Challenging the amount for ongoing fuel consumption
If you disagree with the amounts proposed by the supplier, ask the DWP for a different deduction. You will need to provide information about the assumptions in your own calculation. You will need to conduct your negotiations with care to ensure that the DWP or the supplier does not assume that you are refusing to join the Fuel Direct scheme, as this could ultimately lead either to disconnection or to the imposition of a prepayment meter. If the DWP does not agree to accept your calculations, you could always accept the supplier’s calculation to ensure entry to the scheme, and then challenge the decision.
Do you want to change the amount of the deduction?
The deduction for arrears is a fixed amount and cannot be varied. The figure for your current consumption is normally reviewed regularly. It is important to make sure that deductions are based on an actual reading of your meter. If the supplier bases its calculations on estimated readings, the amount of your deductions is likely to be wrong. Ask the DWP to review the amount of deduction if you think the amount is too much or not enough.1Sch 9 para 6(4) SS(C&P) Regs The DWP can ask the supplier to provide its calculation.
You may wish to request a review if you can provide evidence that your actual consumption is likely to be different. You may want to do this if:
- an actual meter reading shows that the supplier’s calculation is based on wrong information;
- your consumption has increased or decreased because of a change in your circumstances (eg, the birth of a baby, a child leaving home, staying at home more because of illness), a change in a heating system, energy efficiency improvements to your home (eg, insulation, double glazing, draught proofing), or changes to the way in which you use fuel as a result of energy advice.
You can request a review at any time a relevant change occurs. It is sensible to get the supplier’s agreement to this, as this will make the decision-making process smoother.