Fuel Account — Scope | Disability forum
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Fuel Account

2oldcodgers
2oldcodgers Posts: 743 Connected
I am getting a little fed up with our supplier.
We pay by DD every month and when it is added to the £67 that we get we are over paying by sometimes £20 or so. When we had all of the help last year for fuel costs quite rightly we made one off fuel help payments of what we got to them. We are seeing our credit balance going up every month. It now stands at £760 after the  January account being settled.
In the winter we know that the payments have to be made to pay for what we use. We pay £197 a month with the £67 on top.
I dread to think that if we keep on paying like this through the summer the account could be £1,000's in credit!
They have refused to send the current credit balance back to us and have told us that from April we will have to continue paying the £197.
Can they do this? and why does the summer payments have to be the same as the winter ones? We are on the normal variable scheme. 

Comments

  • anisty
    anisty Community member Posts: 354 Pioneering
    Some suppliers are better than others about refunding credit. We are with EDF and they are really good about refunding credit. I have heard British Gas are really difficult.

    You are entitled to have your credit back. I don't think they can legally hold on to it. Is your meter working properly and you are up to date with the January payment?

    Normally, they do collect the exact same monthly payment right through the year. If you have a smart meter, they use previous year's use to predict what you will use this year and divide that total amount by 12.


    So, most people find they come out of winter in debit and it rights itself over summer.


    If you dont have a smart meter, they estimate your total yearly bill and divide by 12.


    As you seem to be coming through winter having paid off january though and high in credit, they should refund you.


    What reason are they giving for refusing to refund?  Could you offer to reduce your DD and see if they will accept a new, lower amount?


    Dont reduce or stop paying though unless they agree or you could end up in all kinds of bother.


    It is tricky to switch supplier just now but I know Octopus are taking new customers if you phone them. You cant sign up with them online just now.


    That would be one way of getting credit back.  EDF might take you on if you phone them.
  • 2oldcodgers
    2oldcodgers Posts: 743 Connected
    So, most people find they come out of winter in debit and it rights itself over summer.

    Yes that's what has happened with us for many years in the past when we were on a fixed agreement. But we have paid the Dec and Jan invoices and still find that our credit balance is going up not down. I really do dread what will happen in the summer months if the winter payments continue as they will do according to them.
    Yes the meter works as it should.
    Their argument to my request was that nobody knows what the fuel costs will rise to so a good credit balance is important to them knowing that whatever the summer costs are we will always have sufficient credit and payments to cover any foreseeable increases. They suggested that the April cost could well go up by over£1000 a year to a minimum of £4200.
    I am sure that they think we are running a mini blast furness in the back garden!


  • anisty
    anisty Community member Posts: 354 Pioneering
    You could ask them just to pay the bills as they come in - so you would have hefty bills over winter and lower in summer.

    Unless you have a history of being in arrears though, i really do think you are entitled to get this money back.

    I'd call them back, say that you are fully aware that costs might rise and your DD might need to increase in future but that you want your credit back or you will change supplier.


    (Maybe call round and see who will take you on before threatening to leave!)



    Good luck!





  • 2oldcodgers
    2oldcodgers Posts: 743 Connected
    Although we are on the variable tariff they have told us that the £264 we have credited to the account every month 'WILL' balance itself out over a 'normal' year. This does not appear to be happening. With that amount going in during the winter it is more than covering what we use on a monthly basis. I send the monthly consumption figures over to them at the end of each month. 
    What they are saying is that no one knows what will happen in April so best to be well in credit for the spring/summer/quarters when we will use less fuel going into next winter.
    I agree with what you are saying and it would make it much better if we could pay for what we use on a monthly basis. That then leaves what happens to the large credit balance. They should repay it to us.
    I'll try again with them tomorrow and see what they say.  
  • Hannah_Scope
    Hannah_Scope Posts: 7,093 Disability Gamechanger
    Keep us updated @2oldcodgers :) 


    Hannah - She / Her

    Online Community Coordinator @ Scope

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  • anisty
    anisty Community member Posts: 354 Pioneering
  • 2oldcodgers
    2oldcodgers Posts: 743 Connected
    The little blighters!! They had the audacity after I told them what was happening and wanted to pay as you go month to month to settle what we had used in that month and to return the credit balance they told me that seeing that I wasn't happy with the fixed amount DD system they would give instructions to come round and change the meters to a 'card' meter. I presumed that this was one of those meters that I put money on it at the post office and she said it was.
    I had one devil of an argument with her that that was not what I wanted. I re-explained that I did not want to have any credit building up on the account and that I would pay at the end of the month in full for what we had consumed that month. She intimated that her company would then have no security if I decided not to pay one month. She was having none of it that is until I told her where to stick their fuel account, I am moving!
    And that was it I will now have to wait and see what happens before I plunge into looking elsewhere.
  • Hannah_Scope
    Hannah_Scope Posts: 7,093 Disability Gamechanger
    Oh @2oldcodgers That's awful :( Hopefully you'll find somewhere to move to asap. Have you thought about speaking to Scope's Disability Energy Support? They may have some advice. They are open Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm.
    Hannah - She / Her

    Online Community Coordinator @ Scope

    Concerned about another member's safety or wellbeing? Flag your concerns with us.
    Want to give us feedback? Complete our feedback form now.
  • anisty
    anisty Community member Posts: 354 Pioneering
    I can't believe it!!!!  Grrrrr! What awful customer service! At least by moving you will get your credit back. Really shocking.

    I do hope you find a company that treats you better. 

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