Why are you reviewing my Direct Debit when I’m in credit?

  • 15 August 2017
  • 13 replies

Userlevel 7
There are many reasons why we might review your Direct Debit, even when you are in credit. Summer in particular, may seem like an odd month to review your Direct Debit, especially as you are more likely to be in credit right now. However, we are always reviewing customer accounts to check where you will be in terms of your balance when your contract is due for renewal.

When reviewing this regardless of where you are in your contract, we look at:

- What we thought you would use based on the information you gave us when you signed up.
- What you have used so far.
- Is your Direct Debit amount covering what you are actually using?
- What are you likely to use over the rest of your contract period
- And whether any credit and your expected Direct Debit payments will cover this.
- If you are in credit, do you have at least one month’s Direct Debit amount in your account? (i.e if you currently pay £85 per month, do you have at least £85 credit in your account?)

Ultimately, we want to ensure that when you come to the end of your contract, you have a zero balance, i.e you don’t owe us a big chunk of money that you were not expecting.

Does this make more sense? Has anyone been reviewed while in credit? How do you manage your energy bills based on the above? Does paying by Direct Debit work for you? Get sharing your thoughts and questions below.


13 replies

In credit using less than predicted why have they estimate my costs for next year so high?
Hey @Heather

I've moved your query over to this topic as it falls under the same title.

To cut a long story short, we've calculated that your account won't still be in credit come the end of your contract and are suggesting you increase your Direct Debit to cover your usage for the rest of the year. The points Darran mentions above are what we take into consideration when calculating your Direct Debit.

Hope this helps,
Since starting with OVO about 2 years ago I have been giving regular (several times month) meter readings. Recently with the Direct Debit (DD) at £125, which it had been for ages, and the recommended level below this for a long time at around £112 I decided to make a lump sum contribution of £200. This put my credit balance up to about £950. Soon after the lump sum payment, out of the blue the recommended DD went up to £200. I have now received an email suggesting I need to increase the DD to £200 per month. I do not want to do this so last night I made another lump sum contribution of £300 so my credit is now about £1250. When can I expect to see the recommended DD reduce or once an email has been received do OVO not review the situation again ? I do not want to phone or contact OVO because then my discount for self management is lost. Has anybody else had this situation and what should I do ?
Userlevel 7
Hi @LP27

Welcome to the forum, I have moved your question here as it may help explain why we might do a review of your direct debit when you are in credit.

Have a read and comment below if you have any other questions. It may be that the direct debit review email was sent at a similar time as your one off payment so it may have been a timing thing.

Let us know if you have any other questions.

Like so many other OVO customers I'm being asked to increase my DD when I'm over a month in credit. In my last statement OVO told me what my forecast usage would be over the next 12 months in £s and p. When I work out my monthly payments it amounts to £93 per month and OVO want my DD to £108 per month. When I go to various comparison sites and enter my forecast usage and my actual usage for the last 12 months OVO offer me a deal of £83 per month. I can only conclude that OVO are trying to get more money out of me than I need. So so dissapointed this is exactly wHy I left British Gas. Time to swap again!!!!!
Userlevel 7
Hi @Con

Welcome to the forum. I have moved your question here, as its something that other users have already raised.

Have a read though, hopefully this might explain why we may review your direct debit when you are in credit.


Userlevel 4
When I logged into My OVO account on Friday last week 19/01/19 I was presented with this information. As you can see I have quite a large credit and to the right my recommended direct debit is £30.00

However, having changed my direct debit in line with the recommendation and to use some of my large credit I now notice my direct debit recommendation has increased to £34.00

Clearly these recommendations are something of a lottery but this story doesn't end here, oh no! It seems account balances can also fall foul of this strange lottery phenomenon.

Allow me to explain..., You will notice in the first image my account was in credit by £509.92 on Friday. However on Thursday (day before) I received an email stating my December Gas bill was now ready to download. This gas bill was a supplement to the Electricity bill that I received earlier in January and which failed to include my gas charges.

My gas bill was £40.82

Now correct me if I'm wrong but £509.92 minus £40.82 = £469.10

Why then does my account balance now read £461.60 ??

By my calculations that leaves a shortfall of £7.50 so where has it gone??

Hopefully someone at OVO can tell me where it went because from where I'm sitting it looks decidedly fraudulent.

Oh and if you work for OVO, please don't tell me it's another glitch, I'm tiring of that old chestnut lately.
Userlevel 6
Hi @Slinky - Can you include a screenshot of the bill amount so we can look into this?

It's not a lottery - the recommended DD amount has gone up because your credit balance has gone down. The calculation used aims to get your balance to £0 by the end of your contract. This is based on your average usage patterns and the balance on your account currently.
Userlevel 4
See below post, for some reason the messaging system has gone la la !!
Userlevel 4

It's probably best if you read Julian's response below. I've been chatting to him a lot lately although we have yet to discuss the matter of DD's. The poor guy has enough to deal with trying to work out my SSR for the last 3 years which hasn't always been paid correctly, another issue!

I still maintain the DD is a lottery because since I reduced it to £30 the recommendation has increased to £34 and has since decreased to £28

As for OVO attempting to reduce my balance to zero at the end of contract that didn't happen for me. At the end of my contract 27th November 2018 I was in credit by £412.38

The billing system seems to be in chaos right now, I've lost all faith in my bills being correct and I'm constantly having to double check everything which doesn't exactly give me much confidence.

Julian_OVO 1 month ago
Hi Chris,

So I can explain how your balance changed between those amounts.

Following your electricity statement you had a balance of £436.42. Then your Direct Debit payment of £66.00 and a credit of £7.50 self-service reward were applied to you balance, this meant that you saw a balance of £509.92.

Then when your gas statement was produced the £7.50 was taken away from your costs before the statement total. I.e. your gas cost was actually £46.02 (before VAT) and only with that discount was it £40.82.

So the credit was applied before the statement, but then was also rolled up into the statement amount and deducted from your gas cost. So effectively that standalone transaction of credit was removed and then added back in on your statement.

I agree, it's really confusing, and comes from energy companies doing things like this and statement calculations in big batch jobs.

This is one area where I believe the new system is lightyears ahead. We deal with everything in real time and have put a lot of effort into laying out the information as clearly as possible. So even though at the moment we don't have a PDF to download that looks like a traditional statement, you should find your balance and transactions much easier to understand.

Then I'm afraid through looking at your account I've found another issue.

Your gas costs were delayed due to us incorrectly being informed by industry data feeds (the mechanism by which data is passed around the industry) that you had switched your gas supply away from OVO. This was ultimately caused by ourselves becoming a "gas shipper" - basically OVO owning more of the gas supply chain for our customers.

Due to this issue and bad timing I'm afraid that the amount of Self Service Reward you received was only half of what it should've been. I'll see that you are credited the other £7.50 (including VAT) as soon as possible. Also, to reassure you, I've asked someone to see how many customers this has affected and rectify the situation.

I'll get back to you with more information about your initial message and the new system but I wanted to update you on what I'd found without delay.

Two questions regarding the direct debit review I've just been sent:

  1. I'm invited to decide whether I would like to accept the recommended direct debit amount. I have a new boiler so would prefer to lower the value (i.e. not accept the recommendation, thank you). Erm... why can't I set a value lower than the recommended amount?
  2. The above led me to this forum where I found a post by an Ovo emloyee saying accounts in credit do not get reviewed. My account is in credit.... Why am I being reviewed?
Thanks in advance...
I too am in credit to the tune of £288 but they keep putting a red box on my account saying my DD is too low. I finally gave in and upped it to the recommended amount, even though I am well in credit and it would easily take me through the winter.
So I log in tonight to see a red box again. The monthly amount they want is higher than any monthly bill I have ever had including a harsh January.
This is not funny now and as the first poster said, they wont let you put the DD up a little bit, it has to be the minimum they recommend.
My advice don't bother changing it. It seems I am always a long way in credit, but still get red boxes. I find this insulting.....
Userlevel 7
@MCoy @Rocky700 - have a look above you two - we've made a dedicated bit of content on this question ^^^