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Energy bill now in debit by £178. Should I pay it off now?

(30 Posts)
kettleoffish Sat 29-Nov-14 15:28:43

I moved into the current property nearly 6 mths ago. The central heating system is very old and the house very draughty so we've left the heating on most of the time. We've been paying by monthly direct debit of £81 per month. My recent bill says that our account is now in debit by about £178.

There is an option to pay the debit amount off now. Am wondering what are the consequences if I do, or if I don't. As we are moving out in January to a new property, I don't want to accumulate a credit amount on my account as it might be a hassle to try and get a refund. But... I've never tried getting a refund before so don't know if it's really going to be a hassle. We're with E.ON.

Any advice?

kettleoffish Sat 29-Nov-14 15:30:08

Oh and I don't know if the new property we're moving to already has E.ON as the energy supplier. If it does then I don't mind having a credit on my account.

Blossomy14 Sat 29-Nov-14 15:30:38

it depends - is this an accurate reading?

Naoko Sat 29-Nov-14 15:31:28

If you're in debit now and it's only November, surely it'll only get worse because it'll get colder and you'll turn the heating up? I can't imagine you'll end up in credit by January.

Blossomy14 Sat 29-Nov-14 15:32:46

also you state you don't know if new property has E.On as supplier - well surely the supplier at the new property is up to you?

pregnantpause Sat 29-Nov-14 15:34:51

I would leave it until you move out if that's only two months away. When you give your final Meter read the balance will be in debit, and they will ask if you are happy for the final balance to be paid by final direct debit. The full debit will then be taken from your account fourteen days after the final bill is produced. IMO it's a nice cut and dry way to close the account. If you will be able to afford it that's what I'd do.

Final balance refunds are very simple though- as long as the direct debit hasn't been cancelled at the bank they can refund back into your account within. 3-5 working days of request. If the direct debit had been cancelled it's a pain in the arse

kettleoffish Sat 29-Nov-14 15:35:32

It's an accurate reading.

I rather not switch suppliers usually... I think it seems very troublesome, so I just go with whichever supplier is in the new property.

So the advice is to pay it off now yes?

sparklyandbright Sat 29-Nov-14 15:37:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

pregnantpause Sat 29-Nov-14 15:38:50

Although I will say that that is one hell of a high consumption! Six months paying 81 and 178 in debit is averaged to 185 a month. When I say you will be in debit in jan based on that consumption I think you will be paying about £300+ ( bearing in mind seasonal changes etc)

kettleoffish Sat 29-Nov-14 15:38:50

Ah okay sorry x posted with you pregnantpause. I just saw your reply. I will follow your advice then I think. Sounds sensible, as I want to be able to close my account nicely. Yes I can afford it but just didn't want to have any credit left on my account.

sparklyandbright Sat 29-Nov-14 15:39:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Blossomy14 Sat 29-Nov-14 15:39:46

why do you want to pay now - just pay the final bill when you move out? They aren't asking for the money now are they? And it is no bother to use a new supplier at the new address - not troublesome at all.

INeedSomeHelp Sat 29-Nov-14 15:39:57

So taking into account what you've been paying and the debit balance, you've been using approximately £100 of energy per month. This is probably likely to increase over the next couple of months I would have thought.
So if you pay off the debit balance now and continue making monthly payments chances are you'll still end up with a bit of a debit balance to pay when you leave.
If you've got the money now it wouldn't do any harm to pay it off but if they're not asking for it I probably wouldn't bother seeing as you're leaving soon anyway - I would just pay the final balance then.

kettleoffish Sat 29-Nov-14 16:06:58

They're not asking for the money now but I am concerned they will raise my direct debit for next month and then create a whole load of hassle when I move. That's why I thought I would pay it off now and then maybe they won't raise the direct debit. Then I will pay off any excess in January when we move out.

Not sure how this works though. Not sure if they will increase direct debit so soon after a debit on the bill if the debit has not been paid off. Not sure either if they will increase the direct debit anyway even if I pay off the debit amount now.

Maybe I should call them Monday.

kettleoffish Sat 29-Nov-14 16:12:36

In my limited experience, it was a pain switching suppliers. Tried switching from Npower to EON before and it took about 6 months of constant phonecalls from me and lots of chasing up for things to be sorted out.

INeedSomeHelp Sat 29-Nov-14 16:12:37

If they were going to increase your direct debit they would have included that information on your latest bill. Even if they did, they will work out what you're likely to spend over the next 12 months plus paying off a bit of the debit balance each month so it's still unlikely you would be back in credit by January.

Blossomy14 Sat 29-Nov-14 16:13:03

they aren't asking you to increase the direct debit though are they?

kettleoffish Sat 29-Nov-14 16:14:52

No they have not but they might send a letter to us soon to tell us they are increasing the DD. I have received that kind of letter before.. Just can't remember if it was straight after our account went into debit.

pregnantpause Sat 29-Nov-14 16:27:13

Very unlikely they will increase your dd. we don't usually raise a dd in the first year as there isn't an accurate annual consumption to measure. For instance if you started an account in March, and were in a lot if credit in oct, lowering a dd would be madness as no winter consumption has been measured yet. It's not reflective of an averaged annual monthly use which is what we aim for in a dd.

I work in the industry though not with eon.

Blossomy14 Sat 29-Nov-14 16:27:52

they normally review payments on a yearly basis - and even if they ask to increase a DD you can say no to it. They are not in charge of your bank account.

INeedSomeHelp Sat 29-Nov-14 16:32:52

I'm with Eon and anytime they've changed my direct debit they've included that with my bill - not as a separate letter afterwards.

cluttered Sat 29-Nov-14 21:39:37

Sorry to derail the thread but pregnant pause you say you shouldn't lower the direct debit of an account started in March even if in a lot of credit in October, well that scenario is identical to mine in that I started with new supplier in April and now after November have credit of £750 and direct debit of £170, I was thinking of asking for a partial refund of the credit as could do with the money before Christmas but do you think I should leave it as it is? I wouldn't change the DD just ask for maybe £200 refund?

poocatcherchampion Sat 29-Nov-14 22:24:29

I'd ask for £500 tbh. that is loads in there!

depends on the size of your house and your usage but even so. its not a savings account! smile.

cluttered Sat 29-Nov-14 22:51:51

Yes I thought so but then we haven't been through the coldest months so don't know what our gas bills will be. But we have had the heating on all over the last month and our bill was still less than the DD. Our DD was based on our last year's consumption with our 16 year old boiler which we changed around the time of switching suppliers so am expecting lower gas bills but no idea how much. We are with Ovo so they do pay 3% interest on any credit so not losing out financially but it would still be helpful to have some extra cash before Christmas!

pregnantpause Sun 30-Nov-14 08:51:05

I would ask for a refund in that instance. It's a very large credit that your unlikely to use. Don't lower your direct debit until you have an annual consumption ( just so that you have buffer- it's a large dd based on an inefficient system so higher than you need, but personally, I'd rather pay a bit more and know I can turn the heating on without angst) but get £500 at least back. Useful for Christmas, and better in your bank than theirs. If they tell you that they have to cancel the dd to refund( in a dramatic you don't want to do that fashion) , agree to it, then ask to reinstate it. You may also get dire- you'll end up in debit warnings- but as it stands they don't know your annual consumption so that prediction will be based on averages and over caution ( natural because the amount of times people demand a refund of a balance needed to offset winter use is shocking. And they blame you when their in debt four months later)

Or shove the heating on full blast for the whole of December and have a naked Christmas wink

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