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Why is my DD changing if I'm on a fixed rate deal?


Userlevel 2

So I’m on a fixed tariff…

 

I was told ‘’ Your forecast 12 month energy spend is £504.84.’’ And I paid £34 a month approx…they kept saying ‘ this gas is more than expected’….2 people in a tiny bungalow. Don’t cook much, have showers,.. basically they kept adjusting the monthly use and increasing my monthly payments till now I’m told my forcast  12 spend is a £1000 a year and I owe them money!

 

WHAT PART OF MY FIXED RATE DEAL WAS FIXED IF I OWE MONEY AND THEY KEPT CHANGING MY DD !? 
 

now they want me to renew again…fixed rate means FIXED…unless your pureplanet obvs…

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Best answer by G4RHL 20 June 2021, 19:01

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That probably confuses the situation for some.  Easily inadvertently done.

Why be bothered? Not after the multitude of occasions from many different sources, including PP,  when customers have been told what is happening, that their position is secure, the whole process is set up as one to protect the customer who is heading toward an increased cost which has been detailed. If you cannot change what lies ahead and you know what lies ahead then why be bothered about the mechanics, it is a waste of energy? In the 1930s we were given “Give us courage to change what must be altered, serenity to accept what cannot be helped, and the insight to know the one from the other.”  That is perhaps apt here.

There are more important things to be concerned about. Perhaps @Bev ’s foot for one!!! The main “bother” about the present situation is if it can be afforded. Also the mechanics of the current system carried out by Ofgem which they are looking at (don’t hold your breath!). Those bothers are different and not what is being queried and being adequately answered by many. With respect to the points raised there is nothing to be bothered about, we know  what lies ahead.

Userlevel 7
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I have been with Pureplanet for 11 months, the monthly bills starting from 2021 Jan was 89.27, 89.27, 89.27, 59.51, 59.51, 59.51, 59.51, 110.88, 110.88, 139.28, 139.28. I am guessing the trend is a combined effect of lesser heating during summer months, initial underestimation which caused a backlog and the increased usage during Autumn.. The increase was a bit disturbing anyway 

hi @Doni, this is how I see it

Your original dd was based on £893 a year, you’ve ended up at £1393 a year. That’s exactly a £500 difference- a year

Some of that £500 increase will perhaps be due to an original underquoting for the real amount of energy you’re using and perhaps anticipating an increase in rates (absolutely inevitable). If so as I always point out it seems excessive but you may also be paying off a backlog. Even if there is no significant backlog your rates will increase by lots.
(Only you can tell us how much PP think you’re going to use in the following year and whether the figure is near what you have/will actually use - we don’t have access)

The remainder of the increase will be to pay off, over a period of time  the arrears you’ve already accrued (over a period of time) (the longer the underpayment the larger the arrears amount will be) 

Without knowing your account balance usage and rates al of the above could be incorrect, but those are the things to look at to figure out why you’re seeing what looks like a large increase.

The alternative is to not address it until it becomes much more difficult to address.

I may be wrong, all of the above is just guesswork, but it may give some insight.

(we are bovvered...wish I could say not bovvered too...)

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@Doni You will have been advised what the figures would be and in particular that in the months from October to March you pay more to cover the anticipated increased cost. You are seeing that with your latest debits. Nothing to be concerned about. You end up only paying for what you use. It will change when Shell start operating their system but that may be some time yet. I don’t know if they operate a split between what we pay Summer and Winter. Eventually, but be patient it will all level out. When? I think next year perhaps. Am I bothered? No.

I have been with Pureplanet for 11 months, the monthly bills starting from 2021 Jan was 89.27, 89.27, 89.27, 59.51, 59.51, 59.51, 59.51, 110.88, 110.88, 139.28, 139.28. I am guessing the trend is a combined effect of lesser heating during summer months, initial underestimation which caused a backlog and the increased usage during Autumn.. The increase was a bit disturbing anyway 

Userlevel 7
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I’m delighted that the combined efforts of the community have been so helpful,  this thread is a great example of what the community is all about!

@Kerrywerrywoo good luck, hope everything works out for you.

Hi @Kerrywerrywoo 

I’ve very roughly calculated it, but @woz is the resident spreadsheet expert - me, I still mourn the loss of Lotus 123.
 

Thankyou this is really helpful. I understand a lot more now how it works and why I got so flustered, with everything going on my stress jar has been full so Thankyou for taking the time to explain! 


Glad it’s of help @Kerrywerrywoo.

In a one of the curveballs life throws at you, way back in 2009, the day my wife and I came back from a week long holiday to recover from the months of stress we’d been through dealing with my mother’s death - my father died - so, although I may not have categorically stated it before, I am extremely sympathetic to what you are going through right now (and we didn’t have probate to deal with.)

I feel reasonably knowledgeable in saying that no matter how horrible everything feels right now, eventually you will see the other side of this situation, and you will catch up with everything that gets put on the ‘back-burner’ while your life becomes encompassed by the fallout from your parent’s passing.

In the interim, your stress jar will overflow, you will miss what you would normally consider the ‘blindingly obvious’ - and curse yourself as you may, there’s not much you can do to avoid it, we basically had my best friend acting as a  ‘long-distance Personal Assistant’ - checking in regularly just to make sure that we’d remembered to sort things like insurance, energy, taking the cat to the vets etc.

Kindest regards

Gwyndy
 
 

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@Kerrywerrywoo If it is of any solace just remember that PP will only charge you for what you use. In time you will build up a picture for yourself. Some of us here, probably you can call us nerds!, keep spreadsheets running to show the monthly kWh consumption for each of gas and electricity and also the cost. I sometimes/used to see my cost going up when the kWs have gone down but that is because of unit price adjustments. I am on a fixed contract now which makes recording the figures simpler but I do always know how much in kWhs I have used and that proves useful when the time comes to check on comparison sites. Great care is needed with those to ensure you compare like with like.

Above all you will always find members here with the knowledge and ability to help. Not paid by PP, just wanting to help. And sometimes we  post some silly things for a bit of fun!

Userlevel 2

 

thanks for the explanation. Ok I understand now that the fixed rate was the units. This is my first house so wasn’t understanding it clearly.   

Hi @Kerrywerrywoo welcome to the community! Thanks for getting stuck in.

I can see other Members have been wonderful and explained that fixed applies to the unit rates. If you use more than the estimates, Direct Debits may go up. And if you use less than estimated, they go down!

(BTW i’ve slightly edited your original post, just to remove the profanity)

Thanks everyone for helping out a fellow community member :blush:

Hi Marc

thanks for the reply. The community have been incredibly helpful in explaining what’s happened, I would like to say a huge part of my confusion came down to the first quote from pureplanet for an unrealistic usage value which set my tone - when I was told by you my expected cost per year would be around £250 per year then it’s crept up to over £1000 it’s a huge shock. Clearly this estimation technique you are using is not accurate so perhaps a better system of usage questions could at some point be used so new home owners without experience don’t have a heart attack. More questions = more accurate estimates. I cannot be the first to have been shocked in this way so hopefully at some point this might be rectified. The guy on the phone mumbled stuff about bills up n down in summer n winter. Not really helpful. Luckily the kind people here took the time to clearly show me what’s happened and now I understand. 

Userlevel 2

apologies but my computer is very broken and just attempted to recover so no spreadsheets or anything for that matter. I’m posting from my phone which I don’t like doing.

Looking at the figures I estimate the annual electricity at around just over 3000kWh, perhaps 3100, and gas at around 11500. 

That’s around £950/year to £1000 at those prices but the renewal will be a lot more as the prices have increased by maybe 30%
can’t spreadsheet as no computer sorry!

I did the calcs independently of @Gwyndy but made some assumptions, for example that you will use some gas in july and august.

So now you need to add up everything you’ve paid since you started and subtract it from £950 or 1000, that will show the shortfall to the end of the year. Sorry about the computer I’m very reliant on it so a bit screwed for the moment…

Thankyou again I’ll work it out and can be clearer now on what to expect and why. Thankyou so much ! 

Userlevel 2

Hi @Kerrywerrywoo 

I’ve very roughly calculated it, but @woz is the resident spreadsheet expert - me, I still mourn the loss of Lotus 123.

 

 

Thankyou this is really helpful. I understand a lot more now how it works and why I got so flustered, with everything going on my stress jar has been full so Thankyou for taking the time to explain! 

 

thanks for the explanation. Ok I understand now that the fixed rate was the units. This is my first house so wasn’t understanding it clearly.   

Hi @Kerrywerrywoo welcome to the community! Thanks for getting stuck in.

I can see other Members have been wonderful and explained that fixed applies to the unit rates. If you use more than the estimates, Direct Debits may go up. And if you use less than estimated, they go down!

(BTW i’ve slightly edited your original post, just to remove the profanity)

Thanks everyone for helping out a fellow community member :blush:

Userlevel 7
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apologies but my computer is very broken and just attempted to recover so no spreadsheets or anything for that matter. I’m posting from my phone which I don’t like doing.

Looking at the figures I estimate the annual electricity at around just over 3000kWh, perhaps 3100, and gas at around 11500. 

That’s around £950/year to £1000 at those prices but the renewal will be a lot more as the prices have increased by maybe 30%
can’t spreadsheet as no computer sorry!

I did the calcs independently of @Gwyndy but made some assumptions, for example that you will use some gas in july and august.

So now you need to add up everything you’ve paid since you started and subtract it from £950 or 1000, that will show the shortfall to the end of the year. Sorry about the computer I’m very reliant on it so a bit screwed for the moment…

Hi @Kerrywerrywoo 

I’ve very roughly calculated it, but @woz is the resident spreadsheet expert - me, I still mourn the loss of Lotus 123.

 

 

Userlevel 2

I really do appreciate everyone’s help. Thankyou, I’m off to bed now but will reply tomorrow and I’m very grateful for everyone who’s helping me. I really am Thankyou ♥️

Userlevel 2

Hi @Kerrywerrywoo 

On your statements, or your contract, it should tell you what your unit cost is, can you tell us those figures, they will help @woz with his calculations.

Thank you
Gwyndy

 

Here you go 

 

Userlevel 2

Hi @Kerrywerrywoo 

I’m sure @woz will be along with his spreadsheet skills shortly.

Do you know what your new meter measures in? presumably either m3, or kWh?

My top of my head calculation is you used:
2371 kWh of electricity 
874 units of gas 
Over 243 days

So, not allowing for weather etc.

Approximately 3600 kWh per year of Electricity, 1350 units of gas?


Thanks Gwyndy

 

Thankyou well the gas meters brand new. The electric meters old style with rolling digits on wheels /  ‘ not digital. Having not had experience of paying these bills myself in the past I have no reference to fall back on. I did say to the lad who called me with the news of my debt and more rises in DD each month that to tell me my forcast usage was going to be so low/cheap was incredibly unprofessional and as I had said from my initial registration myself and partner work from home so we would be in 24/7…. -ps….I hasten add not only where we away a lot between sept and xmas with my dying father we also don’t have a gas cooker ….all this gas can only be heating :/ we are pretty frugal IMO….never leave lights on when out of the room etc. It’s just all been the last thing I needed on top of everything else you know. If I have used it I’ll pay but it’s just how it’s been done has stressed me out. Initial forcast crazy low….me not knowing any different so the reality of our apparent usage was a huge shock but to be in debt has upset me :( now they want me to renew and I’m totally confused and suspicious about how m8ch more it will rise :( 

Hi @Kerrywerrywoo 

On your statements, or your contract, it should tell you what your unit cost is, can you tell us those figures, they will help @woz with his calculations.

Thank you
Gwyndy

 

Userlevel 2

This may help in order !  Some 0f the readings have been done twice because when it’s said ‘ this readings higher than expected’ I have reentered the numbers off the meter x thanks for helping. It’s all a bit overwhelming finding out I am paying lots more than I was initially said I would plus I owe £180… I also started off with a brand new gas meter at zero. 

 

 

Hi @Kerrywerrywoo 

I’m sure @woz will be along with his spreadsheet skills shortly.

Do you know what your new meter measures in? presumably either m3, or kWh?

My top of my head calculation is you used:
2371 kWh of electricity 
874 units of gas 
Over 243 days

So, not allowing for weather etc.

Approximately 3600 kWh per year of Electricity, 1350 units (15340 kWh?) of gas?


Thanks Gwyndy

 

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@Kerrywerrywoo

oops - I hadn’t seen the second screenshot brb

OK

Well the second estimate is much more realistic than the first. Quite frankly the first should have been queried from the start, it’s so obviously wrong. 

The problem is Kerry, that once you go into arrears it’s a double whammy, and that’s what’s happened to you. You not only have to pay the arrears off but also have to up the payment to cover your usage, so the increase can seem very large, especially if you started from a figure that’s way too low.

The most important thing here is to establish that PP started the readings from the correct numbers and to see what you’ve used since you started, then you can start to unwind this and figure out what’s happened, but looking at those figures I think it’s as I’ve just described. Then eventually (if not sooner) you can look at what you leave switched on and whether you have led lamps etc to try and reduce your consumption.

Userlevel 2

Hi sorry yes it’s a year not monthly. I was quoting several statements that show how each time my DD increased the average monthly usage was quoted and it kept jumping up. My very first quote was very very low which set in my head ( obviously) an unrealistic amount I’d expected to be paying per year and per month. £146 electric plus £96 gas……then my most recent bill is also pictured…it’s an enormous jump. 

 

 

And this months 

 

Userlevel 2

Meter readings : all actual readings by me from the meters no estimates 

 

Userlevel 2

Hi sorry yes it’s a year not monthly. I was quoting several statements that show how each time my DD increased the average monthly usage was quoted and it kept jumping up. My very first quote was very very low which set in my head ( obviously) an unrealistic amount I’d expected to be paying per year and per month. £146 electric plus £96 gas……then my most recent bill is also pictured…it’s an enormous jump. 

 

 

Userlevel 7
Badge +11

hi @Kerrywerrywoo 

first of all I’m sorry for your recent loss.

I couldn’t make much sense of your figures, but I’m of the opinion there is no way it should ever have got to the state of you having to pay £1200 a month, so either you meant a year or there is something very wrong.

There are lots of people in the community who are trying to help you out here, it’s fairly clear this needs to be unwound and examined both for your sake and for PP’s. Please don’t take this the wrong way but ranting about it being shady isn’t going to help, you need to step back and supply some facts here so we can help you get it sorted. 

There are three things going on here:

A very wrong initial estimation of your annual energy consumption (no blame attached you weren’t to know)

A meter change may have caused confusion

Questionable handling of the account by PP,  but then I don’t know what they’ve done overall

I think what needs to happen here is for PP to go back over your account  from the very start and check readings and  recalculate, but before you get to that may I ask you some questions which hopefully will throw some light on the matter?

Please can you find the earliest statement with true meter readings NOT estimated on it for both gas and electric, note the readings and the date.
Now  go to the meters on the wall (not the in home display) and take readings with the date taken both gas and elec., post all of the dates and readings on here. That will enable us to give you a ball park figure of what you’re using, which is where we need to start.

If you don’t want to do that then please please use wattbot, type message the team, and ask them to check your account from when you started with PP.

There’s nothing shady here, what we probably have is a screw up by multiple parties. It needs fixing or at the very least explaining. Having real readings and dates is important to sorting this.

You’re going to need to get this sorted either way (whether you stay with PP or leave), and leaving will get complicated if you don’t sort it.

Post back?

 

 

Userlevel 7
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@Kerrywerrywoo in addition to @Gwyndy excellent answer, the membership fee (standing charge) alone is about £61 per year per fuel after the dual fuel discount. You can see that the initial payments were very low allowing for hardly any energy usage 

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