Five of the big six energy suppliers have been accused breaching regulations by overcharging customers using pre-pay gas and electricity meters.
Scottish Power, British Gas, Npower, Scottish & Southern and E.ON were all breaking rules set by the energy regulator Ofgem on how much more pre-pay customers can be charged than those paying by direct debit, the National Housing Federation (NHF) said.
Julian Morgan, MD, Energy Advice Line also pointed out how this is going to affect British businesses who are currently facing the challenge of managing their overheads, in particular their business electricity and gas bills at this critical time of the year.
“It is very true to say that this will affect small business energy consumers as well with Energy companies adopting the same strategy of maintaining a healthy credit balance.
However, there is a very easy way for customers to just pay for the energy they consume and claim any credit balance owing to them. We would advise customers to read their meter at least once a quarter and send this to their supplier. The supplier will in turn re-bill the customer and also show any credit balance on a statement. If the customer is approaching the colder winter period, we would advise that they keep a credit balance which will account for extra usage, but if the credit balance is excessive based on over estimated bills, the supply company is obliged to repay this as well as reduce the monthly direct debit amount so that an excessive balance is not allowed to build up again.
It all starts with the customer providing meter readings on a consistent basis and not letting the supply company accrue a hefty credit balance.”
www.energyadviceline.org.uk for advice on business electricity and business gas