Energy bills: Consumers hit by Scottish Power discount rise

WHEN Scottish Power announced its price increase last week, the cut to the discount given on prompt bill payments went unnoticed - yet it will cost some customers more than £100 a year.

The supplier has until now given a discount to customers paying within 10 days from the date of the bill being issued, effectively punishing those paying by cash and cheque on receipt of a quarterly bill. Now it has increased the period in which to claim a discount to 24 days - but it has also slashed the saving available by some 60 per cent.

The change will not only add 12 per cent a year to the bills paid by cash and cheque customers who pay within the discount period, but will come as a blow to direct debit customers, who qualify automatically for the discount, according to Consumer Focus Scotland.

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So dual fuel customers paying four times a year by cash and cheque are not only being hit with an average price rise of 53, but those who typically take advantage of the quick pay discount will lose out by another 85, a total annual increase of 138.