Direct debit is the most often used payment method for consumers paying for their energy bills. This is a convenient form of payment for most people as they know exactly how much they will pay each month. Oftentimes, you find that energy providers will give you a discount for using the direct debit method of payment as well as it’s more effective for them as well as you. However, this method can result in your account being left in credit. This happens as energy providers will take a monthly payment, based on an estimate of the amount of energy that they believe you will be consuming on a monthly basis. As the amount of your gas consumption can vary based on multiple factors, you can sometimes find that you have overpaid and that your account will be in credit. If you find your gas bill in credit, what does this mean? You may be wondering why this is happening and what you can do to ensure that your gas bills are the correct amount.
Various factors can contribute to your gas usage fluctuating. A primary one is seasonal changes. During the summer months, you will find that you are using less gas due it to being warmer and also less electricity due to it being lighter for longer. But this credit then comes in handy during the winter months when it is much chillier and darker for longer, resulting in much more gas being used for heating and electricity for lighting. It may therefore be advisable to leave your account in credit at the end of summer to cover the winter months, rather than claiming a refund now and finding yourself underpaying when it is colder.
How to avoid a gas bill that is constantly in credit?
The primary method that you can use to ensure that you don’t overpay is to send your energy provider monthly meter readings. This will allow them to get a clearer picture of how much energy is being consumed and they can then use this to better forecast what your monthly direct debit amount should be. Some suppliers will come and do the readings themselves, or you can learn how to read your meter and give them a call to let them know.
Take a close look at the bill that you receive each month to get a good idea whether you are being regularly overcharged. It is also possible that your provider has under-estimated the amount of gas that will be used. This would mean that your energy supplier is not forecasting your gas consumption correctly. If this continues to occur after you have informed then it may be worth checking if you are using the best gas supplier on the market.
Any changes in your household will also affect the amount of gas that you are using. You need to inform your energy provider of changes such as extra children or family members to the household, departures of family members from the household, insulation fittings and so on. This will enable them to adjust the monthly amount that you are paying accordingly.
What to do if your gas bill is in credit?
A refund is most likely possible for those who find their account in credit. It is imperative that you take a careful look at your contract and agreement with your gas supplier to check what your options would be in case you find your gas bill in credit. It is advisable to use an energy comparison site to find a supplier that deals with this issue quickly and effectively and provides you a refund.
As mentioned earlier, it is not always a good idea to claim a refund immediately if you find your gas bill in credit during the summer, as you may need the extra amount to cover higher usage in the winter months. This is also why most suppliers do not automatically give a refund, as they just assume that you are saving the extra amount for winter.
If you are regularly finding your gas bill in credit, what does this mean when it comes to meter readings? They will need to be looked at by your supplier to get a better estimate of your actual usage. If your provider is not responding to your queries on this matter, there are a number of ways that you can complain directly or involve an ombudsman. You can also check for other suppliers using www.myenergy.co.uk. At My Energy, you can perform a search for the most cost effective energy provider for you, with the best customer service to deal with any issues.