Gas & Electric Recommended Balance? — Scope | Disability forum
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Gas & Electric Recommended Balance?

Luchia
Luchia Community member Posts: 235 Pioneering
Hi everyone 

I wanted to ask what is the recommended balance to have in credit on Gas & Electric account?

I pay monthly by Direct Debit and currently have a credit balance of £550, I read online it’s good to build up a strong credit balance during warmer months ready for higher use in winter.

Octopus have said I can claim the refund back at anytime but financially we have in a very good position to happy to let it keep building.

I moved home in November as when on PrePayment before so I’m a bit clueless when it comes to monthly direct debit type accounts so would be great to get some feedback from other members 

Comments

  • 66Mustang
    66Mustang Community member Posts: 13,094 Disability Gamechanger
    edited June 2023
    I don't think there is a recommended balance.

    You just want to stay above £0 all year round, then it's fine.

    We are in a similar position to you. Ours is on £500 atm. We pay £175 a month. We pay a DD each month that does not change. We overpay in summer and build it up to around £800 by the end of summer then we dip into it in Winter as we underpay and it goes down to around £200.

    Just keep your eye on it over winter and be prepared to top it up if necessary.

    Good luck :)
  • Alex_Scope
    Alex_Scope Posts: 7,562 Scope online community team
    Hi @Luchia I'm afraid this sort of thing is not my strong point, so I wouldn't have much idea of what is a good balance to have. If you're happy I think that's what matters, and to me it seems a good amount :)
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  • Luchia
    Luchia Community member Posts: 235 Pioneering
    66Mustang said:
    I don't think there is a recommended balance.

    You just want to stay above £0 all year round, then it's fine.

    We are in a similar position to you. Ours is on £500 atm. We pay £175 a month. We pay a DD each month that does not change. We overpay in summer and build it up to around £800 by the end of summer then we dip into it in Winter as we underpay and it goes down to around £200.

    Just keep your eye on it over winter and be prepared to top it up if necessary.

    Good luck :)
    We are paying £150 a month but bills are only coming to £95 so the credit gets a boost of £55 each month.
    During November to February bills were around £130-165 a month but that’s with central heating set to always on at 20C 
  • woodbine
    woodbine Community member Posts: 11,305 Disability Gamechanger
    For £550 in credit in June I would claim half of it back, better off in your pocket than theirs.
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  • Luchia
    Luchia Community member Posts: 235 Pioneering
    woodbine said:
    For £550 in credit in June I would claim half of it back, better off in your pocket than theirs.
    Don’t really need the money so wanting to keep as much as possible as a buffer for the credit 
  • OverlyAnxious
    OverlyAnxious Community member Posts: 2,555 Disability Gamechanger
    You should have maximum credit in August, as that's generally the lowest usage month, before bills start rising again in Sept/Oct as temperatures drop and nights draw in.  Trouble is, that hasn't worked lately will frequent price chances.

    Given your current usage, I'd say you should be about £300 in credit right now, so could take some of that credit back.  Just be aware that it will count towards the capital limits if you're on any means tested benefits.
  • Luchia
    Luchia Community member Posts: 235 Pioneering
    You should have maximum credit in August, as that's generally the lowest usage month, before bills start rising again in Sept/Oct as temperatures drop and nights draw in.  Trouble is, that hasn't worked lately will frequent price chances.

    Given your current usage, I'd say you should be about £300 in credit right now, so could take some of that credit back.  Just be aware that it will count towards the capital limits if you're on any means tested benefits.
    Thank you for the info.
    not on any means tested benefits as my partner earns too much but I do get PIP.

    Don’t really need the money so would it be better to just keep letting it build up in credit?
    Octopus do allow refund anytime so it’s always an option if it was ever needed but we are pretty financially secure, I was more concerned that I needed to put more into credit balance.
    By end of August it should be around £700-750 in credit ready for winter 
  • OverlyAnxious
    OverlyAnxious Community member Posts: 2,555 Disability Gamechanger
    Luchia said:
    You should have maximum credit in August, as that's generally the lowest usage month, before bills start rising again in Sept/Oct as temperatures drop and nights draw in.  Trouble is, that hasn't worked lately will frequent price chances.

    Given your current usage, I'd say you should be about £300 in credit right now, so could take some of that credit back.  Just be aware that it will count towards the capital limits if you're on any means tested benefits.
    Thank you for the info.
    not on any means tested benefits as my partner earns too much but I do get PIP.

    Don’t really need the money so would it be better to just keep letting it build up in credit?
    Octopus do allow refund anytime so it’s always an option if it was ever needed but we are pretty financially secure, I was more concerned that I needed to put more into credit balance.
    By end of August it should be around £700-750 in credit ready for winter 
    It's really your decision then.  Doesn't affect PIP at all.  If you don't need it right now, there's no harm in leaving it there to keep building. 

    Some people don't like the idea of big companies making interest on the money.  They would rather keep the money in their own bank account for longer.  But that's completely personal preference.
  • 2oldcodgers
    2oldcodgers Posts: 743 Connected
    Luchia said:
    You should have maximum credit in August, as that's generally the lowest usage month, before bills start rising again in Sept/Oct as temperatures drop and nights draw in.  Trouble is, that hasn't worked lately will frequent price chances.

    Given your current usage, I'd say you should be about £300 in credit right now, so could take some of that credit back.  Just be aware that it will count towards the capital limits if you're on any means tested benefits.
    Thank you for the info.
    not on any means tested benefits as my partner earns too much but I do get PIP.

    Don’t really need the money so would it be better to just keep letting it build up in credit?
    Octopus do allow refund anytime so it’s always an option if it was ever needed but we are pretty financially secure, I was more concerned that I needed to put more into credit balance.
    By end of August it should be around £700-750 in credit ready for winter 
    I was in credit by up to £800 by March this year. My DD's during last winter were way above what we were using each month. In April they drastically reduced the DD to £189. We are currently (with the June bills included) back up to £650 in credit. We are anticipating that by the end of August that £650 will increase to about £950.

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