We're all acutely aware that ENERGY customers are charged extra if they don't pay by direct debit (DD) and choose to pay on receipt of their energy Bill (or choose to pay each week for example). Direct debit is the biggest con of modern payment methods and rarely benefits the consumer and mostly enriches the utility company. Direct debit has effectively become a scam by which energy companies profit to the tune of millions of pounds a year.
Utilities companies use 'Incentives' to get your money as fast as possible into their accounts. For example, they offer percentage 'reductions' for schemes such as 'prompt payment' or 'direct debit'.
If you choose to pay a little each week, then when the dreaded energy bill arrives its either zero or at least manageable and not encroaching into other payments - such as direct debit mortgage payments. Of course this means the energy companies will penalise you for not paying by direct debit in the first instance and you'll receive no DD discounts.
These 'massive price hikes' by the energy companies are clearly unjustified, yet to ensure the huge increases are 'dampened'; the customer needs to use its purchasing power to make them unsustainable. To do this we should all go back to basics and pay our energy bills in small installments - for example weekly at the post office or other paypoint or payzone outlet.
Without going into details of 'how' this will stifle the onslaught of unjustified energy price hikes, you will be budgeting better, and at the same time making sure the RIP-OFF energy companies can't make accurate future price increase predictions that currently leave the energy firms in massive surplus profit.
The criminal increases in energy bills can be curtailed if we all went back to basics and paid a little when we can afford it, and not give the energy rats the lump sums that have enabled them to con us in the past.
EITHER that, or we all wear thermal clothes and turn the TV off when the X-Factor starts its annual diatribe of manufactured weekly 'excuse' for a top of the pops alternative?