Direct debit 'the cheapest option for heating bills'

Over 50s looking for the best way to reduce their heating bills may wish to switch to direct debit or online payments, according to new research.

Statistics published by price comparison site moneysupermarket have revealed that energy customers could be spending around 170 more than they need to by paying with cash or cheques.

The price aggregator's advice is particularly pertinent to over 50s, with recent research from Alliance Trust suggesting that expenditure on utilities and other basic essentials represents a larger proportion of older people's expenditure.

moneysupermarket recommended that customers should select a monthly direct debit option which would allow them to pay for their energy expenditure in more regular and manageable instalments.

Online billing options are also promoted, due to the fact they allow for lower administration costs and a more accurate correlation between energy use and cost.

The advice tallies with research conducted by the National Housing Federation last month which revealed that prepaid energy customers have been overcharged by a total of 464 million in the last three years.

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