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Gas and electricity charges

(60 Posts)
watermeadow Thu 18-Oct-18 09:33:21

I’ve been happy with Bulb but so angry to get an email saying my consumption has gone up so my payments need to rise.
They warned us charges would rise for the second time this year so it’s their fault my payments will go up, not mine. I’m not using any more gas or electricity as I can’t afford to. I know everything there is to know about saving and therefore being cold for seven months of the year.
Bulb hasn’t had meter readings for a couple of months because I have to move all the furniture to reach them so they don’t actually know whether I’ve had the house like a sauna but no, my consumption has not risen, their prices have.

FlexibleFriend Thu 18-Oct-18 09:53:24

If your consumption hasn't gone up then dispute the rise. I had the same issue with Together energy and refused to pay and cancelled my direct debit until they agreed. They did agree as long as I promised to pay the outstanding amount when the contract finished. I did and it was lower than the previous months by nearly half. They had wanted to increase my payment by 50 quid a month. They're not always right.

Teetime Thu 18-Oct-18 10:25:55

We now have Octopus which was the best deal for us and no price prices so far.

M0nica Fri 19-Oct-18 09:03:57

We have always stuck to quarterly bills based on actual readings, mine or theirs. We still pay by DD. We put money aside each month, calculating the amount on the previous year's bills plus approx 5%.

That way there are never any arguments with our supplier about how much we owe them.

Charleygirl5 Fri 19-Oct-18 09:22:28

I also am with Octopus and like Teetime it was the best deal for me. I was getting fed up with my previous supplier putting my DD up one month and occasionally down the next but it never seemed to stay the same as it does with Octopus.

HootyMcOwlface Fri 19-Oct-18 10:34:03

Get on Martin Lewis’ moneysavingexpert site and see if you can get a better deal somewhere else (if you’re not tied in where you are).

Willow10 Sat 20-Oct-18 09:41:40

I had an email from E-on to say my direct debit payments needed to increase by more than double, only six months into the contract and during the summer! I phoned to complain and the guy agreed with me that they can't even forecast an accurate consumption until you've been with them for 12 months, so it stayed as it was.

moxeyns Sat 20-Oct-18 09:49:30

I tend to assume that prices will always rise, and always look for fixed-price contracts. It means that I can budget for a year in advance; and only need to worry about it, and look for the next good deal via sites like Martin Lewis', once a year.

vickya Sat 20-Oct-18 09:57:35

I have checked the sites every year to see the best deal and changed most years. A few years ago I got a large bill when I ended the contract and then the same the next year and I queried it and they actually had to refund a bigger amount and that happened last year too. They seem to try and get a lump sum when you leave and if you just pay they win. I began with bulb 10 months ago and they have predicted a large end bill and wanted large monthly payments but I read the meters monthly and send readings and they calculate a bill and I am hugely in credit at present.

trendygran Sat 20-Oct-18 10:06:47

Never heard of Bulb or Octopus. Have been with E-on for a few years so annual estimates are given . Have had an email from them today reducing my Direct Debit payment by £16 per month. That ‘s good news but does include the time I was in hospital so not using electricity ( no gas ) . I guess it will go up again as I will no doubt be using more electricity over the winter months but it’s a change to pay less at the moment.

Barmeyoldbat Sat 20-Oct-18 10:09:19

Thanks for this thread. I had an email yesterday from Energy, my daughters supplier, saying they were going to put the DD up by 25% to cover the winter usage. Now I wasn't sure what to do but thinking about it her bills were cleared last winter so I might well dispute it. Its a struggle, I have POA for her finances and I am trying to save some money for her just in case she goes on Universal Credit. Have enough problems looking after my own money. Rant Over, will get another cup of coffee.

Greciangirl Sat 20-Oct-18 10:14:54

I am with Ovo Energy.
They also wanted to increase my monthly direct debit from £70 a month to £85 a month, a huge increase.
When I ring to complain, they always say the same thing.
‘It’s because winter is coming and you need to be in credit”.
I understand that, but such a huge increase is not necessary.
I do regular monthly meter readings too.

I tried switching suppliers, but none of them camn give me a cheaper quote.
The price of energy must have risen considerably.
These energy companies are just plain greedy.

CardiffJaguar Sat 20-Oct-18 10:23:09

I have always kept a record of the units used, not the cost. That way I am able to compare actual usage from year to year on a weekly basis. It only takes a minute each week to do this and the computer does the rest.

So while every supplier I have been with at some time tells me I must increase my monthly payments I have been able to contend that their computerised assumptions are false; and I have won. I know when I need to increase my payments and that is based on facts.

Presently with Avro where I submit a monthly set of figures and then get a statement. So far, so good.

Anniel Sat 20-Oct-18 10:28:55

I am with E.ON and pay only £39 a month because i am away in the winter and par of the cost is covered by my flat service charges for hot water. I told them i would pay any overuse in full snd they agreed. My annual review isnt until next summer and now yhey want to double my charge even though i am 3 months in credit. Phoning them is a nightmare but i have not changed supplier as i am happy with my current plan and better the devil you know....

anitamp1 Sat 20-Oct-18 10:32:40

We are with Scottish Power. Earlier in the year they doubled our DD. Not happy. Paid a one off payment and they reduced DD quite a bit. Taking practical measures to save money. We are on economy 7. So washing machine on overnight timer. Not using tumble drier. And keeping track of our usage on line. We are now well in credit going in to winter. But planning to go on comparison site as I still think our charges are too high.

valeriej43 Sat 20-Oct-18 10:41:29

I change my fuel suppliers every year,i was with EON when they started the over 60s warm front idea, but then the bills rose considerably, they said i was in debt by £200, although i was paying over £80 a month even in those days,it turned out that i was in credit,left them and went to EDF i was always in credit and got a good rebate of £400, they went up so chsnged again and got almost £400 again, so kept them for another year,was only £150 in credit,although they said they were keeping the same rates,
I am now with Green Star energy but they have just had to pay compensation to thousands of customers because they used a broker, [although i have not had compensation] and i was promised £50 of my first bill by the broker but Green star disputed this and gave me a £25 voucher
Must look at Martyin Lewis again

Sweetie222 Sat 20-Oct-18 10:43:22

Hi, strange to me to say something positive about energy supplier .... I'm with OVO which was the best deal a year or so ago,

If your account is more than £25 in credit you can ask for a refund. More importantly, they pay 3% interest on any overpayment rising to 5% after three years, which means that money sitting with them gets you far more than any savings account out there; perhaps see it as rainy day money!

Willow10 Sat 20-Oct-18 11:20:38

Annie1 - come to think of it I believe I emailed E-on initially, saying I was not happy with the increased direct debit and would not agree to it. I believe they phoned me and we it out then. Don't just let them take your money if you think it is unfair. It should be earning interest (such as it is) in your bank - not theirs!

Willow10 Sat 20-Oct-18 11:21:15

Sorted it out!

Lupatria Sat 20-Oct-18 11:36:42

i'm with british gas for both gas and electricity - price fixed until 2019 when i'll organise another fixed price period. that's a fixed price per unit.
every now and again - like last winter when we tumble dried everything - we use more electricity and so the monthly direct debit goes up. i pay it knowing that at some point they'll do a review and refund some money.
i've got a smart meter and so i keep track of the daily usage.
my water board put up my payments a year ago as we'd used loads of water last summer (pond sprung a leak so had to be topped up) but we've sorted that out and don't top the pond up - we're on a meter for water too. lo and behold i've recently had a refund of almost £500!!
together with the refund from british gas i can now have the fence to my front garden replaced - it would have taken about two years to save that money!
i don't bother with changing suppliers - too much hassle and i can't be doing with that - i know exactly what i pay each month as i pay all my bills by either standing order or direct debit and the outgoing amount is the same every month. a boon for someone like me with no savings and a low income even if my car and house insurance is slightly more.
so i'll stay with british gas and grumble if the usage and therefore price goes up but i know that i'll probably get a refund when the usage goes down - they're saving for me!

Legs55 Sat 20-Oct-18 12:01:54

I am with SSE, they changed my DDs in April reducing them quite a lot. However in September they increased the DDs, I rang & disputed the Electric as I am in credit, my monthly usage doesn't vary much so we agreed on a reduction (I should also receive £140 Warmer Homes Discount), I will probably get a refund in March.

Gas I have agreed increase as I felt they had reduced DD by too much, it will depend on what the weather does this time & how cold it is. I am still in credithmm

I don't go hunting cheaper deals, maybe I would be better off but I'm happy with SSE, Customer Service is very good.

MagicWriter2016 Sat 20-Oct-18 12:40:50

I am sitting here smiling at some of the names of these new gas and electric companies 😂🤣😄😃

FlexibleFriend Sat 20-Oct-18 12:53:47

The thing is they quote you a monthly figure to be taken as direct debit that is based on the previous years consumption. Winter isn't new it comes around every year so how can they justify the price increases part way through the year. I refused to pay it last year and there was no large bill at the end and if it happens again with the new supplier I will do the same thing.
What's the point in having a fixed rate tariff if they try to change it half way through?

GreenGran78 Sat 20-Oct-18 13:20:41

It's well worth joining Quidco, or one of the other similar companies. They sometimes have amazing cashback offers for switching. Not just for energy companies, but telecoms, insurance and general shopping. I once got back £100 from Quidco and also £100 from BT when I switched over.
If my energy supplier tries to put up my monthly payment I just tell them that I will pay the extra at the end of my contract, if there is any due. There has never been the need to yet. They like to have lots of customers' money sitting in their banks, collecting interest. If you are a lot in credit, ask them for a refund.
It's tedious, but I review all my commitments every year, trying to find a better deal. Being a loyal customer usually costs you, these days, as my elderly neighbour can confirm. I was shocked to learn how much she was paying for energy with the company she had been with for years. I helped her to switch, and she is saving £100s a year, as a result. Her money was helping to pay for all the 'new customer' deals. It pays to shop around.

Willow10 Sat 20-Oct-18 14:21:35

I'm with you greengran - I review all household bills every year and switch as necessary - which is almost always. I must admit it's a pain though and I often wish it were all nationalised again, then we would all be paying the same and not lining the pockets of private company executives. angry