Why does OVO use Direct Debits rather than standing orders?

  • 4 April 2022
  • 4 replies

Seems to me OVO do not understand the concept of a Standing Order and a DD.

Ovo let me educate you.


DD = variable amounts, can be taken at any time although normally scheduled

Standing Order = fixed amount , taken on a scheduled date


So when you ask your customers to set up a DD then state we are changing the amount you pay every month , you are showing your ignorance of the banking system.

hence I cancelled my DD and will pay weekly as I do now. Should you amend your understanding of the banking system, I will consider resetting up my DD or Standing order, or would you like me to explain the concept again?


who else thinks OVO don’t know the difference?


Best answer by M.isterW 4 April 2022, 18:19

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Userlevel 7
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In some versions of the Terms and Conditions there is a clause along the lines of: “If there are any changes to the amount, date or frequency of your Direct Debit we’ll notify you in advance of your account being debited.”

Therefore they are complying with the T&Cs and being jolly nice by keeping you in the loop. I think it’s more important to be nice than having an in depth knowledge of the banking system.

Userlevel 7
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So you set up a DD and OVO have told you they're changing the amount they take each month?


That's exactly how a DD works. What's your complaint?

The wording is written as every month we will take such and such out of your account as we have worked out your annual bill is such and such. So they could take this amount every month even if you only owe £20. I pay weekly so their wording suggests they will take a larger amount regardless of if I’m in credit or debit.


fyi 17 years in banking, I know the difference. DD’s are variable not a fixed amount. That’s how DD’s work!!!!

Userlevel 7
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Updated on 06/10/23 by Emmanuelle_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. We’ll divide this into 12  if you’re in a fixed rate contract- 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. 


You can find out more on how we calculate your Direct Debit below:



What they're doing is in line with what energy companies have been doing for decades. Your energy use isn't constant throughout the year so to avoid you paying large amounts in the winter they charge you an average monthly amount to spread the cost evenly throughout the year. I'm astonished that you've only just noticed that they do this because I've been paying for my energy in this way for many, many years.


They use direct debits, rather than standing orders, because it allows them to manage the collection better and also change the amount without having to set up a new standing order. It is absolutely correct to use a direct debit in this way and I'm amazed that you don't know this if you claim to have worked in banking.