How Your Energy Direct Debit Works and Why Energy Suppliers Can Change It
Your monthly Direct Debit to your energy supplier is just a ‘guesstimate’ cost that’s suggested by your supplier to cover the monthly energy you’ve used - it’s never completely accurate.
For example, if you live in a two-bedroom flat, they’ll use the average energy usage of that particular dwelling, along with its inhabitants, to base your payment on.
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What if I’m paying more than I’m actually using?
If you’re paying more than you’re using, albeit unlikely, it’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Any extra money that is left over after covering your energy consumption for any particular month, will be set aside on your account as credit. This credit will then be used to contribute to the payment of your energy bills as you start to use more energy, such as in the winter.
In fact, you should be in credit at the end of summer as your energy consumption would’ve been at its lowest. The extra money on your account will be put towards the more expensive months during the colder weather.
At the end of winter, you might be in debit, which is the exact opposite of credit. Debit is incurred when your monthly Direct Debits aren’t enough to cover your usage. This is completely normal, and irons itself out when the warmer months come and you start using less energy.
At this point, your Direct Debit will be enough to cover your energy usage on a monthly basis, and enough to slowly pay off any outstanding debit on your account.
However, there might be a case where your Direct Debit doesn’t pay off your debt in the summer, and you remain in debit all year round. At this point, your supplier might raise your Direct Debit.
What if I’m not paying enough for my energy each month?
If you’re underpaying by a significant amount, your supplier will raise your Direct Debit so you aren’t lumbered with a huge amount of debit to pay off once you leave, which is most likely why your Direct Debit has increased.
What if I don’t want a higher Direct Debit?
The choice is actually yours.
Presumably, you’d have been told in advance by your supplier that your Direct Debit is increasing, and you are well within your rights to contact them and tell them you’d like it to stay the same.
You’ll most likely be warned that your Direct Debit isn’t high enough to cover your monthly usage, and that as a result, the amount of debit on your account will continue to accumulate.
As the person paying the Direct Debit, you can request for it to be raised by a specific amount. For example, if your supplier was trying to double your Direct Debit from £100 to £200, you could request to pay a more manageable amount of £150, or another sum of your choosing.