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Recommendations needed for power suppliers please

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Brum Lady | 21:43 Wed 12th Aug 2009 | Home & Garden
13 Answers
We are currently with Eon for both gas and electricity, and pay monthly direct debit. We have just had a bill saying we are �245 in debt, and need to increase our payments by �20 per month!

We can't believe we owe this money, since my son moved out in April and our electricity usage must have decreased significantly since then due to the reduction of washing, showers, tv, music, lights on everywhere etc etc.

Can enyone recommend a good/cheap dual fuel supplier, or do people find it better to buy their gas and electricity separately? Also, do you think this Direct Debit business is a fiddle?

Thanks.

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Direct Debit is not a fiddle. I pay my gas and electricity to Eon by Direct Debit every month, and every month I check online to see what my bill is.
This year they refunded me �160 and reduced my payments because I had been using less.
You should read your meters every month and keep a record.
Question Author
Thanks for reply.

I just don't understand how we can possibly be using more power than over the winter period!
You (almost certainly) aren't. These companies assess the amount annually - in the summer - then run the DD for 12 months before reassessing. So you were using more power than you have been paying for during the whole year.
Now it has caught up.
The way to prevent this sort of thing is to check the usage yourself periodically as HC suggests.
hc4361
So have you really used less energy or have you been overcharged by �160?
If everyone is overgharged �100 each year Eon would make �billions using this credit..
Last year British Gas overcharged my parents by �340 using this scam, and still wanted them to increase their direct debit payments. They have gone back to a quarterly bill with the intention of switching when they are back in debit.
Brum Lady.
Reading meters regularly is a must as most are estimated readings. This will tell if you are overspending on Gas or Electricity. Its possible one of your meters is faulty.
Question Author
Thanks for the answers. We usually read the meter when Eon puts a card through the door, so they are not estimated bills. Can we get them to check our meter? The gas is OK, it's the electricity costing a bomb!
You can look at your past bills online. Add up the electricity usage for the past 12 months, then the 12 months before that and the year before that.
If the readings are wildly different and you haven't bought a 50" plasma tv, installed a power shower or anything like that, you can use that information to insist on a meter check.
Don't forget the cost of electricity has gone up a lot.
Prices have rocketed over the last 3 years (almost doubled) and I had to make a one off payment (which was correct) of �700 to reflect this as my DD hadn't gone up in line with prices. I'm sure lots of others are in the same boat.
You can shop around on price comparison sites but Eon is supposed to be one of the cheapest. Read your meter and check it against what is on your bill.
You can save by moving to an online tariff (where you get bills via email rather than by post)
Question Author
Thanks all. I think we'll live in our touring caravan in the garden over the winter - it'll be cheaper!
It's the number of electricity Units used you need to be comparing in previous quarters to get some measure of whether the meter is at fault - not the cost. The number of Units should be pretty consistent - it's the cost of those Units that has rocketed more recently.
Question Author
Thanks, we'll start keeping a check on the meter readings.
We have dual fuel with Scottish Power Online - had no problems, they adjust the direct debits regularly, and the meter is read by yourselves and submitted online. Certainly one which I would recommend, at this time anyway.
Question Author
We were actually with Scottish Power and changed to Eon because SP were putting up the prices more. I think we're fighting a losing battle!
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