Households get notice of vastly increased energy bills days before payment due

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nergy firms are sending out notices to households about excessive direct debits, which they will pay within days, despite the government’s cost of living help package and price freezes.

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E.on customers were among a flurry of complaints on social media on Thursday as the firm gave details of noticeably increased payments in emails, even those whose accounts are in credit.

Clients have little time to prepare, high payouts become effective from the beginning of October.


One customer, Danny Stuart, wrote: “Anyone else got an email from their energy supplier, seeing a massive increase in their direct debits from October 1st? So much for things to stay the same! I thought prices over the stated range.” will be stable.”

Marija Lewis posted: “Wow @eon_next please can you explain this? My bill for last month was £97 (yeah we’re really moving back and rarely home). Based on new prices it’s £97 Would have been 118. You are putting my direct debit from £180 to £458???”

The emails caused confusion as they did not clarify whether the £400 payment by the government to all households to offset the higher prices – £66 from October to March and £67 in monthly amounts automatically from accounts Was deducted – was already implemented High Direct Debit.

Under the energy price guarantee announced by Prime Minister Liz Truss earlier this month, the average household energy bill will rise from £1,971 to a steady £2,500 on 1 October.

This is a 27% increase from the previous price range, which is the limiting rate providers can charge customers on a standard variable tariff.

Overall, the household bill will still remain 96% higher than last year.

An E.One spokesperson said: “We are contacting customers to explain the recent changes in the energy market and how their bill and direct debit amounts will change from October 1.

“This includes details of the government’s Energy Price Guarantee (EPG), which sets the price of energy across the country, and the previously announced energy bill support scheme which will cut bills by a further £400.

“As always, any customer can contact us directly to discuss their account and we have detailed information on our website.

“We know these are difficult times and we are struggling to contact any customers as we can help through cold weather payments and targeted support such as our E.One Next Energy Fund .

“We also work with agencies such as Stepchange, Citizen Advice and Energy Advice Scotland and we have dedicated phone lines for customers in case of a supply shutdown or other emergency situations.”

Some customers who pay by direct debit have seen their bills decrease as providers adjust payment plans to reflect the new policy.

EDF Energy had previously increased direct debits of some customers at the start of the month, when bills were projected to rise to an average of around £3,500 before government intervention.

OVO Energy’s customers also complained that the supplier had asked them to increase their direct debits last month, only to decrease them after Ms. Truss’s announcement.

Citizen Advice advises customers who are confused about their direct debit growth, to ask their supplier directly.

Ofgem previously urged providers to take “immediate action” after a review that found “multiple vulnerabilities or failures in the way it charges customers’ direct debits”.

The results of the review, published in July, found that five suppliers had “moderate or severe” vulnerabilities.

More than seven million households saw an increase in direct debit between February and April, with more than 500,000 facing a 100% increase.


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