Could Direct Debits Lower Your Energy Bills?
Setting up a direct debit can feel a bit like signing your life – or at least your wages – away. It’s yet another chunk of money going out of your bank account each month before you’ve even had time to touch it.
But, it might help soften the blow a little to know that, if you do pay for your gas and electricity by a fixed monthly direct debit, you’ll get access to the best deals, and you might even save money each year on your bills.
Here’s a few facts to help you decide about direct debits.
How it works:
- Direct debits are usually based on an estimate of how much gas and electricity you use, based on the previous 12 months.
- This is then spread out across a year, so you won’t be hit with a massive bill in winter and a low one in the summer.
- If you currently pay your bills as you receive them, setting up a direct debit could knock anything between £80 – £100 off every year.
- It’s usually cheaper. In fact, according to MoneySavingExpert, Direct Debits are around 7% cheaper than any other way of paying .
- They help manage your money – no nasty surprises landing on your doormat to ruin your day.
- If you pay too much, you build up a credit, easing the worry about cranking up the central heating in a cold spell.
- When bills are estimated, it can mean your direct debit payment is set too high.
- On the other hand, pay too little and you’ll end up owing your provider money.
- As your payments will be split across the year, what you pay each month, is not necessarily what you’re using.
If you do decide to move to direct debit payments, there are ways you can help make sure it works best for you.
- Take regular meter readings.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for a lower direct debit payment if you think yours has been set too high. Energy providers should be open to discussing your payments with you.