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Energy firms 'hoarding customer money'

Up to six out of ten Britons could be giving gas companies more money than they are due.New research suggests that with 61 per cent of energy customers paying their bills through direct debit, utility firms are amassing a £490 million cash float by failing to reflect gas price falls in consumer tariffs.Moneysupermarket says that it can take energy companies up to six months to rectify the discrepancies, with nine million UK households left out of pocket by an average of £56 in the meantime."Households have been taking the strain of higher gas prices for far too long, and with an energy price war finally gathering pace, it is vital customers reap the rewards as soon as possible," said the price comparison website's head of utilities, Paul Schofield.Mr Schofield contends that the six-month waiting period is an "unacceptable" amount of time to pay higher than necessary gas bills, and he urges consumes to directly contact their supplier and ask for a direct debit review."Six out of ten gas customers pay by direct debit and gas suppliers are going to continue to stockpile customers' excess cash over the coming months," he continues."You only need ask yourself the simple question: who needs my money most?"

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