Gas suppliers 'stockpiling' direct debits

17 April 2007
The payments customers make by direct debit are allowing gas suppliers to stockpile money, has claimed.

In the aftermath of a series of price cuts, 8.7 million households across the UK are now in credit with their providers, the report claims.

Each has an average of £56 'on float' – money the financial advice site is urging customers to claim back.

Although suppliers will eventually discount the 'float' from customer payments, and customers in the long run lose nothing, some customers running short of extra cash might prefer that £50 or so in their pockets, suggests.

"Customers can take matters into their own hands by contacting their supplier and requesting an immediate direct debit review," advised the finance site's head of utilities Paul Schofield.

A review could force suppliers to revise their direct debit payment charts with immediate effect, minimising the stockpile effect.

Powergen currently has the largest number of customers in credit with more than £100 accumulated on their account, at 26 per cent, while EDF has the smallest proportion at just six per cent.

Meanwhile, has claimed that further gas price cuts are urgently needed, with customers still paying on average £200 over the odds for their energy.

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