How can I protect myself from going in debt or credit on my energy bills?

Learn how to best handle your energy direct debits in this video...

Ever received a bill and not known why you’re in debt or credit? Well, here’s an explanation of what might have happened.

Your supplier only has to read your meter once a year. So that means all the bills in between are estimated. When your supplier finally takes the actual reading, there are three ways it could go:

1) You could have used exactly the amount they have estimated.

2) You could have used less than the estimate. Good times! This means you’ve paid too much so you will be in credit.

3) You could have used more than the supplier estimated.

This means you will be in debt to the supplier. To some, this can sometimes come as a nasty shock. The ‘catch-up’ costs could run into the hundreds of pounds.

The way to avoid this is take regular readings, at least every quarter, and to give them to your supplier, preferably online. Some suppliers even have a text messaging service you can use. Once the supplier has this more accurate figure, they can contact you to let you know if you are going above or under your estimate.

This will help you understand how much energy you are using and should help you get your bills back on track.

* 51% could save at least £180, MoneySuperMarket Data, June 2014

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