Why has my Direct Debit amount changed?

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[h4]I have had a similar experience to chippy419 , MartynA , lovebaseball and GTurner. I also have a friend that I recommended Ovo to, who has had the same problem (managed to solve it over the phone - thank you!) My direct debits have not been pushed up automatically - yet. But I do wonder if there is a malaise in the algorithm. I must say, I am not happy that I have to find time to ring one of your nice telephone agents to sort out something that should never have occurred in the first place.[/h4]

My particular situation: currently paying £60 a month (having paid a bit higher in past periods), just changed to new fixed tariff last month (Better Energy - Economy 7 (all online)). The standard charge is £0.274 per day for electricity and the same for gas. The kWh price for daytime electricity is £0.1635 and for night time £0.0984. For gas, it's £0.0351 per kWh, but for gas you have to multiply your units by a factor to get kWh - and in my last bill that factor was 11.14. Last year I used 1093 daytime electric units, 1064 night time units and 934 gas units (10404 kWh). So I make that 0.274*365+0.1635*1093 + 0.0984*1064 + 0.274*365+0.0351*11.14*934 = £848.64.
The Ovo computer says it expects me to spend £904.24 and I am £81.92 in credit. It thinks I should pay £79 a month and will not let me set a lower figure.
(1) £904.24 / 12 = £75.35 (£4 less)
(2) (£904.24 - £81.92) = £68.53 (£10 less)
(3) £848.64 / 12 = £70.71 (£8 less)
(4) (£848.64 - £81.92) = £63.97 (£15 less)

I would like to set my payment to £65 per month for the reason above (giving myself a little headroom).

Why are Ovo so keen to give me all that interest on the expected credit???
Userlevel 5
Hey @HMB,

Your maths is perfect! That's exactly how the calculation would be made. Have you added on VAT at 5%? I only ask this as you quoted 27.4p as the standing charge, which is the price not including VAT. The price including is 28.77p per day per fuel.

Another thing to consider is the length remaining on your current tariff. The unit rates you've used in the calculation are fixed until the end of your plan, but if this ends in 7 months (for example), the Direct Debit review tool would calculate the remaining 5 months of the year ahead using current variable prices, as we don't know what fixed prices will be available that far into the future.

Hope this helps,
OK, the 5% implies another £3.25 (so £68.25), but as I've only just started the new contract, I don't see why I should be paying £77 a month?

I'm concerned about this because I don't want Ovo to lose customers by asking them to pay more than they need to. I understand that the computer programmers may be asked to err on the side of caution, but I think they are being too cautious.
After a fairly mild winter, I hadn’t been using so much gas or electric.
my current statement says I am only £11 in credit after a recent d/d of £85.i I just don’t understand why.
Niw they want me to pay £95 per month. I just can’t do it,
Userlevel 5
I think you're right, @HMB, the computer has been a little over-zealous in this instance.

If you give the team a ring on 0330 303 5063, they'll be able to later this to your preferred amount.
Ever time I have swapped suppliers which is as regular as necessary why when uswitch to a cheaper supplier your monthly DD goes up???? Then you have to wait until 3 month or so before they will re assess it meaning they have your account in credit all year !
Userlevel 5
Hi @Gleneagle and @Mutley chops - I've moved your posts onto this topic where you can find loads of info about Direct Debits.
Hi Nancy_OVO one of your telephone colleagues set my DD to £68 without any problem - perhaps it was because I told him I'd had a discussion with you on the Forum. Many thanks!
Userlevel 5
Hey @HMB - glad to hear this is sorted!
I was paying £96 a month via Direct Debit, but after submitting my last lot of meter readings, my account then told me that I needed to increase my DD to £103 a month.

I ignored this & got an email yesterday saying they were going to change the DD for me, as I have not done it.

However, when I logged in to my account today, it states it only wants to increase the amount by £1 and be £97 a month!! I've accepted this but now confused as to why the payments keep changing so much?
Userlevel 5
HI @LOZ77 - I've moved your topic over here where you can find more info about Direct Debits and payment reviews.

Hope this helps!
Userlevel 4
Something to watch out for. Over the past year the recommendation regarding my direct debit have been going up and down like an out of control yoyo. Tiresome really. I merely follow the onscreen recommendation in order to satisfy the Ovo Gods who decide whether I get my £60pa dual fuel "reward" or not.

My current plan runs out on the 5 September 2019, but I've just had another one of those direct debit emails from Ovo where it states:

Your plan anniversary date: 06/09/2020
Your Direct Debit payment date: 18th
Number of payments remaining: 14

The only accurate line is the payment date. As above, my plan ends this September. The number of payments remaining is 3 (i.e June, July and then August).

Just thought I'd share.
Userlevel 3
Badge +1
I have just changed my direct debit to reduce some of the credit surplus on my account. My email was completely different, it only mentions the direct debit payment date, amount and some of the account details. My plan runs out in November but it does not mention this at all.
Userlevel 3
I've moved your post's here, @Rooty and @Phil_H, the initial post on the thread has tonnes of info regarding Direct Debits and why we ask you to change them.

For the account specifics please contact our team on Facebook or drop them an email hello@ovoenergy.com, they'll be able to look into your accounts.

Hope this helps!
Userlevel 4
@Amy_OVO Of course move my post, but you haven't addressed any of my points raised in it. Far from being a complaint I merely wished to bring what I noticed to Ovo and other customers.

I've only three payments to go till my contract expires and I may well take my business elsewhere. You aim to leave users with a zero balance (or close to it) at the end of their contract. By my estimate I'm going to be in credit by around £30 - £40. No great shakes, but the incorrect "anniversary date" being a year out and the number of payments remaining being wildly out should, I have thought, have raised an Ovo eyebrow?
Userlevel 7
Badge +2
Hi @Rooty. Well I find this very odd. It makes no more sense that @LOZ77 being asked for a DD increase of only £1 last month!

I know that OVO have moved their entire billing software in-house over the last year. It seems to me that someone at the London end is having trouble defining the algorithms which are meant to weed out anomalies like these.

I'm at OVO Bristol Offices on Monday, and meeting the Customer Services Manager, so I'll raise the issue of "sanity checks". When they aren't in place, it simply adds to the number of customers who have to make direct contact... which is an admin overhead they will be keen to avoid!

@Amy_OVO - can we make sure this point gets added to our agenda please? Thanks.
Userlevel 4
Thanks @Transparent. As I say, it's no great shakes on the money side. And I don't doubt I will smoothly get a refund from Ovo should I leave. I just wish Ovo were more competitive at the moment. Ho hum.

My rationale for mentioning this at all is that for those coming to an end of a two-year fixed contract might take those 14 months remaining as gospel. I am in no way suggesting subterfuge or anything underhand going on, clearly this is in error, but I can see how it could mislead some folks.

Oh, just had another look at the email and the final line reads:

"Your expected balance on your plan anniversary date: £168 Underpayment"

Which given that I'm in currently in credit, it's summer (more or less 😂) with three payments to go and a recommended increase of £10 a month, a £168 shortfall is way out!


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