Just joined OVO. Being charged £136 before I arrive at the house?

  • 21 May 2023
  • 7 replies

My billing period is 19 May – 18 Jun 2023. Current charge is zero.

I’m paying £136.00 on the 19th of each month. 

I arrive at the house on May 22nd.


Does anybody know why I am being charged £136 tomorrow considering my billing period started in May 19? Is this normal?


Best answer by Abby_OVO 22 May 2023, 11:14

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7 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +1

Hi @oa3500 ,

That’s just to get things going. It’s not actually a charge but just credits your OVO account and gets it ready. You’ll only get charged once you get an actual bill. The payment date is also not the same as the cycle reset, but don’t worry about that too much.

Hey @Blastoise186 (great name btw),

I’m not sure I follow: if it’s not a charge, will the money leave my bank account?

And be converted into credit into my OVO account to then be used for my first bill?


I just don’t see how this isn’t a joining fee.

Userlevel 7
Badge +1

It will yes. But it immediately becomes an account credit, not a joining fee and goes towards the bill.

Userlevel 6

Hey @oa3500 


It sounds like you’re talking about a Direct Debit. At OVO, we use your estimated total usage for the year, 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. 


The reasons for this include helping customers avoid large winter bills by building up credit throughout the warmer periods. So your Direct Debit may be more than what you use during summer, but less than what you use during winter. Keeping your Direct Debit at the recommended amount should mean you will build up credit throughout the warmer months, when usage is lower, to help cover any costs after your Direct Debit payments during colder times like winter.


Take a look at these helpful topics on Direct Debits:



As Blastoise186 has said, this isn’t a joining fee and will be credited to your account to use towards the bill when it’s produced.


I’d recommend using the online account, or the App to keep track of things and you’ll be able to see the balance update on there too.

Was this bill a choice @Abby_OVO ? I think - for the Winter planning - I’d prefer to have put that money into another resource…

Userlevel 7

OVO’s Direct Debit arrangement is quite simple: you work out jointly how much you would have to pay each month to cover your expected usage until the end of your contract. This will be for most users ‘for the next twelve months’, since not many nowadays have fixed tariffs with a defined end date. Once the amount is agreed, your bank is instructed to pay that amount on the same date each month until further notice. 

It sounds as if you were careful to have everything set up in good time before you moved in (unlike some!), including the Direct Debit mandate. So, unless you specified a ‘not before’ date, the bank would transfer funds on the agreed date. Because you were in good time, the bank was geared up to make the first transfer on 19 May even though this was before your moving-in date. 19 May was a Friday, so the transfer was arranged for the next banking day - i.e. today. 

You ask whether you had the choice: yes, because you could have instructed the bank to make the first transfer on 19 June. You didn’t, so they assumed that you wanted the DD to enter into force immediately. 

If you’d rather have these funds in your bank account, you’ll probably have to wait until the 19 June DD has cleared, before being able to ask for a refund. However, if you can manage without them, it might be a good idea just to let it ride to absorb any unforeseen shocks over the year. The extra credit will be taken into account when the DD is reviewed in a couple of months’ time, so you can probably rest easy in the knowledge that your DD won’t have to go up, as so many other users have experienced to their dismay.  


Thank you for the education, Noel :)