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# I have lots of credit in my OVO online account - why are you suggesting a large increase in my monthly Direct Debit payment?

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why do ovo even though ive never missed a payment and im £110 in credit continue to threaten to raise my payment by £ 80 a month ,we are in the middle of a pandemic people are dying or losing there jobs and we get these threats to nearly double monthly payments based on ovo and there crystal ball and what you may or may not use energy wise over the next 6 months

Updated on 03/07/24 by Abby_OVO

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

When you 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, if you’re on a fixed rate plan. 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 for a fixed rate plan check out the video below.

### How we work out your payment amount when you’re with us

To work out your monthly Direct Debit amount, we:

• look at your energy use to date and how much you’re likely to use until 31 March, or the end of your contract if you’re on a fixed plan
• take into account your current balance and any other costs such as the standing charge and any add-ons you have
• divide the amount by the number of payments left until 31 March, or the end of your contract, and that gives us your monthly amount

Our aim is to make sure you don’t build up unexpected debt by the end of winter, or the end of your contract if you're on a fixed plan.

Why your Direct Debit amount might be different to your bill amount

How much energy you use can change from month to month, so your actual bill might be a different amount to your Direct Debit amount.

But we make sure you’re paying the right amount each month to cover your whole year’s energy use, spread out over 12 monthly payments.

### Why meter readings are important

You can make sure your Direct Debit amount stays at the right level by giving us regular meter readings – once a month is best.

If you’re new to OVO, we work out your Direct Debit amount to cover your expected energy use over the next 12 months. We base it on your past year’s energy use if you know it.

If we don’t know it, we’ll ask you about your property and how many people live there, then we’ll base it on the average data for your type of household.

After 2 months we check in to make sure the amount you’re paying is right for your actual energy use. Your Direct Debit amount might then need to go up or down.

### How often we check you’re paying the right amount

We review your Direct Debit every 3 months to make sure you are not paying too much or too little for the energy you’re using.

We let you know if your Direct Debit amount needs to change to keep you on track.

### When your payment amount might change

Your payments might need to go up or down if something changes, such as:

• your energy use goes up or down
• the price of energy goes up or down – if you’re on a standard variable tariff
• you change which energy plan you’re on
• you missed a payment or recently requested a refund
• you’ve chosen an add-on, such as Greener Electricity or OVO Foundation

If your Direct Debit is too high or too low, then we’ll let you know we’re going to have to change the amount.

### If your balance is in credit

It’s good for your balance to be in a bit of credit as it acts like a pot of money to cover when your energy use is higher.

For example, you’re likely to build up credit in the summer months when energy use is lower, but you might need to tap into your credit in the colder and darker winter months when energy use can be much higher.

We check you’re paying the right monthly amount so your balance stays on track for the whole year.

Even if your balance is in credit, it might be that we still need to increase your monthly payments. This would be if we’ve worked out what your energy use is likely to be and that your balance is likely to go below zero by the 31 March or end of your plan.

If your balance goes below zero

If your balance goes below zero, we’ll let you know if your monthly Direct Debit amount needs to go up.

If you’re struggling to pay your bills, we can work it out together – sign up to our payment support tool.

Setting up or changing a Direct Debit

You can set up, change the amount or date of your Direct Debit by logging into your online account and following these steps:

• Go to Home
• Select Set up your Direct Debit
• Choose which day you’d like us to collect your payment each month. This can be any date from the 1st to the 28th
• Enter your Direct Debit amount. You can use our Direct Debit calculator to get an accurate prediction of what you should pay each month
• Put in your details, including your full name, sort code and bank account number
• Select Next
• Check the details you’ve entered are correct
• Select Confirm payments

We’ll send you an email within 3 working days to let you know it’s all set up.

Find out how to set up or change a Direct Debit in the app.

### 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. 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).

### 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.

### 68 replies

Userlevel 7
+1

Good morning @enlighten me ,

And if you can answer these questions, that would be great

• Are you a Duel-Fuel member, or just Electricity Only
• What tariff are you on
• Have you ever missed a payment
• Do you have a smart meter

Thanks

Userlevel 7
+2

Updated on 03/07/24 by Abby_OVO

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

When you 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, if you’re on a fixed rate plan. 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 for a fixed rate plan check out the video below.

### How we work out your payment amount when you’re with us

To work out your monthly Direct Debit amount, we:

• look at your energy use to date and how much you’re likely to use until 31 March, or the end of your contract if you’re on a fixed plan
• take into account your current balance and any other costs such as the standing charge and any add-ons you have
• divide the amount by the number of payments left until 31 March, or the end of your contract, and that gives us your monthly amount

Our aim is to make sure you don’t build up unexpected debt by the end of winter, or the end of your contract if you're on a fixed plan.

Why your Direct Debit amount might be different to your bill amount

How much energy you use can change from month to month, so your actual bill might be a different amount to your Direct Debit amount.

But we make sure you’re paying the right amount each month to cover your whole year’s energy use, spread out over 12 monthly payments.

### Why meter readings are important

You can make sure your Direct Debit amount stays at the right level by giving us regular meter readings – once a month is best.

If you’re new to OVO, we work out your Direct Debit amount to cover your expected energy use over the next 12 months. We base it on your past year’s energy use if you know it.

If we don’t know it, we’ll ask you about your property and how many people live there, then we’ll base it on the average data for your type of household.

After 2 months we check in to make sure the amount you’re paying is right for your actual energy use. Your Direct Debit amount might then need to go up or down.

### How often we check you’re paying the right amount

We review your Direct Debit every 3 months to make sure you are not paying too much or too little for the energy you’re using.

We let you know if your Direct Debit amount needs to change to keep you on track.

### When your payment amount might change

Your payments might need to go up or down if something changes, such as:

• your energy use goes up or down
• the price of energy goes up or down – if you’re on a standard variable tariff
• you change which energy plan you’re on
• you missed a payment or recently requested a refund
• you’ve chosen an add-on, such as Greener Electricity or OVO Foundation

If your Direct Debit is too high or too low, then we’ll let you know we’re going to have to change the amount.

### If your balance is in credit

It’s good for your balance to be in a bit of credit as it acts like a pot of money to cover when your energy use is higher.

For example, you’re likely to build up credit in the summer months when energy use is lower, but you might need to tap into your credit in the colder and darker winter months when energy use can be much higher.

We check you’re paying the right monthly amount so your balance stays on track for the whole year.

Even if your balance is in credit, it might be that we still need to increase your monthly payments. This would be if we’ve worked out what your energy use is likely to be and that your balance is likely to go below zero by the 31 March or end of your plan.

If your balance goes below zero

If your balance goes below zero, we’ll let you know if your monthly Direct Debit amount needs to go up.

If you’re struggling to pay your bills, we can work it out together – sign up to our payment support tool.

Setting up or changing a Direct Debit

You can set up, change the amount or date of your Direct Debit by logging into your online account and following these steps:

• Go to Home
• Select Set up your Direct Debit
• Choose which day you’d like us to collect your payment each month. This can be any date from the 1st to the 28th
• Enter your Direct Debit amount. You can use our Direct Debit calculator to get an accurate prediction of what you should pay each month
• Put in your details, including your full name, sort code and bank account number
• Select Next
• Check the details you’ve entered are correct
• Select Confirm payments

We’ll send you an email within 3 working days to let you know it’s all set up.

Find out how to set up or change a Direct Debit in the app.

### 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. 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).

### 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.

i pay my direct debit payment each month ,in the summer this payment will be more than what i use so as i can build up some credit for the higher winter bills ,as a result when my winter bills exceed my direct debit payments i still have enough in the account to cover this without having to pay more,if at some point my credit runs out i will make a top up payment each month to meet any shortfall. this does not give ovo the right to just raise my bill when they want when im not behind in payments ,if a customer is in debit each month then thats a different point of view this is just another problem ive had with ovo my account was changed in the summer, but ovo did not update my records so my direct debit payment went into the old account it took me numerous phonecalls and emails and nearly 4 weeks just to get them to give me my money back,then they had the gall to phone me because i was in debt because of it...

Userlevel 7
+1

I’m really sorry to hear about that.

Could you check the Direct Debit Calculator in My OVO, to see whether it can recommend reducing your payments? You might be able to fix this yourself as long as your meter readings are up to date.

Userlevel 7

Thanks for the post, @enlighten me and the extra info in that most recent comment.

@Transparent’s home made chart is a really handy way to visualize the mechanic for a direct debit across a year and for any check in. but I think it needs a tweak or two. That’s why I’ve added to his comment to make it super clear:

Firstly the target is actually £0 by the contract end date. We achieve a 1 month credit buffer due to the payment being at the start of the first month. So on the 13th Jan, we want to see a vertical green line representing a payment.

As you say @enlighten me, winter usage often exceeds the monthly payment amounts. So @Transparent I’d also like to see a steeper rise in actual usage in winter, to represent this more clearly. Higher winter usage then the payment amount is fine as our members would’ve built up credit in the summer.

The only reason we’re now suggesting an increate (unless there’s a fault, in which case we can’t comment, better to raise with our Support team), is because the usage we’re seeing is actually MORE then we anticipated, meaning you’re set to miss your £0 balance at end of contract target. No one wants that.

Userlevel 7

@Transparent keen to hear what you think of my feedback. I think this chart has the potential to make all of this really clear as a visual aid.

Userlevel 7
+2

I’ll send you the master copy of the chart, @Tim_OVO. You can then forward it to a specialist in Billing Dept and tweek what needs tweeking!

Userlevel 6
+1

Just to add my point of view.

Having a gas supply that is the reverse of normal seasonal usage, has always caused problems with the automated projected usage systems over recent years, It has High usage in the summer / zero usage over winter.

My account is always fun this time of year when the weather starts to get colder

Today my recommended DD payment has changed yet again, only a +10% increase this time, so long as the status is only flagged as recommendation & not a requirement, I’m happy 😃

Tom...

Userlevel 7
+1

Wait… Zero gas usage? Do you turn off your gas supply all winter then?

To be fair, I’m also one of those weird edge case members. Because my usage throughout the entire year is always really low (I only pull around 100 kWh of eco juice a month on average!), I always throw the number crunching out of sync when seasons change.

It is something I’m keeping a close eye on however, since I can probably use my account to help train the platform to not be so eager to fiddle with payments when it’s not needed.

Userlevel 6
+1

Wait… Zero gas usage? Do you turn off your gas supply all winter then?

Only 1 of my gas meters is shutdown for winter, my other gas meter & boiler are working overtime

Some ancillary electrical equipment used in conjunction with the now zero gas supply is also switched off for the winter, throwing my projected electric usage out as well.

The estimated usage for the now dormant gas supply had been dropping steadily over the last couple of statements as it has not had any usage since September, but it was still about double the actual kWh.

Now with the onset of winter, the estimated usage is back up by another 30%.

Hence the need to get my account & billing in order,

Tom...

OVO has just shown this for me after I have inserted my 12th month meter readings I just cannot understand “how” OVO expects me to give them £6,324 by DD for the useage of around £4300 to £4500 for the year cannot anybody offer an insight other than OVO stacking customers money without thought for there customers ?

OVO quote to me today 04/09/2022:-

“Your balance is set to be -£4,001 by the end of your 12 month billing period. Your minimum monthly payment should be £527”

Userlevel 7
+1

Hi,

This one sounds like @Jeffus , @nealmurphy and @meldrewreborn are more likely to be able to figure this one out than I can. I’ll see if they’re around. Bear with me!

I see OVOs founder Stephen Fitzpatrick empire including OVO has racked up £300m loss and OVO holding company Imagine Industries losses has widened in the last 3 years so perhaps there is a plan to recoup by hoisting DDs so as to cushion the business?  There seems to be no thought for customers who been paying £175 and then £193 DD and have been paying there bills can suddenly jumped to £500+ DDs there is no thought about capability to be able to pay.

+1

Prices are due to rise by an average of 80% in October, on top of substantial increases over the past 12 months.  If you use more than the average, particularly of Gas, the increase to you could well be above the “average” increase figure.  What OVO are saying is that based on your current consumption levels and prices operating from October 2022 your DD needs to be £527 per month.

The OFGEM average annual figure at October 2022 prices is £3549.  That covers 3,100 kWh of electricity and 12,000 kWh of gas.  You must i think use much more than the average.  Plus there will be another substantial increase in prices from January.

If you wish to challenge their DD computation you need facts and figures not emotion.  They are obliged to set your DD in a fair manner, but you have to accept that you do have to pay for what you use.  Obviously if you use less fuel your bills will go down.  Actions to save fuel that could be safely ignored 18 months ago, because fuel was then cheap, should now be pursued vigorously.  Winter, the peak consumption period, is not yet upon us - you have a bit of time to put an energy saving regime into action.

The new PM will announce further measures to assist households soon.  Whether these will assist you as compared to everyone else is currently debateable.

Sorry if its not the reaction you were expecting but forewarned is forearmed. *edited by mod*

+1

Post submitted but awaiting moderation - because of one word where i should have used some *&^

Userlevel 7
+1

Hehehe, yeah it’s pretty strict here! I always forget about the pre-moderation when I’m exempt from it basically everywhere!

+1

https://forum.ovoenergy.com/members/sugarboat-38976

Its not the suppliers fault.  Do you expect them to rack up losses while you escape pain.  Get real!

OVO Help Chat advised me that I can cancel my monthly d/d.  I am on SVR.

They said that I would indeed have more control over my monthly finances, & advised Pay on Receipt of bill or S/O.

So.  I’m cancelling my d/d.  I’ll monitor my account & pay online.  I’ll even top up occasionally - as I have previously.  But I will decide the monthly amount.

Userlevel 7
+1

OVO Help Chat advised me that I can cancel my monthly d/d.  I am on SVR.

They said that I would indeed have more control over my monthly finances, & advised Pay on Receipt of bill or S/O.

So.  I’m cancelling my d/d.  I’ll monitor my account & pay online.  I’ll even top up occasionally - as I have previously.  But I will decide the monthly amount.

Just want to set some expectations here. If you cancel the Direct Debit, you’ll be required to pay the entire bill every month in full. There’ll be no leeway to decide how much you pay or when once the bill is generated. If your account credit is high enough to cover the entire bill, it’ll get automatically cleared off, but otherwise you’ll need to pay the entire balance by the due date.

To be clear, you won’t get to decide the monthly amount either - the monthly payment will be the entire bill.

My current monthly d/d is less than what I use per month.  I am in credit too.  Not much.

I’ve drastically reduced my new boiler to just 30” a day & when winter hits us here in NE Scotland will only run minimum heating to prevent ice damage.  I have a bio fuel fire now, new windows & radiator reflectors.

I genuinely cannot see how the proposed monthly increases are justified other than in OVO trying to manage customers budgeting for them.

Userlevel 7
+1

I see. If you’ve only recently made those changes, it will take some time for OVO’s systems to catch up. The reduced usage will be identified and factored into the calculations, but it takes at least one season to get enough data to run the number crunching with - and that assumes regular meter readings are being submitted.

The upcoming price cap in October will only last three months and is roughly 80% higher than the one that’s active right now. The next one in January 2023 is said to be even higher than that. In addition, paying by any method other than Direct Debit is said to cost around £200 a year more, so you may find that you’re worse off by coming off of DD.

I think OVO is trying to help you build up some extra credit now to help you ride the storm, but ultimately it’s your choice. Just be very careful this winter.

I received an email to increase my DD though I am currently in credit of almost £500.  Can't get a response from chat bot.. 40 minute wait and phone answered... No I don't want to increase my DD thank you, I will keep it as £200 per month and pay anything over at the time. Oh I can add a discount of 15% on CD to decrease your monthly payments.. No I think you misheard what I want to do.. Oh I can't do that why.. I'm your customer still willing to pay my bulk but I will pay as required.. No that's a different number and it's a 40 minute wait... Your conversation is not helpful at all.. Can I speak to a manage.. No I cant do that.. So if you want to keep DD  if they allow me too when I call..*edited by mod* call this number 0800 069 9831.. Why didn't you add this number to the email ?? Oh I'll raise it .. I don't know if I will be allowed to keep my DD as £200 get however he said if I cancel my DD I will not be entitled to my discount...  *edited by mod*

Does anyone know how to stop ovo upping my direct debit automatically? I am well in credit in my account and I'm not using the amount estimated from the last price increase

Userlevel 7
+1

Hi @Annoyed ovo customer ,

There is a way to do this. Please call the Collections Team on 0800 069 9831 and have a chat with them. They’ll be able to assess your account and if they agree that a three month Direct Debit freeze is appropriate, they can activate it for you.

Please be advised that you’ll still need to pay for what you use and may have to pay more later if your payments don’t keep up.

That's great thank you for the reply and info