What is Fuel Direct and how can it help me?

  • 17 April 2018
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What is Fuel Direct?
Fuel Direct is a repayment method where the Department of Working Pensions deduct money directly from your benefits to pay for your energy usage and any arrears that you may have built up.

Who is eligible?
This payment method is available where Direct Debit or paying via a prepayment meter are unsuitable options. It might be the case that you do not have a bank account or you are unable to easily access your meter.

To be eligible for the scheme, you must:

1. Have an active electricity or gas account with us.
2. Be in receipt of one of the below and have an outstanding debt of £70 or more. Please note is you are a dual fuel customer the debt must be higher than £140.

- Universal Credit
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Support
- Pension Credit

What are the benefits of paying this way?
- No need to worry about remembering to make weekly payments
- Arrears are set up to be repaid at a low weekly rate
- Can prevent further debt building
- Opportunity to receive energy efficiency advice

What are the negatives of paying this way?
Setting up fuel direct is not instantaneous. Please be aware it can take between 4-6 weeks and we would recommend making top up payments during this period to prevent the debt from building any further.

How do they manage any arrears I might have?
The amount that is paid towards your arrears is capped at £3.70 per week for gas and electricity, so £7.40 if you are a dual fuel customer. Your energy usage is then added on top of this amount.

Here’s some example scenarios:

- Single Fuel:
Sam has a property on supply with OVO for electricity solely. His outstanding balance is £100.00 = his weekly deduction from his benefits for this debt balance would be £3.70 per week.

His ongoing electricity consumption is £5.00 per week = his weekly deduction from his benefits for usage would be £5.00 per week.

Total weekly deduction = £8.70 per week.

- Duel Fuel:
Donna has a property on supply with OVO for Electricity and Gas. Her outstanding balance is £250.00 = her weekly deduction from her benefits for this balance would be £7.40 per week.

Her ongoing consumption for gas and electricity is £10 per week = her weekly deduction from her benefits for usage would be £10.00 per week.

Total weekly deduction = £17.40 per week.

What information do we require to set you up on the scheme?

- Your OVO account number
- Details of the benefit/benefits you're receiving.
- A current meter reading - we are only able to set you up on the scheme if we've billed you using an actual reading. We're unable to do this using estimated meter readings.

Confirmation that we have your correct details including:
- Your correct name
- Your date of birth
- Your national insurance number

I’m interested - What do I do next?
Give us a call on 0800 0699 831 between the hours of 8am - 8pm Monday Thursday, Friday 8am - 6pm or Saturday 9am - 2pm. Please ensure you have the correct details to hand so we can set this up as quickly as possible.

Common Questions:

Are you able to deduct more than £3.70 per fuel out of my benefits?
No, this is a set amount fixed by the Department of working pensions. We are able to make adjustments for your ongoing consumption, however, if you are in the position to pay more off your balance we would recommend ringing us on 0800 0699 831 to make a top up payment, pay online or by using our bank details.

What happens when my arrears have been paid back?
There are a number of payment methods available so once your debt has been paid back please call us to discuss what your options are.

If my account is in credit can I have this refunded?
Yes, as long as your account has been billed up to date within the last 28 days to an actual meter reading. If you are on a fixed tariff we do keep 1 months energy in advance as we purchase your energy in advance.

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