If your energy bill direct debit has doubled or tripled, here’s Martin Lewis’s advice

Martin Lewis: the ‘Money Saving Expert’ has advice that could save you hundreds of pounds if your energy supplier is overcharging you.

It seems some energy firms are playing fast and loose with customers on direct debit, with price hikes of up to 250 per cent.

So take a hard look at what your energy firm is charging you.

It seems some of them are trying to boost their own bank balances in advance of another expected price hike in October – in effect, relieving their own cash flow problems by inflicting them on you.

But it could lead to a fine of up to one-tenth of a company’s turnover if it is caught.

‘Money Saving Expert’ Martin Lewis has given advice on this, warning that there are some circumstances in which higher bill increases may be allowed.

But if you are in credit and “on the price cap”, and seeing a bill increase of more than 54 per cent, then you should call up the companies – politely – and dispute the new bill by asking them to justify the hike.

This would not be a “negotiation” as there is a legal requirement for your direct debit to be fair.

If the firm refuses to reduce the bill, then you should announce that you will take the matter to the Ombudsman. This will cost the energy company money.

Source: Martin Lewis’ urgent advice to anyone who uses direct debit to pay for their energy bills

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1 thought on “If your energy bill direct debit has doubled or tripled, here’s Martin Lewis’s advice

  1. 6033624

    If you have ANY kind of health problem inform your energy provider so that you are registered as SNEEDS (Special Needs) There are many advantages, one of which is that ultimately should you be unable to pay your bill they will be unable to ‘force-fit’ a pay-meter. Having a pay-meter means that your power/heat will self disconnect if you don’t pay. It is marginally more expensive than paying a paper bill – although you pay in advance. And obviously you don’t get the discount open to DD payers. If you’re worried about missing DDs and getting bank charges many banks will cancel ALL charges if you are in financial trouble and tell them. Your other alternative is to pay by payment card (again no discount for DD of course) They will do their best to discourage this but if you really want to then do it. Don’t do DD if it will cost you money in missed payments, any saving will be wiped out by a couple of bank charges a year. Tell them what you can afford and offer to pay that, see what they say. Their ultimate recourse if you can’t pay is court action – if you have assets, money and earnings then this will be a worry – although you should attempt to agree something AFFORDABLE. If you are on benefits tell them you will pay via benefits. This takes forever and the DWP do their best to discourage it and will slow the process so it takes almost a year – if they even respond. This is not really your problem, wait until they contact you again before you raise it with DWP.

    This is about SURVIVING a doubling of heating and electric costs. It is going to hit hard for people with electric storage heater systems – usually council tenants and usually poorer and on benefits. Do whatever you need to do. One thing NOT to do is to bridge or bypass your meter. Not really a moral issue – it’s a hazard. I don’t care if your mate has done it for everyone in the street and they haven’t had an electrical fire – yet. It isn’t worth it. Hold your nerve and survive. Involve everyone you can. benefits advice, councillors (maybe council help) MP, Age UK, Citizens Advice etc. Drag out the process and survive it. There is no shame in surviving.

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