How to pay your energy bill Cut your energy costs

Energy Direct debit1

Take control of your direct debit to avoid being overcharged by your energy supplier

Stay in control of your energy direct debit by checking your meter and keeping on top of any energy cost changes. If you think you’ve paid too much, you can ask your supplier for a refund. 

Keep reading to find out what you can do to make sure you don't overpay your energy supplier.

Keep your energy bill under control

Paying your energy bill monthly through direct debit means you spread your energy costs over the year and avoid big winter bills. 

Checking your meter will keep your bill as accurate as possible. This avoids building up a big credit or debit balance with your supplier.

Our checklist, below, shows you how to control your direct debit amount.

If you feel you’re paying too much for your energy, the first thing to do is call your energy provider and ask for your direct debit to be reviewed and reduced. Make sure you have a current meter reading to hand.

If this doesn’t work, complain to your energy supplier and ask for the direct debit to be lowered.

If your complaint is not resolved after eight weeks, you can escalate it to the Energy Ombudsman. And if you decide to switch, make sure you begin by checking which are the best and worst energy suppliers.

Direct Debit checklist: six easy steps to avoid overpaying your energy company

1Take regular meter readings 

Provide these readings to your supplier. It will help your supplier keep track of your actual usage, which means you'll pay for what you're using.

2Keep track of price changes

Take meter readings on the day of or just after a price change to make sure you are charged at the right rate.

3Check your bills

If they are based on estimated usage, check this against your own meter reading. If different, contact your supplier.

4Question direct debit changes

If you do not agree with the proposed changes, contact your supplier and ask for further clarification. Remember that it’s normal to be in credit in the summer.

5Ask for a refund of your credit 

If you are disproportionately in credit, ask for a refund.

6Read communications from your energy company

Suppliers must tell you of any changes to your direct debit at least 10 working days before it’s debited. The company might do this by writing to you or including a note on your bill. If it doesn't, complain and ask for compensation. You can also make a claim under the Direct Debit Guarantee.

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Direct debit refund

If you think you have been paying too much and are in credit with your energy supplier, take a meter reading and check your supplier’s policy. 

You'll find details of this on our guide to your energy direct debit rights

Remember, you can also ask for a credit refund at any time even if it doesn’t fit with the energy supplier’s automatic refund policy. 

Your right to do this is legislated in Condition 27 of the Gas and Electricity Supply Licence Conditions. This says that any credit balance must be refunded if asked for by the customer. 

So if you're owed money, don't hold back. Contact your energy company and ask for a refund.

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