Martin Lewis’ urgent warning to direct debit energy payers

Martin Lewis has issued a series of warnings to direct debit energy payers who may be forking out too much.

Speaking on his ITV show, Mr Lewis warned that many direct debits had risen despite rates dropping on the first of the month.

Mr Lewis offered a series of tips on what direct debit customers could do to check out or change their rates.

His advice comes as the UK nears a winter full of uncertainty after an autumn filled with unpredictable weather.

READ MORE Martin Lewis warns one million miss out on ‘gateway’ to £300 payment

Mr Lewis said: “Rates dropped on the first of October, but many direct debits have risen so do an up-to-date meter reading, make sure you’re not in energy debt. Go online and use an is my direct debit correct calculator.

“If its too high you have a right under energy company licence conditions to a fair direct debit.

“Get on the phone ask ‘Can you justify why the direct debit is so high when I’m not using anywhere near that much and the calculation shows I shouldn’t be paying that much and I would like you to lower it’.”

Mr Lewis also discussed what buyers could do once they were on the phone with their energy company and what they could do afterwards.

He said: “You come to an arrangement of where it should be lowered.

“If they refuse to you can take them to the energy ombudsman if you think its unfair another alternative, what a lot of people do is they get a bill and they pay afterwards.

“The problem with that is you pay more. If you really want to do that try and go onto variable direct debit which is at the same rate as normal direct debit and that’s where once you’ve used what you want to use, they simply take that amount each month from your direct debit.

“What that does mean is you’ll pay much more in the winter than in the summer because usage is higher rather than normal direct debit which smooths out your usage over the year but if you really hate what they’re taking your direct debit that’s a better option than payment in receipt of bills.”

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This isn’t the first warning Mr Lewis has issued this year.

Speaking to ITV about the Government’s cost of living payment, Mr Lewis warned: “The most important message I have for people about the cost of living payment. There’s a benefit called Pension Credit, which is specifically for lower-income pensioners.

“On that one, you can backdate the claim for three months, which means if you don’t get Pension Credit and you’re eligible for it, you can still get that extra £300 (cost of living payment), even if you were to claim now or next week or the week after.

“And there are nearly one million pensioners in this country not getting that absolutely crucial benefit.”

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