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UK power companies under pressure over increased direct debits

It has been revealed that a number of UK power companies are placing substantial pressure on their customers to increase direct debit monthly payments. While the energy companies argue that overpayments in the summertime will make up for underpayments in the wintertime there are concerns that the industry is using as a way to increase short-term cash flow.

Many consumers are reporting demands from power companies that they double their direct debit payments even though figures from the industry show that while 2 million households are in debt to their gas supplier for an average of £126 there are over 6 million households in credit with an average of £79 owed to them. The credit situation alone has boosted energy company balance sheets to the tune of £225 million. Many argue that the power companies should be using the credit of over £200 million to offset short-term debits although this argument has been refuted by the industry.

There is no doubt that the massive number of customers in credit has and continues to substantially increase cash flow in these businesses at a time when energy costs continue to rise and more and more consumers continue to struggle. There have also been numerous complaints regarding the long delays in obtaining credit repayments from these energy companies while they are accused of being over aggressive when a customer is in debt.

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