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Waaaaah! They've just DOUBLED our electricity Direct Debit

(25 Posts)
claireybee Sat 08-Aug-09 10:33:49

I thought we were pretty careful with electricity but obviously not

If they've done this in summer I dread to think how high it will be in winter when we have lights on and have to have a dehumidifier running due to damp...

How much is your electric and which supplier? 3 bed house here, downstairs extended. No tumble dryer but cooker and hob are electric. Everything turned off at wall when not in use-what else can we do to reduce it?

PavlovtheForgetfulCat Sat 08-Aug-09 10:35:57

Call them up and tell them they are having a bloody laugh.

I get this from time to time, they say, on account of some random estimate that they need to up it from £50 to £79, some arbitrary figure. I tell them I am paying enough, I do not have to pay by DD and either they reduce it back to what it was or I cancel and they get paid whenever I get around to it.

Usually works for me.

notsoteenagemum Sat 08-Aug-09 10:42:51

Agree with Pavlov, phone them.
They tried to put ours up from £40 to £95 for electricity and £35 to £75 for gas, turns out they had estimated readings and based it on winter usage.
We were actually in credit for electricity and only £20 over for gas.
Threaten to change provider if they are not helpful at first.

FAQtothefuture Sat 08-Aug-09 10:46:06

I got so fed up of them demanging more by direct debit that I cancelled my DD and pay monthly online or with my payment card. I get quarterly bills and just ring up and ask to pay in installements before the next bill is due out.

It costs me slightly more - but I'd rather do that than have them faffing around taking what they like whenever

claireybee Sat 08-Aug-09 10:47:47

Oh ok, thanks, will get onto them. DH says they took more once before for two months running then sent him a cheque with more than they'd taken refunded so hopefully it is a mistake again.

PavlovtheForgetfulCat Sat 08-Aug-09 10:51:35

FAQ - it really annoys me too. I choose to pay by DD, so they do not get to tell me how much they are taking out of my bank account. It is not contractual, its a choice to make it easier for everyone. Whenever I get a letter informing me they are changing my DD it riles me. Many many people think they have no choice, that this is how much they have to pay, like the electricity company has a legal right to take it, and they know people do not know they can refuse to pay it.

DaisymooSteiner Sat 08-Aug-09 10:55:13

Perhaps I'm overly anal, but I take meter readings every couple of months and calculate how much we're spending. It helps me be conscious about how much I'm using appliances and more importantly there are no nasty surprises when the bill comes because I make sure our direct debit is covering what we're using.

FAQtothefuture Sat 08-Aug-09 10:58:45

I usually try and put a little bit aside each month in the summer to put towards the winter bills as well.

I have as few DD's as possible at the moment as weekly, fortnightly and 4 weekly payments for money means that money arrives in our accounts at different times each month so I'm don't like risking them taking the money out for a DD and there not being anything there.

claireybee Sat 08-Aug-09 11:20:30

Daisy we take quarterly readings but I have no idea how to make them translate into money blush

But I really don't know how we can cut down much more, as I said, everything is turned off when not in use. Oh actually, apart from my laptop which I do have a bad habit of leaving on while I'm at home and coming back to in between doing other stuff. Will start shutting it down instead, I don't actually need it on, it just brightens up an otherwise boring day of housework!

carter657 Sat 08-Aug-09 12:37:52

hi, mine went from £48 per month for gas and electricity to £104 - obviously a huge difference, i cancelled my direct debit and rung them up statign i couldnt afford that amount and i managed to get them lowered - not to what they were but to £75.

DaisymooSteiner Sat 08-Aug-09 12:44:31

The price per unit should be on your bill (although they do sometimes alter prices between bills, but you should be able to check this on their website). If you have economy 7 then you need to make sure you're taking the right reading for day and night use - it's usually fairly obvious though as people tend to use more in the day so reading will be higher.

You then just multiply the number of units by the price per unit and add on VAT and any charge for standing charge. The other complication is that you're sometimes charged a higher rate for the first few hundred units per quarter. If you have a look at the bill though you should be able to work it out.

CarGirl Sat 08-Aug-09 12:59:09

work out how much you've used in gas & electric for the last 2 years and then divide by 2 to give you an average annual reading.

Go to and use the 2 comparison companies on there and find out if you need to move your business elsewhere.

mrstimlovejoy Sat 08-Aug-09 20:54:26

i checked my bank statement on weds and my provider had taken an extra £40 out on direct debit so now pay £140 a month for gas and electric.are they supposed to inform you if they are changing it as have not recieved anything from them.

kristatwin Sun 09-Aug-09 07:59:08

Mine has gone up from £85.00 a month to £216.00 a month because of the winter months, i admit i did have it on a lot, due to having 1 year old twins, but beleieve me this year it will be hat and scarf when they go to bed this year.

God knows where they think we all get this money from, i have a tree outside where i pick it from, gas and electric used to be a small bill, now it is one of the highest, the goverment should bloody cap it so these companies are not making trillions out of us !!

Meglet Sun 09-Aug-09 08:10:55

I have a small 3 bedroom house. Its just me and 2 pre-schoolers. Electric and gas are £100 a month. I have new-ish fridge, washing machine, dishwasher and tumble dryer so all fairly energy efficient. I also ring my meter readings in every quarter so we never have estimated bills.

startingagain Sun 09-Aug-09 13:31:20

I pay over £400 every quarter, too much money!!!!
There are four of us here and the house seems to eat electricity.

Fizzylemonade Mon 10-Aug-09 10:46:24

Everyone change from paying by DD to standing order, solves all the problems.

Standing orders are controlled by you they cannot increase it or change it in any way.

You get the same discount as paying by DD.

To anyone wanting to reduce their consumption, turn off anything that has a transformer in it, that would be anything with a big bulky plug or if you have a laptop it's that big block in the middle of your cable. It also includes any hi fi etc. You will be amazed at how much this all adds up to.

Turn stuff off at the sockets, if you can't reach the socket you can a remote controlled socket. Only leave it on if you need it.

I used to work for the electricity board so I do have some knowledge.

claireybee Mon 10-Aug-09 10:47:53

Eek! Ours are still quite cheap compared to some of these.

Thanks Daisy, we haven't had any paper from them since we first moved (eco account)but I'll look on the website and dig out the first bill we had to check the rates-it should give me a rough idea anyway.

DaisymooSteiner Mon 10-Aug-09 13:25:53

If you get it stuck then why not phone them up and ask them to go through it with you?

RumourOfAHurricane Mon 10-Aug-09 13:35:29

Message withdrawn

kristatwin Mon 10-Aug-09 18:32:39

What is an owl monitor !

RumourOfAHurricane Mon 10-Aug-09 19:26:35

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claireybee Tue 11-Aug-09 11:31:54

Shiney that's why I couldn't understand the increase, we do all of what you say (although we also turn sky box and wireless off at socket).

Don't have an OWL though...

strongblackcoffee Tue 11-Aug-09 12:00:30

Everyone I know has had increased payments recently. It's because a) we had a cold winter, so generally more appliances used, heating on more, etc. (altho this is usually gas of course) and, b) the fuel prices went through the roof this winter. The utility companies are now putting up direct debits so that you have enough credit to see you through next winter. Mine has leapt from £55pcm (dual fuel) to £150. It doesn't need to be this high to cover my summer usage.

So it all depends whether you'd like your money to sit in their bank earning interest or your own... give them a call!

RumourOfAHurricane Wed 12-Aug-09 11:21:13

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