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How to save HUNDREDS by challenging your energy provider, as some customers see their bills TRIPLE

ENERGY suppliers are asking customers to triple their debit payments in some frustrating instances.

Households have already slammed energy firms for ramping up bills by as much as 80% amid rising gas prices.

But many are discovering that providers are hugely upping direct debit payments since the recent price cap rise that came into force on the first of the month.

This is Money reports that some suppliers have been seen to back down when challenged on the hikes though, with one customer saving as much as £251 as a result.

His bill was due to go from £97 a month to a whopping £312 a month, tripling the Direct Debit.

But after speaking to the provider, that was knocked down to a new £120 a month payment, but still remained a 24% increase on what was charged before.

Suppliers are still expected to set reasonable costs however, and they should be able to clearly explain why that amount has been chosen for you.

It's based on an estimate of your usage, but there are steps you can take to crack down on the costs.

Justina Miltienyte, energy policy expert at Uswitch, said: “The best way to make sure your direct debit reflects your usage is providing regular meter readings to your supplier. 

If you have rightfully been using more energy then your bills of course will go up.

Do I have to accept the increase? 

You don't have to accept the increase, and any changes you're unhappy with should be relayed to your supplier, so they can explain the reason behind what they're charging.

Then you can decide if you want to challenge the result.

But if your Direct Debit is just around the corner then you won't be able to change anything.

It usually takes around four to five working days to make any change to your Direct Debit instruction.

But not all is lost if you do stick with what you've been asked to pay, as you can practice energy savings methods to make sure your usage, and therefore bills aren't going through the roof.

Things like turning appliances off when you're not using them, swapping out bulbs for more energy efficient ones plus many more tips and tricks.

But experts advise that if you are struggling to pay your bills you should speak to your supplier as soon as you can. 

Can I cancel my direct debit? 

Tashema Jackson, consumer champion at energyhelpline, explains that you can in fact do just that.

"But I would advise against it." Tashema said.

"You will still have to pay your energy bill, and not doing so could result in a black mark against your credit rating.

"Additionally, if you try and cancel the direct debit only a couple of days before the money is due to come out, you will not be able to stop that payment."

The energy expert also explained that if you are in debt to your supplier it can be harder to challenge the Direct Debit increase.

But if you are in credit, your supplier will have a more difficult time to justify asking you to pay more.

That credit isn't going anywhere either, the money will stay safe even if your supplier goes bust, as 13 have just in recent weeks.

You can ask for that money back too, and typically your supplier will return the payment and if they won't they have to tell you exactly why.

This could be because your credit balance is only small, or if you have a bill due out in the next couple of days.

Energy price cap rise could leave more than five million households in the cold

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