Direct debit is normally the most cost effective way of paying for your gas or electricity. Most energy companies will give you a discount for paying through this method.
Direct debit allows you to make regular and regimented payments from your bank account by using an automated system. This allows you to manage your energy payments easily and conveniently.
In a survey taken, 8/10 people said that they thought that paying via direct debit worked well for them. A further 6/10 people stated that they would prefer to pay all of their household bills via direct debit.
Direct debit works by setting up a regular payment between your bank account and your energy supplier. Doing this allows you to make gas and electricity payments automatically; making it more convenient for you.
When you set up a direct debit, you are giving your permission for your energy supplier to take a payment from your account on a set date for a set amount.
Your bank is then sent confirmation of this agreement and will authorise the payment to go through.
One of the biggest advantages of paying via direct debit is that it saves you a lot of time and effort when it comes to paying your energy bills.
You don’t need to worry about forgetting to pay your bills as the payment is made automatically. Direct debit also means that you don’t need to worry about your bill arriving late in the post because the amount that you owe will automatically be taken from your account.
Direct debit is also a safe way to pay for your gas and electricity. You don’t have to worry about anything going wrong with your payments because, as a consumer, you are protected under the Direct Debit Guarantee.
The direct debit guarantee is an arrangement set up by the banks to make sure that your payments go through correctly. If you are ever overcharged or there is any other error in your payment, then you can claim an immediate refund from your bank.
It is worth noting that if you ever receive a refund that you shouldn’t have, you will be expected to pay it back in full.
Your energy supplier is required to notify you at least 10 days beforehand, if they are planning on changing the amount of your direct debit. This also applies if your energy supplier is planning on changing the date of your direct debit. Most companies will let you know when they are going to take your payment anyway, even if they aren’t changing the details of it.
If there is ever a malfunction with the amount that you are charged or the time at which the payment was taken, you are entitled to a full refund from your bank.
No. With direct debit you can be comfortable knowing that all your payments will be made on time and in full, without you having to spend time going through each payment.
Direct debit comes out of your bank account, this means that as with any other payment, you can see exactly how much you are paying and to who.
All you need to do to cancel a direct debit is get in touch with your bank. You can do this over the phone or by email. It’s worth keeping a record of a written request for cancellation so that you can prove that you requested it, if you ever need to.
If this happens then your direct debit will not be paid, however your bank will normally charge you for the extra administration fees that they would have had to carry out on your behalf.
Normally your energy supplier will try and take the payment again a few days later, this means it is important to try and put some money into your account before then.
If you continue to fail to meet your payments then you may receive a penalty charge from your gas or electricity supplier. They may also decide to put you onto a prepayment meter, to prevent you from falling behind on your bills again.