I can no longer pay my energy bill quarterly and by check. Does a supplier accept this now?

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I think I was overcharged by my energy supplier for the use this month and now they are looking to pay – even though I am asking for the amount.

I usually pay quarterly, by check, but apparently it’s getting harder to do.

I also want the energy company to do their job and come and read my meter, rather than expecting me to. It was standard practice, it worked well, and it was convenient for me.

Do energy companies still allow customers to pay quarterly and by check, or is it too much to ask now?

Consumers complain that they can no longer pay for their energy on a quarterly basis

Grace Gausden, This is Money, responds: This has been a recurring complaint from This is Money readers with many energy customers frustrated at not being able to pay quarterly or by check.

Many want to do this, like you, to verify that they are paying the correct amount on their bills and not overpaying unnecessarily.

Others said they didn’t like energy companies being able to automatically withdraw money from their bank accounts.

While some may see this as old fashioned, there are a number of people who become frustrated with their lack of options with some providers who insist on receiving monthly payments online.

Another major concern is for those who do not wish to install a smart meter, a device that will automatically notify providers of a household’s usage.

Reasons for not wanting them include the first generation of meters, making it difficult to switch providers, and others just think it won’t save them money.

This is Money has contacted several major energy providers to find out if they offer quarterly payments by check and if not, why not.

We also asked if suppliers always read their customers’ meters.

Some customers want their supplier to read their gas meter rather than doing it themselves

Some customers want their supplier to read their gas meter rather than doing it themselves

Octopus energy

Can we pay by check? Yes

Can pay quarterly? Yes

The supplier said that while direct debit and auto-meter reading keeps costs down and helps keep prices low, customers can pay quarterly and by check if they choose.

When customers cannot read the meters themselves or when they choose not to send readings for a long time, it provides meter readers.

British gas

Can we pay by check? Yes

Can pay quarterly? Yes

Customers can pay quarterly and by check if they wish and he still sends meter readers.

For someone who has a normal (not smart) credit meter, they will send someone out every six months.

Aeon

Can we pay by check? Yes

Can pay quarterly? No

Customers can pay by check monthly – but not quarterly. However, there is the option of paying quarterly by variable direct debit. Eon did not explain why this is the case.

Ovo

Can we pay by check? Yes

Can pay quarterly? Yes

Ovo Energy supports monthly and quarterly billing and payment, and accepts payments by direct debit, card payment, check and BACS.

Regarding meter readings, Ovo said it still sends routine meter readers to properties every six to 12 months, but more frequent readings are available through the Priority Services Registry for anyone with disabilities. difficulty reading your meter.

Depending on which vendor the customers are with, it will depend on how well they can pay their bills

Depending on which vendor the customers are with, it will depend on how well they can pay their bills

Ampule

Can we pay by check? Yes

Can pay quarterly? Not clear

The challenger provider encourages members to pay monthly by direct debit or, if they have a recharge meter, by recharging, which it says keeps prices low for everyone.

However, it also offers consumers the option of paying through any post office offering the MoneyGram service, by check, wire transfer, standing order, or over the phone.

It also offers flexible payments where members can request to make weekly payments instead of paying monthly.

For members with prepaid meters, it offers different pay-per-use charging options depending on the type of gas or electricity meter they have, including online, through our app or in a store.

He added that he sent engineers to visit a house to read a meter, install a meter, or repair one if it was faulty.

He can also organize regular meter readings to be performed by a qualified engineer for members who are elderly, disabled, chronically ill or in need of an extra helping hand.

Scottish power

Can we pay by check? Yes

Can pay quarterly? Yes

The supplier said customers can still pay quarterly and by check.

He added that if someone is an online customer, they will read their meter every year.

If there is a quarterly billing, it will read the meter every three months. Meanwhile, if customers have a smart meter, it will not call to read the meter if it receives readings from the device.

EDF

Can we pay by check? Yes

Can pay quarterly? Yes (once registered as a customer)

The company said customers can still pay for their energy on a quarterly basis. However, if this option is not offered to people when they first subscribe to EDF, households can request to switch to quarterly billing once they are customers.

He added that all customers who have not set up direct debit can pay by check.

Regarding meter readings, he said he encourages all customers to provide their own meter readings to help keep their account up to date.

However, if a guest cannot access their meter or is unable to provide a meter reading, they will send a meter reader to their property.

Grace Gausden adds: It seems most energy companies are pretty flexible when it comes to paying quarterly and by check, but chances are staff will be more inclined to charge you monthly and by direct debit, so keep that in mind. spirit and stay true to your commitments. Like you want.

You didn’t tell me in your email that you were refused to pay by check or quarterly, just that the business in question is now becoming a bit more inconvenient for you – a move, presumably, to try to get you in direct debit.

Considering the answers above, the vast majority accept quarterly check payments – so if you have a hard time doing it or are penalized for doing so, contact us: [email protected]

Tom Lyon, Energy Director at Comparison Tech, adds: Historically, when it came to paying for your energy, all energy companies allowed you to choose how you wanted to pay your bill, whether on a quarterly or monthly basis, and whether you wanted to pay by check, direct debit or other method. of payment.

However, as the number of energy suppliers grew and the way these companies operated changed, we have increasingly seen suppliers change their accepted payment methods to direct debit or prepaid, and to a monthly or à la carte service.

This is largely to help them operate in a more streamlined fashion, but with the added benefit of lowering costs and lower bills for their customers.

Customers who prefer to pay their bills quarterly, or by check, see their options reduced, not having access to the entire market, and necessarily pay more for the service as well.

If a customer wishes to continue paying by check or on a quarterly basis, he will have to contact one of the energy companies who allows him to do so, because energy suppliers are not obliged to offer all payment services to their customers. clients.

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