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How does OVO Energy calculate my Direct Debit?

How does OVO Energy calculate my Direct Debit?
Userlevel 7

How do you calculate my Direct Debit when I first join?
 

When apply to switch to us, we’ll use your annual usage figures, as well as the unit rates and standing charges on your new plan to calculate how much your energy will cost over the year. We’ll divide this into 12 - which gives us the recommended monthly Direct Debit amount. You should be able to find out this annual usage figure from your current supplier. If you don’t know this figure, we can also base this calculation on average usage in your size of home. 

 

 For a visual guide to this Direct Debit calculation check out the video below.

 

 

 

What’s a Direct Debit Review?

 

As the amount or price of energy you use may change, we’ll regularly check that the payment amount is enough to cover your energy costs. This review process aims to leave you with a zero balance at the end of your plan, or on your 12 month anniversary if you’re on our variable plan. There’s a breakdown of how we work this out on your Direct Debit calculator which can be found on the ‘Payments’ page of your online account or OVO app (download for Android or iOS).

 

 

To make sure these calculations are as accurate as possible don’t forget to submit a regular meter reading, or you might want to consider upgrading to a smart meter which can send us these readings automatically.

 

Need more help?

 

We’ve got more details on understanding this Direct Debit calculator on the guide below,

 

 

 

Is there any support available if I’m struggling to pay for my energy?

 

There’s help available if you’re struggling to pay your energy bills – both from us here at OVO Energy and from government schemes and charities as well.

 

There are many ways we can help – such as setting up a payment plan for you, which spreads the cost of your energy to make it more manageable. If you want to find out about payment plans, you can request one online here – we’ll take you through what you need to do, and ask you for some details.

 

Our dedicated team is also specially trained to support you. They can make sure you’re receiving any financial assistance from the government that you’re eligible for, and take you through payment support schemes that are available. 

 

You can find out more about these schemes and where to seek free, independent advice right here.

 

 


11 replies

Hi. Only recently returned to OVO and boy what a mistake that is. 
 

after 2 months Direct Debit increase 75%. Told them no in no uncertain terms. 
 

complaint today made to Ofgem by a Business Secretary. 
 

complaint made on this and the smart meter not working properly. No response when asked for the rationale used to calculate this ridiculous increase.
 

Anyone else had a massive increase in direct debit outside of the price gouging increase?  

Userlevel 7
Badge +2

Hi, if you have come off a low fixed tarrif, OR you chose to fix a new tarrif rather than go on the standard rate, you could see up to 500% of increases (as was nearly my choice), direct debits are based on usage, and transferring from another supplier may have also affected ovos ability to estimate.

 

My original dd was proposed to jump from 400 a month to 783 but taking advice from this forum and associated energy savings, i have actually stabilised my dd to the 400 even with the rise.

Userlevel 7

Hi @RDM and welcome to the OVO online community,

 

I appreciate the concern that Direct Debit increases like these can cause. I’d echo the advice given by fellow OVO member, @Jequinlan above, whilst the average variable price cap increase may not apply if you’ve just finished or started a fixed plan, there may also be other factors involved.

 

We’ve got a full guide to our Direct Debit calculations, online tools and links to further support in the guide below.

 

 

If you’re worried about these payment increases or would like to double check they are correct our Support Team are on hand to offer more tailored advice. The quickest way to reach the team is via our webchat which you can find here.

A SSE orphan here . Yes Ovo do seem to think that estimating my usage at almost 3 times my actual usage is the way to go even though i’m on a smart meter & they get data every 30mins.

Their recent direct debit check-in tactic is scary & so far off real usage.

I’m 2 months in to a 12 months fixed term. My usage hasn’t changed. As I said No rationale given for the 75% increase. 
 

I have tried customer services on both the direct debit and the smart meter not working properly and despite being transferred to different people for over 90 minutes on the phone - the call dropped and no one got back to me. 
 

 

Twice in 6 weeks Ovo has tried to ramp up my DD , the first one i was to late to stop but managed with todays. In the 7 or so weeks i’ve been with them my credit has doubled to 5  months payments in advance yet they still want more. And there’s  the £200 loan/not loan to come in October that they don’t account for.

So far the call centre staff have been good pity about the managements business practices.

Userlevel 7
Badge +1

When it comes to that £150 Council Tax Rebate thing, OVO cannot factor that in at all because that money will go to your bank account, not your OVO account. Because there’s no guarantee that everyone who gets it will actually top-up their energy accounts with the cash and no way for OVO to even know who qualifies anyway, it’s safer for the system to disregard that cash for now.

It’s a similar story with the £200 loan. The system will factor that in once it sees it in your account, but not before. After all, the government could still change their mind and pull the plug! Personally, if I do get it I’ll probably just leave it untouched and allow OVO to take it back over the next five years. And if I move, I’ll make sure the remaining balance gets put back into my account credit as well. I don’t exactly need the money but I’ve got no way of opting-out, so this is all I can do.

@Blastoise186Seems like you’re the only one to mention the £150 CT rebate in this thread , was there a reason for that.

The £200 loan/not loan whilst i’ll agree is not a given & is best not counted towards forward projections in direct debit payments ,i fear that the projected Oct22 cap rate rise may be used by the suppliers as a reason to add a bit extra as a just in case , even though this is not a given either.

 

Userlevel 7
Badge +1

I like to cover all bases, because inevitably someone will probably ask why that CT Rebate doesn’t get factored in by Insert random supplier name here. I do it this way partially for the SEO (this forum gets tons of it), but also to help others find this information via the most likely keywords they might use.

The next price cap increase will be handled by the algorithm in the same way as any other. If anyone tries any funny tricks though, Ofgem will throw the book at them.

I do have some evidence that OVO’s algorithm works though. I deliberately massively overpay to the point where not only does each of my monthly payments wipe out that months bill completely, but it also leaves some spare cash which adds to my already huge pile of spare credit that’s further boosted by the Warm Home Discount. The system is constantly trying to force my payments down by an average of 50% but I keep overriding it.

I wouldn’t be surprised if in my case, that £200 “loan” forces my Direct Debit recommendations to plummet through the floor. I’ve got a fixed rate deal that’s good until October 2023 anyway and my bill is never more than £40 a month right now. So I’m not too worried, even if the system keeps wanting me to drop my payments to below £20 a month to burn through my credit.

Our usage is £36/month including s/c & vat , we’re £240 in credit & they wanted to put our DD up to £88/month , so at the moment their algorithm doesn’t seem so good.

Userlevel 7
Badge +1

Ahh ok, I see what you mean now and yeah… That’s not quite what I’d expect either. There’s a small possibility that it’s an account specific issue and I can’t help you fix those I’m afraid. Have you checked out the Direct Debit Calculator at all in MyOVO? It will usually give you a breakdown as to how OVO got to those figures and may help to solve this puzzle.

Ultimately, it should get more accurate as time passes but sometimes, people with unusual edge cases can throw the system off. For example, a gas meter that gets tons of usage during one season/three months but is otherwise completely shut down for nine months of the year has been known to throw a lot of billing systems off track, including OVO’s. However, I think OVO has fixed that particular case since then, or at least implemented safeguards if memory serves.

In actual fact, I’m an edge case myself. The system appears to have a difficult time figuring out how to handle my account occasionally, but generally has learned to handle it better over the last 18 months. It’s what comes with my usage patterns being wildly different to most people!

In this case, I would definitely recommend asking the Support Team to recalculate your Estimated Annual Consumption figures as this may nudge the algorithm to rethink your estimates. It could just be that your EAC isn’t matching up to reality very well and this is one way to fix it.

If I can think of any other suggestions that may help, I’ll be sure to let you know.

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