Direct Debits - what do I need to know?


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If you’re a Pay monthly customer in a fixed contract, you’ll pay for your energy by a Direct Debit. This is set up when you first join, and although we do our best to calculate the right amount using the information provided, there is a chance that your usage may increase/decrease over time and may mean the amount needs to change. This topic is to help explain why, and to get your thoughts on how we go about doing it.

Our aim, when we’re advising a Direct Debit amount is to get you to the end of your fixed contract with a £0 balance. Depending on where you are in the contract, we’ll use different calculations to work this out. Check out this OVO Answers page for more info on how we do it.

We’ll review your Direct Debit amount regularly. If it’s looks like you’re using more/less energy than we anticipated, we’ll suggest a change in the payment amount, using the same calculations as above, this is to make sure you don't end up with a debt balance at the end of your fixed contract.

Now it’s your turn - please get in touch if you’ve had your Direct Debit amount changed, to let us know your thoughts, or to clear up any queries.

42 replies

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My direct debit has just changed for the third time in less than 12 months, which is a little frustrating when trying to budget, but I do understand the reason why and always alter the amount when suggested I do so in order to have a £0 balance or be in credit at the end of my contract.
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My direct debit has just changed for the third time in less than 12 months, which is a little frustrating when trying to budget, but I do understand the reason why and always alter the amount when suggested I do so in order to have a £0 balance or be in credit at the end of my contract.

Good advice there, Emma_G! I appreciate how that can be frustrating (I feel the same when it happens to me!) but as the Direct Debit is based on consumption, there is a possibility that the Direct Debit will fluctuate.

Lucy
Can I check with you: If I switch to "Ovo Energy - Greener Energy Fixed (All Online)" does the fixed refer to the unit cost rather than the Direct debit amount? I am hoping that it is the unit cost and that you still evaluate usage and adjust the monthly amount accordingly.
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Can I check with you: If I switch to "Ovo Energy - Greener Energy Fixed (All Online)" does the fixed refer to the unit cost rather than the Direct debit amount? I am hoping that it is the unit cost and that you still evaluate usage and adjust the monthly amount accordingly.

Yes, this refers to fixed unit price. The DD amount will be variable, depending on your usage.
I have recently joined OVO, and I am supposed to make my first payment on the 25th of april. however, I want my direct debit to be on the 1st of every month.
how can I change this?
thanks in advance.
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This page will help I'm sure... It explains how to change it.
https://www.ovoenergy.com/ovo-answers/topics/payments-and-statements/payments/how-do-i-change-direct-debit-details.html
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I have recently joined OVO, and I am supposed to make my first payment on the 25th of april. however, I want my direct debit to be on the 1st of every month.
how can I change this?
thanks in advance.


This page will help I'm sure... It explains how to change it.
https://www.ovoenergy.com/ovo-answers/topics/payments-and-statements/payments/how-do-i-change-direct-debit-details.html


Thanks, Padwick!

For your convenience, Dianna_OVO, I’ve merged your topic onto this existing topic that we have on Direct Debit queries. 🙂

Lucy
I recently changed OVO tariffs and the price I was originally quoted has already risen...from £69.00 per month to £98.00... this is quite a jump! My energy use hasn't increased significantly either so I'm a little confused and dismayed...please advise.
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I recently changed OVO tariffs and the price I was originally quoted has already risen...from £69.00 per month to £98.00... this is quite a jump! My energy use hasn't increased significantly either so I'm a little confused and dismayed...please advise.

Your Direct Debit will be heavily based on your consumption as this is a reflection of how much you’ll be spending. Your unit prices and standing charges will be factored into this too though as it will affect how much you’re paying per kWh and per day.

I’d suggest providing us with regular meter readings (to ensure your bills are an accurate reflection of your usage) as it might have been that we’ve been over estimating your usage which is why your Direct Debit has increased. If you’re then able to decrease your Direct Debit off the back of this, you’ll be able to do so on your My OVO account.

Don't forget that the Direct Debit will also take into account your projected spend for the year!

I’ve also moved your topic onto this thread as there’s already a bit of conversation around Direct Debits on here.

Lucy
Is your OVO direct debit payment set at a fair and sensible level? I don't think mine is. After paying £70 per month for exactly one year (for dual fuel) I've ended up slightly in credit - which means the monthly payment was about right. Despite this, OVO has now pushed up my direct debit payments to a whopping £96 per month, citing "price rises" as the reason. This is a 37 percent increase, which suggests that OVO plans to hike prices by this amount in the coming year. Surely we'll all shift suppliers if that happens? Shame. OVO feels like a good company. I know I can force down the level of monthly payments, but having raised the issue with the company I'm told they stand by their estimate: £96 a month to cover a total fuel bill of around £840 in the past year. Does anyone have similar experiences?
Hi there, just joined Ovo in my own brand new house after leaving the parental home. When i set up the account, I chose 2 bed semi and Ovo quoted me £82 a month via DD. It seems a lot to me, and now going through the new account wizard and refining my details (2 bed semi, 1 adult) it says I should pay around £40 a month.

Can I change my DD before my account starts in a few days time? Just the £42 a month extra is a lot to pay out when I know that I won't use as much as originally quoted.

Any help is much appreciated :)

Steven
Hi there. I'm not sure if its a good idea to fix the prices - though I'm sure its likely to go up! I'm concerned as the suggested monthly DD is higher than I pay now - I understand why - but my usage is below by current DD anyway. Any thoughts?
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Hi there. I'm not sure if its a good idea to fix the prices - though I'm sure its likely to go up! I'm concerned as the suggested monthly DD is higher than I pay now - I understand why - but my usage is below by current DD anyway. Any thoughts?

Hi Tracy71

Thanks for posting your question on our new forum. Great to have you on board.

I have moved your question onto this one as there is already a lot of helpful information here on direct debits and contracts etc.

I hope its useful, if you need anything further, please comment below.

Darran
Like Nicholas I also queried a whopping 33% increase when I owe £69 which will soon be cancelled out by the warmer months. All energy companies hike their prices in spring, it's a shame as Ovo were going to be the first energy company I placed business with for a second year. Even given the £60 exit fee (shameless tactic brought in since the govt forced companies to put people automatically onto the lowest tariff) I will still be quids in by changing supplier and the gentleman I spoke to in the call centre obviously couldn't explain the extortionate hike logically as I submit regular readings and haven't changed my usage.
At least he had the honesty to admit Ovo were no longer the cheapest - off to the comparison sites I go!
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Like Nicholas I also queried a whopping 33% increase when I owe £69 which will soon be cancelled out by the warmer months. All energy companies hike their prices in spring, it's a shame as Ovo were going to be the first energy company I placed business with for a second year. Even given the £60 exit fee (shameless tactic brought in since the govt forced companies to put people automatically onto the lowest tariff) I will still be quids in by changing supplier and the gentleman I spoke to in the call centre obviously couldn't explain the extortionate hike logically as I submit regular readings and haven't changed my usage.
At least he had the honesty to admit Ovo were no longer the cheapest - off to the comparison sites I go!


Whilst it is a shame you are thinking of leaving the OVO family, OVO do encourage customers to check they are on the best tarrif for them and if it means switching to another provider so be it. It's great that OVO actually tell you when it would be cheaper elsewhere!

Hope you come back to the OVO family at some point - good luck with the switch, hope you get a decent deal
Like Nicholas I also queried a whopping 33% increase when I owe £69 which will soon be cancelled out by the warmer months. All energy companies hike their prices in spring, it's a shame as Ovo were going to be the first energy company I placed business with for a second year. Even given the £60 exit fee (shameless tactic brought in since the govt forced companies to put people automatically onto the lowest tariff) I will still be quids in by changing supplier and the gentleman I spoke to in the call centre obviously couldn't explain the extortionate hike logically as I submit regular readings and haven't changed my usage.
At least he had the honesty to admit Ovo were no longer the cheapest - off to the comparison sites I go!


Hi Middlewife,

We regularly review our customers' Direct Debits to make sure they're not paying too much or too little for their energy. If a customer does fall into a negative balance, we'll increase the monthly payment to bring you back into the black.

It's worth remembering that your account should be in credit during the warmer months, to help cover you when the temperature drops. As well as covering your winter spend, you’ll also have the flexibility to change suppliers - being in debt to an energy company makes it harder to switch to a cheaper supplier.

Of course, being in credit also means you’ll receive our 3% OVO Interest Reward.

It's difficult for me to say exactly where the 33% increase has come from without looking in to your account - if you're able to send me a DM with your full name, account number and DoB, I should be able to give you a bit more detail on your query.

Emily
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Energy prices are always up and down, it's a highly volatile market.

Since June last year the Wholesale cost of Gas is up around 30% and Electricity is up way over 30%... This means that if you take out a new contract/tariff right now, or renew onto a new one, you kinda hafta suck up the higher rates... I checked my own increase this year after I renewed and although I too have had to increase my direct debit, the rise in rates with OVO is Exactly in line with the rise in the Wholesale costs, and I can't really bring myself to complain about that, not to OVO at least...

Some energy companies play games with prices, offering cheap deals for new customers by over-charging the loyal ones. OVO don't do that, they set prices at the lowest level they can manage based on current wholesale prices and "cost to deliver", and give those rates to Everyone, and I really respect that. I'm not subsidising a marketing drive, and no-one's getting a better deal than me cos they arrived more recently or pretended they were switching suppliers.

It's about integrity, and I say it's worth a few extra quid a month.

And just watch, when energy prices drop, as they inevitably will, I cast-iron guarantee you that OVO will be among the very first to drop their rates...
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You've hit the nail on the head @stateofit 🙂


Can't beat OVOs openness and transparency
I've been using Ovo for 3 years and found them very good. Up until December last year everything was fine. I used to change the Direct Debits so I paid less in the summer and more in the winter. In December Ovo started changing the Direct Debits without consulting me and getting it totally wrong - in fact taking too little and later too much. Eventually after complaining they fixed it.

Now they have the settings wrong. They suggest too large a figure and I am unable to reduce the amount as we approach summer and the amount should reduce. They just want take more. And trying to claim back what they hold does not work either.

I am very happy with Ovo, but this continuous screw up, going on for months does not help. Just put is back the way it was before Nov last year and stop messing around with something that was working.
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I've been using Ovo for 3 years and found them very good. Up until December last year everything was fine. I used to change the Direct Debits so I paid less in the summer and more in the winter. In December Ovo started changing the Direct Debits without consulting me and getting it totally wrong - in fact taking too little and later too much. Eventually after complaining they fixed it.

Now they have the settings wrong. They suggest too large a figure and I am unable to reduce the amount as we approach summer and the amount should reduce. They just want take more. And trying to claim back what they hold does not work either.

I am very happy with Ovo, but this continuous screw up, going on for months does not help. Just put is back the way it was before Nov last year and stop messing around with something that was working.


Hi Robin,

It’s a shame to hear that you’re not happy with our suggested Direct Debit changes. Here’s an OVO Answers page which explains how we work out the ideal amount: https://www.ovoenergy.com/ovo-answers/topics/payments-and-statements/payments/how-do-you-work-out-my-direct-debit-amount.html.

In short, we want you to end your contract with a £0 balance, and we want you to keep the same Direct Debit amount throughout the year. This also happens to be what most of our customers want.

@Emma_G - you're one of our fav Pay monthly forum users - any suggestions for @robinj:?:?

Tim
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Hi @robinj

I understand how frustrating it is when direct debits change, but am sorry to hear you have had so many problems.
The amount I pay has changed a few times since I became an OVO customer a little over a year ago, but I have always made the change in the hope of having a zero balance (or being in credit) at the end of the period.
Have you queried why the amount you pay cannot be reduced to be an amount you are more comfortable with?
The only other thing I could add that may help explain why the amount has increased and cannot be altered would be to do with an increase in energy costs - none of us like it, but it happens. I am not always aware that the cost of gas and electricity has increased, but then find out that is the case when the direct debit increases.

I hope your issue is resolved, and will keep following this thread to try to help wherever I can

Emma
Another month has now gone by and you contiinue to get it wrong. The replies above say "its because the prices have gone up". Ok so the prices have gone up, but I am saying you are calculating the payments incorrectly and as each month goes by you continue to get it increasingly wrong. This is obvious to me but you continue to profit from your incorrect calculations.

You get a lot right with your service but continually taking money which is not owed (ie cheating your customers) and when I complain just saying its right and its because the prices have gone up. You need to do the calculation based on the fact that in the summer people use less gas and then you will stop making these mistakes.

Put it back how it was before Nov 2016 when I could make adjustments to the standing order which make sense or allow me to get a refund.
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@Emma_OVO can you pick this up please?
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@Emma_OVO can you pick this up please?

I’ll pick this one up @Mattj3135 :)

Sorry to hear this is still ongoing @robinj. I’ve sent you a PM so that I can help further.

Lucy
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You're a good egg @Lucy_OVO

Thank you

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