’t even consult you prior to the increase !
181
17/03/2021 11:36:40 1 3
bbc
Change your supplier you deserve better
206
17/03/2021 11:42:48 1 0
bbc
I changed my supplier after they changed their policy to varying monthly Direct Debits to prevent a negative account balance, rather than a fixed amount based on your annual usage divided by 12 months - very difficult to maintain a monthly budget when your DD debit keeps fluctuating up and down.
272
pTc
17/03/2021 12:03:48 0 1
bbc
Move to Bulb you can set your own direct debit payments each month if you wanted too. But you don't need too because they adjust based on your usage, and that is both up and down, A top company to be honest. Better than the cowboys at NPower or Scottish power.
284
17/03/2021 12:05:12 1 1
bbc
I'm with Octopus energy and I can choose my direct debit amounts, lowering them myself if I start to run into too much credit. Also they give £50 credit for new customers https://share.octopus.energy/brass-ram-106
320
17/03/2021 12:11:34 1 1
bbc
@"Ofgem need to look at the arbitrary rises that Direct Debit customers seem to get saddled with"

I have the opposite problem... I'd rather end up with them owing me, than me owing them, so I keep upping my DD myself (my supplier lets me do this online) to slightly overpay

Then typically, a short while later, the supplier unilaterally reduces my DD again.

Rinse and repeat each year. Arggh.
493
17/03/2021 14:56:19 0 0
bbc
I got out of direct debit with S.E.Water because of the unconscionable overage they always wanted in my a/c. I found them to be far worse than electricity and gas companies perhaps because there is no choice, I see that the share price of water is higher than any other utility. Why?
12
17/03/2021 10:27:53 1 3
bbc
Unsustainable elements of business- could we have clarity on this.
Are they statutory requirements laid upon the industry and so being incorrectly resourced by the companies as without meeting these requirements they would not be entitled to a licence to operate (and so incorrectly defined as unsustainable in article)
Or bits of business that need binning/restructuring to make pay?
13
17/03/2021 10:28:42 18 5
bbc
The great Energy rip-off is only going to get worse as fossil fuels are depleted and populations increase.

They do whatever they please with impunity and they definitely don't want us generating our own energy for free. Ofgem has very little power to change things.
383
17/03/2021 12:34:06 7 3
bbc
Strange, they -pay- my niece and her wife for the solar power they generate and don't use....

Annoying things facts, aren't they?
14
17/03/2021 10:28:55 34 5
bbc
The mystical world of electric bill tariffs... EON moved me from £45 per month to £90 per month quite quietly recently. I didn't know the cost of electricity had doubled overnight?
35
17/03/2021 10:39:10 27 1
bbc
Probably time to change your electricity supplier.
37
17/03/2021 10:39:44 4 1
bbc
So just cancel your DD and pay the bill when it comes in. Your 10% saving via DD is meaningless if the company is taking double what you actually owe.
324
17/03/2021 12:11:56 1 0
bbc
Sounds like you're in debit.
8
ACA
17/03/2021 10:26:54 46 9
bbc
Wouldn't it be simpler if energy companies charge us for what we use? Most households have meter readers these days and if we provide a meter reading or if it is automatically read then an actual bill based on usage should be the standard
15
17/03/2021 10:29:34 44 4
bbc
We provide a monthly meter reading, but every year they try an put up our direct debit, and we always end up in credit. Reading the meter proves nothing.
10
17/03/2021 10:27:27 89 78
bbc
how about people keep an eye on their own accounts instead of leaving all the decision making to the energy suppliers. As usual, a total lack of discipline by home owners, constantly passing on the blame.
16
17/03/2021 10:29:37 23 8
bbc
People do, but it's impossible to actually get the refunds. A bit like Easyjet ......
247
17/03/2021 11:57:54 8 4
bbc
Strange, it took about 4 mouse clicks and typing in a number to get a refund from my supplier, a couple of months ago.

And the money was back in my account in less than a week, too.

But that won't convince you, will it?
338
17/03/2021 12:14:51 1 0
bbc
Got mine automatically in Dec.

Price cap and mild winter last year meant got over 100 back, dropped DD, then cold snap and rates up 12% next month, so needed to put it back up over old level.
17
17/03/2021 10:31:45 28 4
bbc
"Ofgem has proposed that, from next year, companies automatically refund customers"

So it's only a proposal then, that means it likely will not happen.
533
17/03/2021 15:44:26 2 0
bbc
Nothing gets done at all without it first being proposed. This is a step in the right direction.
18
17/03/2021 10:32:01 5 5
bbc
On this subject, the worst example of a utility company is Egotricity.

Their CEO Dale Vince is happy to run up a healthy bank balance, at the expense of paying customers.

Never trust an ex-hippy.
19
17/03/2021 10:32:39 28 4
bbc
The money is just resting in their accounts.
42
17/03/2021 10:44:09 25 3
bbc
Doubt it. They will be using it interest free.
211
17/03/2021 11:45:06 2 1
bbc
Believe me, It's not "resting"
238
17/03/2021 11:55:42 3 2
bbc
Not in the winter it's not.

Personally I prefer to pay the bill in full each month (smart meter, don't need to send readings or rely on estimates).

However, a lot of people are unable/unwilling to budget and would be in trouble in winter months when gas/electric bills are 3-4 times higher than summer months so the current system works for them in that it smooths out the peaks and troughs
278
17/03/2021 12:04:17 0 0
bbc
What like Father Ted!
298
17/03/2021 12:07:47 4 0
bbc
Comment of the day, though most won't get the reference
475
17/03/2021 14:04:58 0 0
bbc
Thank you Father Ted
11
17/03/2021 10:27:38 87 7
bbc
Ofgem need to look at the arbitrary rises that Direct Debit customers seem to get saddled with. Every year my supplier tries to increase my direct debit from around £50 to as much as £90 based on the same usage patterns. Every year I argue back at them that I always end up in credit and all the rise will achieve will be an increase in their bank balance. Eventually they agree not to change it.
20
17/03/2021 10:33:21 36 33
bbc
Then shop around and change supplier. Simples. I do it every year
126
17/03/2021 11:15:56 11 1
bbc
Before you change how do you know that the new supplier is any better than the existing supplier?
Last year Bulb quoted me a much lower monthly payment, I assume to win my business, and since than has increased my monthly payments at regular intervals so that it’s now much more than I paid my previous supplier!
149
17/03/2021 11:22:58 19 1
bbc
Why should one have to put in endless hours to end up with as bad a practice with a new supplier? But then, anyone who uses the expression ‘simples’ is so smug nothing can get through.
183
17/03/2021 11:37:04 13 1
bbc
They're all crap though. Where's my option for a nationalised energy supplier where I know the focus is on providing best quality of service rather than making money for investors/shareholders?
220
17/03/2021 11:49:46 0 1
bbc
well said jon
326
17/03/2021 12:12:26 1 1
bbc
I agree that it is often a good idea to switch, but the switching process is too long and complicated, and needs to be improved. It should not take many weeks as it does now.
333
17/03/2021 12:13:30 2 1
bbc
It's not "simples". It's hugely inconvenient when you have to do the same thing for gas, electric, broadband, mobile phone, car insurance, etc, etc.

People should be free to spend their precious spare time doing more constructive things, rather than trawling price comparison sites and going through this annual pantomime.

Forced annual price increases go beyond normal market capitalism.
405
17/03/2021 12:48:39 3 1
bbc
Another massive inefficiency in the privatisation. Customers should not need to spend days each year changing all their suppliers. A single nationalised company charging cost price would avoid all that
421
17/03/2021 12:46:29 1 0
bbc
You get a yearly mess too eh.
580
18/03/2021 00:48:10 0 0
bbc
They are all crap, they all try it on, some more than others. I change every year or two and still have yet to find one who doesn't annoy me
21
17/03/2021 10:34:49 2 1
bbc
I have just received refunds of £112 for gas and £147 for elec and both DDs dropped by half from next month.
32
17/03/2021 10:38:35 2 2
bbc
Why don't you just pay what you owe? You get a bill once every 3 months, it's not exactly a hassle.
22
17/03/2021 10:35:04 4 3
bbc
Why should checking for and returning excess pre-paid money only happen annually? It should be done monthly.
36
17/03/2021 10:39:27 4 0
bbc
because as stated, summer months you use less. If people pay less in the summer, come the winter, the bill will be much higher and some may struggle to pay it if it were monthly. By spreading the cost, it makes more sense. One can opt for the quarterly bill in most cases.
133
17/03/2021 11:17:18 1 0
bbc
Fine as long as you are willing to pay the extra each month in the winter.
23
17/03/2021 10:35:35 227 59
bbc
Just think how simple it would be if we had only the one supplier for electricity; after all, whoever you elect as your "supplier" it is the same actual electricity - they don't change the wiring over! We could have a nationwide business whose profits were used for the benefit of all, you know, a sort of, er, nationalised industry. We used to, and it worked better than today's complete mess.
38
17/03/2021 10:40:49 112 133
bbc
Blackouts in the 70's springs to mind, in response to that statement.

And yes, I know, that was due to the miners, but when you have a monolithic industry such as the coal industry, it only takes someone like Scargill to bring the country to its knees.
69
17/03/2021 10:56:42 44 17
bbc
I do sympathise with the comment Michael, and if it could be done properly it would be great, but sadly nationalised industries are historically very poorly run, with decisions based on politics, not commerce, and usually idiotic & idealistic union leaders 'advising' staff poorly.
101
17/03/2021 11:06:56 37 7
bbc
So much simpler when there was a single regional supplier for gas and electricity, they read the meter every three months, and I paid the bills a few weeks later
Now my energy supplier sends me several emails every month and has changed my monthly payment four times in just over 12 months
Yes I could change supplier but having done this once I’ve no expectation that another supplier will be better
115
17/03/2021 11:13:05 3 17
bbc
Oh come on you know privatisation makes sense.. ROL
139
17/03/2021 11:18:49 8 15
bbc
You mean like some sort of monopoly?
159
17/03/2021 11:26:42 4 11
bbc
Monopolies never work to the benefit of the customer.
177
17/03/2021 11:34:33 3 8
bbc
All very well but for those of us over 5o we can remember how bad and inefficient the nationalised industries were. Yes I agree the profit goal of privatisation is a major issue but the exact opposite was as much an issue with the old N I. If you look at Gas, British Gas was the old NI. It is no surprise or coincidence that it is the highest or one of the highest priced suppliers now. go figure..
226
17/03/2021 11:51:32 1 0
bbc
Why is it a "complete mess" then? And dont twist the facts, no state owned industry made a profit.
245
17/03/2021 11:57:33 3 2
bbc
The good old days when everything was nationalised we had trains that never turned up, electricty blackout, telephone party lines shared with a neighbour, 28 day deliveries for parcels. It's a shame the young today missed all that nationalise fun.
249
17/03/2021 11:46:48 3 2
bbc
Oh! Michael, were you not around when the massive rape - sorry, privatisation - of the utilities was all the rage. We were PROMISED that we - the customers - would benefit as we would be able to choose our supplier and thereby COMPETITION would drive the FREE ECONOMY in our interest?

I hope that lying leader is burning in hell...at premium rate!
257
17/03/2021 11:59:54 2 0
bbc
Lets’s create a monopoly and give consumers no choice at all over who they buy their energy from or at what price. What a great idea (not). Do you seriously think the profits made by your monopoly would be used for the benefit of all?
264
pTc
17/03/2021 12:01:50 3 0
bbc
With a single supplier you have no room for negotiation. If they put up the price you pay or sit in the Dark. You lose all your bargaining power. Much like socialism to be honest.
265
17/03/2021 12:01:53 3 1
bbc
And for water we don't even have a choice of commercial supplier! I get Welsh water in England from a German company and the bills are escalating rapidly.
266
17/03/2021 12:02:00 0 0
bbc
Dream on.
267
17/03/2021 12:02:07 1 1
bbc
Nationalized industries did not work, because we are at the mercy of the politicians and the unions.
A clear charter should be drawn up that states the industry must be managed independently, and must at least break even.
Pay rises must be earned, not automatic, and staff who underperform should be fired. Our other national industries are full of lazy people, who don't care if they do good or not.
271
17/03/2021 12:03:11 2 0
bbc
Just like the roads... all done by the government for tax payers.

The road network is in great condition, isn't it!
295
17/03/2021 12:06:46 1 1
bbc
I can remember this, and I do not agree that it worked better. Monopoly suppliers have no interest in looking after their customers, who were presented with large bills each quarter. Some degree of choice is preferable.
316
17/03/2021 11:56:29 1 3
bbc
Too many are too young to remember the 70s. This is why we have so many naive, Left-orientated dreamers.
367
17/03/2021 12:27:47 0 0
bbc
Oh yes. We could also apply it to housing, transport etc and all of the surplus could drive down taxation but apparently the markets are there to help the consumer! Hahahaha
7
17/03/2021 10:25:45 59 7
bbc
Ovo Energy pay 3 to 5% interest on all credit balances so I do not want a refund, thank you!
24
17/03/2021 10:35:36 26 1
bbc
They are being investigated at the moment.
25
17/03/2021 10:36:41 18 12
bbc
Worked a treat since Thatcher deregulated the utility industries. Who'd av thought ?
33
17/03/2021 10:39:00 16 18
bbc
Worked a treat since Labour failed to renationalise the utility industries. Who'd av thought?
26
17/03/2021 10:36:44 3 2
bbc
As homes are better insulated and solar power allows you to buy less or even supply then electricity companies can only maintain income by raising prices.

Part of the Green revolution needs a plan to reduce the size and influence of these companies.

Direct debits were a great idea when they came in - we are approaching point where daily billing and apps will end them - tell banks first though
27
17/03/2021 10:36:47 11 1
bbc
It's insane how much money these companies are hoarding, one person I know is owed almost £500. Just take the money the customer owes and not a penny more.
28
17/03/2021 10:36:58 8 2
bbc
Pretty simple if you move companies regularly then you wont amass a large credit balance! I was with E-On a few years back and when I changed to another cheaper supplier E-On mailed me a cheque for my whole credit balance of 1p. Never cashed it just framed it and hung it on the wall.
4
17/03/2021 10:22:51 52 35
bbc
Another total shambles due to yet another total failure of a Thatcher privatisation
29
17/03/2021 10:37:13 41 42
bbc
That's it... Blame "Fatcher"... You obviously don't remember the sheer awfulness that was the nationalised suppliers.
145
17/03/2021 11:20:23 12 7
bbc
If things were so bad under Thatcher, why didn't Labour reverse anything? Could it be because deep down they knew Thatcher was right?
199
17/03/2021 11:40:57 5 0
bbc
What about the 'sheer awfulness' of the present system ? Why does my energy payments goto foreign govenments, who own our energy suppliers ?
341
17/03/2021 12:15:18 3 5
bbc
Like you, I remember the chaotic, union-dominated 70s. Never again.
442
17/03/2021 13:23:31 3 1
bbc
Funny how -you- feel the need to use a "funny" spelling of her name. isn't it?

And I wouldn't have voted for her if you'd paid me...
584
18/03/2021 10:05:34 0 0
bbc
Oh but I do...and no, it wasn't actually any worse than the mess we are currently in. You've just swallowed the propaganda hook line and sinker. (And I bet you also complain about how bad BR sandwiches used to be...)
30
17/03/2021 10:37:28 7 7
bbc
If you don't like it, then don't use the direct debit system.
108
17/03/2021 11:10:05 0 0
bbc
Gets a bit difficult when a lot of people can’t afford to have several hundred pounds lying about for Electricity, Gas and water bills etc.
8
ACA
17/03/2021 10:26:54 46 9
bbc
Wouldn't it be simpler if energy companies charge us for what we use? Most households have meter readers these days and if we provide a meter reading or if it is automatically read then an actual bill based on usage should be the standard
31
17/03/2021 10:37:32 12 3
bbc
They're trying to smooth out the bills for people, effectively helping people save during summer so they can pay for winter heating. Seems a decent policy, just some bad implementation.
136
17/03/2021 11:17:46 5 3
bbc
No, they have held over huge sums of money for years. That is for their interests, not yours.
21
17/03/2021 10:34:49 2 1
bbc
I have just received refunds of £112 for gas and £147 for elec and both DDs dropped by half from next month.
32
17/03/2021 10:38:35 2 2
bbc
Why don't you just pay what you owe? You get a bill once every 3 months, it's not exactly a hassle.
545
17/03/2021 17:17:48 0 0
bbc
You do realise most suppliers give a discount for paying by DD - usually more than you'd earn if you left your money in the bank...

But if you want to do more work and pay more for the privelige, that's up to you
550
17/03/2021 17:34:51 0 0
bbc
Getting a bill for an unknown amount is a huge hassle for some people on a limited income. Knowing how much is coming out of your account each month makes it easier for them to budget responsibly.
25
17/03/2021 10:36:41 18 12
bbc
Worked a treat since Thatcher deregulated the utility industries. Who'd av thought ?
33
17/03/2021 10:39:00 16 18
bbc
Worked a treat since Labour failed to renationalise the utility industries. Who'd av thought?
55
17/03/2021 10:49:51 5 0
bbc
Well, the "Labour" governments we've had since Thatcher were pretty right wing!
34
17/03/2021 10:39:07 43 7
bbc
We'll never get our money back for the not at all green 'smart' meters. 13 billion so far.
91
17/03/2021 11:02:53 55 10
bbc
I would like Maxine Peake to explain to me precisely how a smart meter will save me money. I know that when I turn the kettle on I use more electricity, and I don't need a smart meter to tell me that if I don't turn the kettle on I will use less. And I still have to read the meter and submit the reading.
313
17/03/2021 11:55:10 0 1
bbc
got paid to use leccy during lockdown1, smart meter was required.
363
17/03/2021 12:26:48 0 1
bbc
We'll all me on Smart metres soon as the day when electricity has a different price depending on time used is not far away...
549
17/03/2021 17:33:28 0 0
bbc
The Gov't pushed the roll out of Smart Meters before they really knew what was needed, so you can look forward to a not-to-distant roll out of Smarter Meters.

Technology like this will be useful in the furture, when they understand how they are going to manage their 'smar network', but the current generation is a waste of public money.
14
17/03/2021 10:28:55 34 5
bbc
The mystical world of electric bill tariffs... EON moved me from £45 per month to £90 per month quite quietly recently. I didn't know the cost of electricity had doubled overnight?
35
17/03/2021 10:39:10 27 1
bbc
Probably time to change your electricity supplier.
52
17/03/2021 10:48:13 3 1
bbc
I threaten to change my supplier every year; haven't needed to for 4 years.
Works really well with internet providers and phone companies too.
Contracts are negotiable..
162
17/03/2021 11:27:45 1 0
bbc
Time to change the rip off fake market.
22
17/03/2021 10:35:04 4 3
bbc
Why should checking for and returning excess pre-paid money only happen annually? It should be done monthly.
36
17/03/2021 10:39:27 4 0
bbc
because as stated, summer months you use less. If people pay less in the summer, come the winter, the bill will be much higher and some may struggle to pay it if it were monthly. By spreading the cost, it makes more sense. One can opt for the quarterly bill in most cases.
14
17/03/2021 10:28:55 34 5
bbc
The mystical world of electric bill tariffs... EON moved me from £45 per month to £90 per month quite quietly recently. I didn't know the cost of electricity had doubled overnight?
37
17/03/2021 10:39:44 4 1
bbc
So just cancel your DD and pay the bill when it comes in. Your 10% saving via DD is meaningless if the company is taking double what you actually owe.
23
17/03/2021 10:35:35 227 59
bbc
Just think how simple it would be if we had only the one supplier for electricity; after all, whoever you elect as your "supplier" it is the same actual electricity - they don't change the wiring over! We could have a nationwide business whose profits were used for the benefit of all, you know, a sort of, er, nationalised industry. We used to, and it worked better than today's complete mess.
38
17/03/2021 10:40:49 112 133
bbc
Blackouts in the 70's springs to mind, in response to that statement.

And yes, I know, that was due to the miners, but when you have a monolithic industry such as the coal industry, it only takes someone like Scargill to bring the country to its knees.
92
17/03/2021 11:03:45 18 42
bbc
ah....the good ould days ...competition drives down prices thats why we should NOT go back to a nationalised industry
128
17/03/2021 11:16:13 20 3
bbc
There were some problems in the past when we tried it for the first time so we should never ever try to learn from history and try again?
180
17/03/2021 11:36:34 2 7
bbc
Scargill was not head of the Miners Union in the 70's Joe Gormley was, Scargill was the 1980's strike.
As for National Industry? we already tried that one and it failed because of lack of Investment in it and poor quality management, bullied by the Unions.
The only way forward is with Ofgen to oversee these foreign owners!
187
17/03/2021 11:37:44 1 0
bbc
We don't just rely on coal you know
239
17/03/2021 11:55:55 5 3
bbc
Power cuts were ordered by the Tories who were in power at the time.
All of the coal fired power stations were awash with coal piled high at the storage yards. The Tories ordered these power cuts to set public opinion against the striking miners. If you doubt these facts then read about them at the National Archive as they have now been declassified.
270
17/03/2021 12:03:09 1 0
bbc
Which would be no different since suppliers do not generate the power, they just distribute it.
275
17/03/2021 12:04:01 0 1
bbc
We actually buy our energy from a company which does the buying and selling of energy.

It is very often not the same company that physically generates or supplies it, and we don't have any choice there.
288
17/03/2021 12:05:43 0 0
bbc
Then there is Eon who take your direct debit payment two days before Christmas 2020 sending my bank account (which I carefully manage) into the red then refusing to pay for the bank charges that they caused. I am no longer a customer with them because of this.
303
17/03/2021 12:08:18 3 0
bbc
My recollection was the blackouts were caused by the oil embargo imposed by OPEC and what is all this got to do with being ripped off over your energy bill?
308
17/03/2021 12:09:18 1 2
bbc
I bet that many of the people who are downvoting your comment do not actually remember the chaotic 1970s, and they believe the left-wing anti-Thatcher propaganda which is spewed out by some groups.
330
17/03/2021 12:13:01 2 0
bbc
If we had privatised electric companies in the 70's it would have made no difference as it was the shortage of coal to generate the electricity that led to blackouts
355
TDJ
17/03/2021 12:20:39 0 1
bbc
Or for some reactionary government to pick fights with its people, put profits in the hands of its friends through a cheap yard sale of industry, transport and publicly owned housing!
7
17/03/2021 10:25:45 59 7
bbc
Ovo Energy pay 3 to 5% interest on all credit balances so I do not want a refund, thank you!
39
17/03/2021 10:30:43 11 1
bbc
I might chuck them my life savings then.
40
17/03/2021 10:42:18 4 1
bbc
OFTM has told me outright that they aim to hold at least 1 month of usage in credit after I demanded my DD be lowered. They also claim to do this to "to avoid shock bills for customers".

I object to this childish treatment.

I will pay for what I've used. I do not need savings account forced on me to manage £100 bill. If I owe more at the end of the year I'll settle, and if I'm in credit, pay up.
51
17/03/2021 10:48:08 1 0
bbc
Go quarterly then.
11
17/03/2021 10:27:38 87 7
bbc
Ofgem need to look at the arbitrary rises that Direct Debit customers seem to get saddled with. Every year my supplier tries to increase my direct debit from around £50 to as much as £90 based on the same usage patterns. Every year I argue back at them that I always end up in credit and all the rise will achieve will be an increase in their bank balance. Eventually they agree not to change it.
41
17/03/2021 10:42:32 2 11
bbc
yes shop around, it's pathetic how many people complain yet do nothing about it! Enter your energy usage figures in on a comparison website and you'll get the best prices from your area, so energy is very good for me. You can leave most suppliers for £5-20 if you are not happy.
116
17/03/2021 11:13:26 18 3
bbc
Not everyone has the time and energy to shop around for new energy, phone, car insurance, Internet etc providers every year. All the 'shop around crowd are doing is encouraging the continued use of poor business practices by these companies.
19
17/03/2021 10:32:39 28 4
bbc
The money is just resting in their accounts.
42
17/03/2021 10:44:09 25 3
bbc
Doubt it. They will be using it interest free.
48
17/03/2021 10:47:38 5 0
bbc
Down with this sort of thing.
43
17/03/2021 10:44:34 5 0
bbc
Change the DD value online and have a free ride until the surplus goes down?
337
17/03/2021 12:14:38 0 0
bbc
That's a Standing Order, not a Direct Debit.
44
17/03/2021 10:44:35 5 2
bbc
How does someone rack up a £3,049 credit without noticing?
61
17/03/2021 10:52:01 6 2
bbc
Most likely old. I'm sure my Grandad would be the same, he just pays his bills, no questions asked, no research. It's only when one of us in the family looks into things we realise he's been fleeced. He was paying water bills based off a 3-5 person household for years, we got him a meter fitted and his bill went down 75%. Utility companies prey on the elderly/uninformed/internet clueless.
45
17/03/2021 10:44:53 1 1
bbc
The best way to get a fair direct debit for a fair energy rate is to change suppliers regularly, ideally in the autumn when your credit will be highest, just before the higher winter energy consumption

That said, it seems pointless having to shop around between companies offering an identical service, just to get the cheapest rate. It's not as if any is offering higher quality electrons.
7
17/03/2021 10:25:45 59 7
bbc
Ovo Energy pay 3 to 5% interest on all credit balances so I do not want a refund, thank you!
46
ant
17/03/2021 10:46:43 3 1
bbc
Same here! I'm happy for them having as much as possible.
4
17/03/2021 10:22:51 52 35
bbc
Another total shambles due to yet another total failure of a Thatcher privatisation
47
17/03/2021 10:46:58 9 9
bbc
Privatisation was a brilliant idea. Should not have been nationalised in the first place.
75
17/03/2021 10:58:08 9 12
bbc
Oh please. Privatisation has been a disaster for consumers in this country for consumers. All it has achieved is allowing greed at the top to run rampant .
42
17/03/2021 10:44:09 25 3
bbc
Doubt it. They will be using it interest free.
48
17/03/2021 10:47:38 5 0
bbc
Down with this sort of thing.
164
17/03/2021 11:28:59 2 0
bbc
Careful now!
49
17/03/2021 10:47:39 10 1
bbc
When I realised this was going on a few years ago I stopped my direct debits. Since then they've mailed & texted me a reminder every month, I give them a reading from my electricity meter (there's no gas in my village) & I pay them when they present the bill. These companies are ruthless & don't have their customers' interests at heart. A shame, but that's how it is.
354
17/03/2021 12:19:41 0 3
bbc
And you are costing them money - which will have to be paid for.
50
17/03/2021 10:48:04 2 3
bbc
Ever wonder why utilities are so keen to have you sign up for direct debit?

It's a scam!

If your finances are stable, pay in arrears, preferably by post so as to keep cheques alive.

If your finances are not stable, request a pre-payment meter.

Do NOT sign up for direct debit - trying to rectify an overpayment is a real ordeal & taking the payment twice is not at all unusual.
524
17/03/2021 15:27:54 0 0
bbc
get a better supplier
546
17/03/2021 17:29:35 0 0
bbc
Spouting rubbish again?

What about the fact that pretty much all uitility suppliers give a bigger discount for paying by DD than the interest you'd earn with your extra money in a savings account...

By all means chase them and keep the DD under control, but your way looks like cutting your nose off to spite your face!

And look up "Direct Debit Guarantee".
40
17/03/2021 10:42:18 4 1
bbc
OFTM has told me outright that they aim to hold at least 1 month of usage in credit after I demanded my DD be lowered. They also claim to do this to "to avoid shock bills for customers".

I object to this childish treatment.

I will pay for what I've used. I do not need savings account forced on me to manage £100 bill. If I owe more at the end of the year I'll settle, and if I'm in credit, pay up.
51
17/03/2021 10:48:08 1 0
bbc
Go quarterly then.
110
17/03/2021 11:10:24 0 0
bbc
And be charged 5-10% more for not using DD?
35
17/03/2021 10:39:10 27 1
bbc
Probably time to change your electricity supplier.
52
17/03/2021 10:48:13 3 1
bbc
I threaten to change my supplier every year; haven't needed to for 4 years.
Works really well with internet providers and phone companies too.
Contracts are negotiable..
53
17/03/2021 10:48:39 2 1
bbc
I think govt should do more to help people invest in lower price, renewalable energy.

We installed solar panels, new heating, better insulation, LED lights etc a few years ago for a few thousand pounds and have made the money back after (partly by selling the energy) in just a few years.

If govt help people help themselves with their own money, we can all do better.
54
17/03/2021 10:48:47 2 0
bbc
Are they a savings bank now? I nearly always have £600+ in credit and yet they still take hundreds more. Gone are they days when you used some gas then paid for it at the end of the month. Their calculations are never in my favour - i always seem to be overpaying in case i can't manage my money (it's for my benefit apparently) .
88
17/03/2021 11:02:23 0 0
bbc
if you are always £600 in credit reduce your DD, you will more than likely be able to do it online without speaking to anyone, (600/12 = 50) reduce your DD by £50 and in 12 months you will have parity - of course you need to also consider when were you last billed? if your account is due to bill for the entire winter period then you wont be £600 in credit - it really is quite simple to work out.
459
17/03/2021 13:39:07 0 0
bbc
Those days are not gone, paper quarterly bills still around
33
17/03/2021 10:39:00 16 18
bbc
Worked a treat since Labour failed to renationalise the utility industries. Who'd av thought?
55
17/03/2021 10:49:51 5 0
bbc
Well, the "Labour" governments we've had since Thatcher were pretty right wing!
9
17/03/2021 10:27:04 39 27
bbc
Perhaps the BBC would like to start doing the same with the extra six months of licence fee that they currently take by direct debit?
Pot, black, kettle, calling...
56
17/03/2021 10:49:58 24 12
bbc
Not calling anything, just reporting the news.
500
17/03/2021 15:05:19 0 1
bbc
In a very nuanced fashion
57
17/03/2021 10:50:07 4 0
bbc
A crude response though-some people with autumn anniversaries might like to have a winter buffer

I had an almighty dust up with one provider who kept trying to increase my DDs, even though I agreed with them what my likely annual consumption would be, & set DD to cover that.

I now use EDF, to whom I give my actual meter readings 1/4 ly, and they take sums due by DD, still giving me the DD rate.
58
17/03/2021 10:50:27 19 5
bbc
This is the reason why I've avoided paying utility bills by DD for years. Almost everyone I know who does, ends up being overcharged and having to fight tooth and nail to get their money back (if they notice it). If you don't pay by DD, the energy companies levy an extra charge which is way beyond what is reasonable. A complete con whichever way you look at it.
112
17/03/2021 11:11:10 5 5
bbc
How do you still continue to get supplied when you don't pay the bill?
120
17/03/2021 11:14:05 5 0
bbc
Most people I know have NO issues and it is so incredibly easy to keep on top of it.
59
17/03/2021 10:51:00 2 2
bbc
When will Ofgem learn you can't fix a broken market with a hammer? Suppliers are forced to pay for many of the services (that they are often forced to pay by Ofgem) in advance - running into many millions of pounds. If average profit margin (according to Ofgem) is MINUS 1.48% I rather suspect you can't accuse suppliers of profiteering.
Distributors make 10-20% profit and always get paid....
66
17/03/2021 10:54:58 2 2
bbc
Another issue is that Ofgem actively encourages people to not pay. How many times do you see them say 'if you can't pay contact the energy supplier and they will help you' (because they are forced to) and the direct consequence is that suppliers need the money to cover those who don't pay. It appears Ofgems aim is to decrease competition so get ready to pay more - there wont be cheap deals...
60
17/03/2021 10:51:24 4 3
bbc
What a load of tosh! Are people unable to monitor their own finances!
72
17/03/2021 10:57:20 2 2
bbc
it is easier for the energy company to do it. They already have all the data and all the computer systems set up. A few lines of code and it is sorted for everyone.
44
17/03/2021 10:44:35 5 2
bbc
How does someone rack up a £3,049 credit without noticing?
61
17/03/2021 10:52:01 6 2
bbc
Most likely old. I'm sure my Grandad would be the same, he just pays his bills, no questions asked, no research. It's only when one of us in the family looks into things we realise he's been fleeced. He was paying water bills based off a 3-5 person household for years, we got him a meter fitted and his bill went down 75%. Utility companies prey on the elderly/uninformed/internet clueless.
62
17/03/2021 10:52:48 2 0
bbc
My supplier (Ecotricity) recalculates my DD amount every year taking into account any credit or debt - so no problems at all. Why don't all the suppliers do this?
63
17/03/2021 10:52:57 2 0
bbc
It takes companies quite some time and several warnings before they cut off your power for non-payment. Cancel your DD then, before you're cut off, ring up and pay what you owe and set up a new DD. Cancel DD and repeat. This is not recommended for anyone that ever plans to have any sort of credit record I should point out.
64
17/03/2021 10:53:03 19 3
bbc
Not a huge surprise that energy suppliers have been 'harvesting' our money.
Not sure if my company would 'get away with it' if we 'randomly' charged for things we hadn't supplied?
78
17/03/2021 10:59:13 17 0
bbc
The water companies get away with it already. They bill you for what they say you will use, can't prove whether you used the estimated amount and you have to pay upfront for the privilege. And yes, I know that water meters are available.
65
17/03/2021 10:54:10 72 5
bbc
The DD system works well for people (like me) who don't want a £600 bill every 3 months and are not disciplined enough to put the money aside in advance. I never felt short changed by the DD system. The real scandal is overcharging. Moving from NP**** to a competitor saved me £78/month on a £185 monthly bill. My reward for years of loyalty to *Power was to be criminally overcharged.
165
17/03/2021 11:29:44 36 1
bbc
Many years ago an NP**** employee shouted down the phone at me, to the effect that "they could set their direct debit at whatever amount they cared to, and there wasn't a thing I could do about it". They had set it at a ridiculously high level. O oved my account away from them immediately.
287
17/03/2021 11:52:33 0 0
bbc
I used to use OVO, not to bad, save more on octopus that outstrips the savings rate.
470
17/03/2021 14:00:36 1 0
bbc
There is no loyalty in modern consumer driven capitalism, profits needs to increase year-on-year and that doesn't happen if you don't rip off your customers and us some of your profits to attract new suckers.
59
17/03/2021 10:51:00 2 2
bbc
When will Ofgem learn you can't fix a broken market with a hammer? Suppliers are forced to pay for many of the services (that they are often forced to pay by Ofgem) in advance - running into many millions of pounds. If average profit margin (according to Ofgem) is MINUS 1.48% I rather suspect you can't accuse suppliers of profiteering.
Distributors make 10-20% profit and always get paid....
66
17/03/2021 10:54:58 2 2
bbc
Another issue is that Ofgem actively encourages people to not pay. How many times do you see them say 'if you can't pay contact the energy supplier and they will help you' (because they are forced to) and the direct consequence is that suppliers need the money to cover those who don't pay. It appears Ofgems aim is to decrease competition so get ready to pay more - there wont be cheap deals...
67
17/03/2021 10:55:37 10 1
bbc
Easier solution is to make these companies pay interest to customers, at say 5%, on excess funds...will soon be returned then.
77
17/03/2021 10:58:30 8 0
bbc
Why only 5%? Make them pay "pay day loan" / loan shark rate. At least 99.9% pa.
80
17/03/2021 10:59:33 1 0
bbc
OVO energy already do for all customers who have been with them for 3+ years.
68
17/03/2021 10:56:19 2 0
bbc
My elderly mother misread the meter...ended up with a bill of 5000 plus...they demanded this be paid until the reading could be clarified then she could claim it back. How long would that have taken??
She had a photo sent of the meter and told them to get lost...
The idiots would have seen her meter readings for the last 20 years and could not care less
23
17/03/2021 10:35:35 227 59
bbc
Just think how simple it would be if we had only the one supplier for electricity; after all, whoever you elect as your "supplier" it is the same actual electricity - they don't change the wiring over! We could have a nationwide business whose profits were used for the benefit of all, you know, a sort of, er, nationalised industry. We used to, and it worked better than today's complete mess.
69
17/03/2021 10:56:42 44 17
bbc
I do sympathise with the comment Michael, and if it could be done properly it would be great, but sadly nationalised industries are historically very poorly run, with decisions based on politics, not commerce, and usually idiotic & idealistic union leaders 'advising' staff poorly.
70
17/03/2021 10:56:49 1 0
bbc
can't say I've ever had problems getting refunds when in credit. The supplier I'm now with offered a variable DD so I only pay for what I use.
71
17/03/2021 10:57:17 50 2
bbc
DD overpayment is a free loan to the utility companies.
321
17/03/2021 12:11:37 7 1
bbc
I naively expected that I would be in debit for half the year and in credit for half the year so that it would balance out.
453
17/03/2021 13:32:27 0 0
bbc
Sure is
558
BAB
17/03/2021 17:47:48 0 0
bbc
unless your utility company (like Ovo) gives you a credit on your bills for interest on the overpayment. Ovo's rate is better than most bank savings accounts.
60
17/03/2021 10:51:24 4 3
bbc
What a load of tosh! Are people unable to monitor their own finances!
72
17/03/2021 10:57:20 2 2
bbc
it is easier for the energy company to do it. They already have all the data and all the computer systems set up. A few lines of code and it is sorted for everyone.
73
17/03/2021 10:57:41 171 15
bbc
We all get the same gas coming down the same pipes and the same electricity coming down the same wires. Yet we have an industry built up to devise complex tariffs and administer accounts for people who constantly swap suppliers. We have a regulator who adds no value. A well run non-profit making national supplier would save us all a fortune.
99
17/03/2021 11:06:01 78 10
bbc
You mean like the ones we used to have before it was all thrown open to the market?
103
17/03/2021 11:07:23 7 18
bbc
Only using electric as an example, but applicable to gas. A nationalised electric company would build about 3 times as much nuclear as we have now and pass on the cost to the consumer in bills or tax. The competitive market is driving the build of solar and wind.
204
17/03/2021 11:41:43 9 5
bbc
Your last sentence sums up the entire problem. Experience has shown there is no such thing as a well run non-profit energy supplier as there is no incentive for them to become more efficient
300
17/03/2021 12:07:55 8 0
bbc
It's a contrived competitive market.

We actually buy our energy from a company which does the buying and selling of energy.

It is very often not the same company that physically generates or supplies it, and we don't have any choice there.
318
17/03/2021 12:10:29 2 3
bbc
Oh yeah? You mean like British Rail?
574
17/03/2021 22:27:51 0 0
bbc
You mean like council backed Bristol Energy (Bust), Robin Hood Energy (Bust owing Ofgem millions which will be recovered from all UK customer bills) - I could go on.
74
17/03/2021 10:58:05 0 2
bbc
Change suppliers every year, not only does it solve this problem you end up getting cheaper and cheaper rates as everyone undercuts each other everytime you swap.

If my gas becomes any cheaper they'll be paying me to turn the heating on. My last quarterly was about £65 I think, that's for the coldest months of the year, I cook with gas daily, and the heating is almost always on at some level.
166
17/03/2021 11:11:41 0 0
bbc
I don't believe you, name the tariff and supplier.
47
17/03/2021 10:46:58 9 9
bbc
Privatisation was a brilliant idea. Should not have been nationalised in the first place.
75
17/03/2021 10:58:08 9 12
bbc
Oh please. Privatisation has been a disaster for consumers in this country for consumers. All it has achieved is allowing greed at the top to run rampant .
76
17/03/2021 10:58:15 0 1
bbc
It works the other way too - is it fair to think that it is ALL about hoarding cash?

I moved supplier in 2019. They took my existing usage and set a DD payment which turned out to be way too small.

I stupidly didn't keep a track, but I moved again a year later, only to find I was nearly £1000 in debit, and the supplier hadn't notified me. That must offset some of the accounts in credit.
90
17/03/2021 11:02:38 0 0
bbc
Let me guess - not EDF?
100
17/03/2021 11:06:45 0 0
bbc
I don't think it is your responsibility to keep track. The onus should be on the supplier to take accurate meter readings every month, do the calculations and provide you with accurate bills. This is something that no supplier, ever, has done and is an absolute disgrace.
67
17/03/2021 10:55:37 10 1
bbc
Easier solution is to make these companies pay interest to customers, at say 5%, on excess funds...will soon be returned then.
77
17/03/2021 10:58:30 8 0
bbc
Why only 5%? Make them pay "pay day loan" / loan shark rate. At least 99.9% pa.
64
17/03/2021 10:53:03 19 3
bbc
Not a huge surprise that energy suppliers have been 'harvesting' our money.
Not sure if my company would 'get away with it' if we 'randomly' charged for things we hadn't supplied?
78
17/03/2021 10:59:13 17 0
bbc
The water companies get away with it already. They bill you for what they say you will use, can't prove whether you used the estimated amount and you have to pay upfront for the privilege. And yes, I know that water meters are available.
114
17/03/2021 11:12:19 4 0
bbc
Getting a water meter was one of my better decisions, the charges I paid plummeted but I am a single householder and don't use much water at all.

Unless you have a large household I would strongly recommend you get a meter.
153
17/03/2021 11:24:53 0 0
bbc
I am on a water meter, and every year I had the same argument with my water company who want to charge me double the amount on direct debit to what I actually use. My solution was to pay by standing order (which 'they' can't alter) and now only pay for the water I use (and the water I flush away 'cos they estimate that and charge you what they think).....
253
17/03/2021 11:59:19 2 0
bbc
Get a meter, saved me a fortune.
322
17/03/2021 12:11:43 1 1
bbc
Water meters are compulsory for most homes. Those without generally pay less.
564
17/03/2021 19:25:41 0 0
bbc
And, unlike gas and electric you get no choice of provider. No wonder their share price is so high. Water privatisation is a national disgrace. What authority checks that they are keeping their infrastructure in the best possible condition?
79
17/03/2021 10:59:22 0 0
bbc
We all probably have different experiences with various energy suppliers, mine being getting British Gas to address an error they made and to refund or credit said error has been a sparkling example of how to use bureaucracy against the customer. Needless to say BG is no longer my energy supplier.
67
17/03/2021 10:55:37 10 1
bbc
Easier solution is to make these companies pay interest to customers, at say 5%, on excess funds...will soon be returned then.
80
17/03/2021 10:59:33 1 0
bbc
OVO energy already do for all customers who have been with them for 3+ years.
81
17/03/2021 10:59:43 0 1
bbc
We run the gas off the electricity and the electricity off the gas and we save two hundred pounds a year.
82
17/03/2021 11:00:08 1 1
bbc
pay interest to me (at a higher rate than my best savings account) for the money you hold of mine and i'll gladly pay more for my monthy direct debit
522
17/03/2021 15:25:54 0 0
bbc
ovo then...
83
17/03/2021 11:00:31 0 2
bbc
Paying for Energy Bills by Direct Debit is a sensible way of smoothly out the cost of electricity and gas supplies over the year and saving money. But of cause, the level of money taken out each month needs to be at a level that just covers the anticipated cost of your energy across the whole 12 month period. Debt is the result of setting the DD amount too low.
84
17/03/2021 11:01:18 2 0
bbc
you can compare and change every year if you need to
85
Ray
17/03/2021 11:01:32 0 0
bbc
I got an email from Shell energy 2 weeks ago saying they were increasing my direct debit by 60%.
One phone call later it turns out I'm actually in credit yet they still wanted 60% more. After a brief argument they decided to leave it alone and review it in 3 months. I'm currently looking to change supplier but finding one who doesn't operate like this is proving difficult.
521
17/03/2021 15:25:29 0 0
bbc
octopus, get a referral each earn £50. Don't like em? leave penalty free.
86
17/03/2021 11:02:07 3 2
bbc
Stupid people needing Government legislation to protect them when all they need do is look at their bill. Very elderly excepted.
449
17/03/2021 13:29:40 0 0
bbc
Patroniser
87
17/03/2021 11:02:16 1 1
bbc
A sure fire way to increase the price everyone pays. Companies will want to maintain their bank balance and will therefore increase the price to create the same result. However we all start paying more....hardly 'ensuring people don't pay more for their energy than they need to.' Quite the opposite. Do not be fooled that Ofgem are your friend - they've allowed DCC to increase price by 23%
54
17/03/2021 10:48:47 2 0
bbc
Are they a savings bank now? I nearly always have £600+ in credit and yet they still take hundreds more. Gone are they days when you used some gas then paid for it at the end of the month. Their calculations are never in my favour - i always seem to be overpaying in case i can't manage my money (it's for my benefit apparently) .
88
17/03/2021 11:02:23 0 0
bbc
if you are always £600 in credit reduce your DD, you will more than likely be able to do it online without speaking to anyone, (600/12 = 50) reduce your DD by £50 and in 12 months you will have parity - of course you need to also consider when were you last billed? if your account is due to bill for the entire winter period then you wont be £600 in credit - it really is quite simple to work out.
89
17/03/2021 11:02:36 5 1
bbc
I use OVO, they pay interest on credit balances
97
17/03/2021 11:05:32 3 1
bbc
Me too ...good interest rate as well !
351
17/03/2021 12:18:23 2 0
bbc
But are you fooling yourself over the cost of the energy? Nothing is free.
448
17/03/2021 13:27:51 1 0
bbc
How long before they go bust? Paying above bank rate is unsustainable.
76
17/03/2021 10:58:15 0 1
bbc
It works the other way too - is it fair to think that it is ALL about hoarding cash?

I moved supplier in 2019. They took my existing usage and set a DD payment which turned out to be way too small.

I stupidly didn't keep a track, but I moved again a year later, only to find I was nearly £1000 in debit, and the supplier hadn't notified me. That must offset some of the accounts in credit.
90
17/03/2021 11:02:38 0 0
bbc
Let me guess - not EDF?
34
17/03/2021 10:39:07 43 7
bbc
We'll never get our money back for the not at all green 'smart' meters. 13 billion so far.
91
17/03/2021 11:02:53 55 10
bbc
I would like Maxine Peake to explain to me precisely how a smart meter will save me money. I know that when I turn the kettle on I use more electricity, and I don't need a smart meter to tell me that if I don't turn the kettle on I will use less. And I still have to read the meter and submit the reading.
146
17/03/2021 11:20:31 3 0
bbc
It won't.
172
17/03/2021 11:32:44 2 1
bbc
I have found it slightly useful. e.g. Whist working from home this year I initially heated the whole house but I was only working in the kitchen. I easily worked out that running an electric heater in the kitchen was cheaper than using gas to heat the whole house.
173
17/03/2021 11:33:25 6 0
bbc
It'll actually cost you (a very marginal amount) more as the smart meter requires electricity to run! For me, it was going to cost far more as my economy 7 tariff would be removed (they didn't supply dual tariff smart meters) so my storage heaters would recharge at full rate. Needless to say I still don't have a smart meter. Big argument with my supplier when they tried to force 'smart' on me!
296
17/03/2021 12:06:46 1 1
bbc
When enough people have a smart meter the future plan is variable daily tariff so you can save money by choosing when to put the washing machine on in off peak cheaper times for example. It will be a more advanced version of Economy 7.
314
17/03/2021 11:55:24 0 1
bbc
I got paid to use leccy during lockdown1, smart meter was required.
461
17/03/2021 13:42:00 0 0
bbc
Sadly the admirable Ms Peake was seduced by the ad payment.
474
17/03/2021 14:04:15 0 0
bbc
Think your problem is not understanding who you need answers from. If voice over artists become responsible for the actions of companies we will never get anywhere
38
17/03/2021 10:40:49 112 133
bbc
Blackouts in the 70's springs to mind, in response to that statement.

And yes, I know, that was due to the miners, but when you have a monolithic industry such as the coal industry, it only takes someone like Scargill to bring the country to its knees.
92
17/03/2021 11:03:45 18 42
bbc
ah....the good ould days ...competition drives down prices thats why we should NOT go back to a nationalised industry
106
17/03/2021 11:09:40 44 4
bbc
The energy industry is the epitome of illusory competition. They all provide the same product that they buy at the same rate. What meaningful difference is there between different companies, it's not like one can provide you with higher quality electricity for a premium and visa versa.
109
17/03/2021 11:10:08 42 5
bbc
and shareholders drive up prices.
113
17/03/2021 11:11:53 22 5
bbc
No it hasn't in fact.
131
17/03/2021 11:16:47 31 2
bbc
"..competition drives down prices.. but does it? Recent investigations have suggested otherwise.
186
17/03/2021 11:37:39 2 1
bbc
Shame that's not happened in the energy industry.
327
17/03/2021 12:12:33 0 0
bbc
Does it? It seems to me that as soon as one gas/electric supplier increases their prices, the rest follow suit.
93
17/03/2021 11:04:20 1 1
bbc
I have submitted meter readings without fail on the same day of every month for years. Yet when it is time to start a new contract period, the energy company estimates my electricity usage will be 3000kWh more than the current year. Yet there is no logical basis for this, as it has actual annual usage for the previous three years.
94
17/03/2021 11:04:27 2 0
bbc
I pay by direct debit and am quite happy with how my company Utility Point works By paying the same amount each month,I build up a surplus which covers my winter bills. So no huge bill to worry about. I can see my balance anytime and if it needs adjusting easy to do.
95
17/03/2021 11:04:35 2 0
bbc
Can the suppliers simply offer the choice of automatic refund, selective refund or leaving the credit with them? For me, a buffer of credit would let folks not worry about bills during colder months (once called winter in pre-warming days). Money is already spent so less of a problem. I agree with the ‘sledgehammer’ approach being excessive. BTW never had an issue with EOn for the record.
96
17/03/2021 11:05:31 4 2
bbc
Direct Debit paid energy costs are a fiddle - a great big writ large FIDDLE and have been since they started. Going from paying 3 months in arrears to at least 1 month in advance to 3 months in advance always returned a lot of surplus dosh to energy supplier. They got greedy, very greedy on a "pay the same only on a prepayment basis" model
89
17/03/2021 11:02:36 5 1
bbc
I use OVO, they pay interest on credit balances
97
17/03/2021 11:05:32 3 1
bbc
Me too ...good interest rate as well !
98
17/03/2021 11:05:57 5 0
bbc
supplier switching sites' business model is to get fees from the supplier you switch to. At the end of the day the consumer is picking up the tab for all these fees. All adding to the overall cost.
73
17/03/2021 10:57:41 171 15
bbc
We all get the same gas coming down the same pipes and the same electricity coming down the same wires. Yet we have an industry built up to devise complex tariffs and administer accounts for people who constantly swap suppliers. We have a regulator who adds no value. A well run non-profit making national supplier would save us all a fortune.
99
17/03/2021 11:06:01 78 10
bbc
You mean like the ones we used to have before it was all thrown open to the market?
76
17/03/2021 10:58:15 0 1
bbc
It works the other way too - is it fair to think that it is ALL about hoarding cash?

I moved supplier in 2019. They took my existing usage and set a DD payment which turned out to be way too small.

I stupidly didn't keep a track, but I moved again a year later, only to find I was nearly £1000 in debit, and the supplier hadn't notified me. That must offset some of the accounts in credit.
100
17/03/2021 11:06:45 0 0
bbc
I don't think it is your responsibility to keep track. The onus should be on the supplier to take accurate meter readings every month, do the calculations and provide you with accurate bills. This is something that no supplier, ever, has done and is an absolute disgrace.