How does my Budget Direct Debit billing work?
Budget Direct Debit is an easy way to pay for your energy, and a good way to budget.
Once you set up your Direct Debit, a regular payment amount automatically comes out of your bank account every month. This way, you spread the higher cost of winter across the whole year.
It's good value too, as you get the lowest unit rate of all payment methods.
When you sign up for Budget Direct Debit, we set a regular payment amount to automatically come out of your bank account each month.
Here's how we work out your monthly payment amount:
- We estimate how much energy you'll use over a year, based on your past meter readings (if we've never had a meter reading from you, we'll use the latest information we have about your energy use).
- We work out how much your estimated annual use will cost you; we also factor in any debit, credit or charges on your account, and any change to your tariff rates.
- We divide your estimated annual cost by 12 to get your monthly payment amount.
We review your Direct Debit this way twice a year – if we need to change your monthly payment amount, we'll let you know.
Your monthly Direct Debit payment amount might change after a Direct Debit review.
We review your Direct Debit twice a year, which is when we look at:
1) Your latest energy use (this is why we ask you for a meter reading just before your review; if we don't get your readings, we estimate your energy use instead)
2) Any debit, credit or charges on your account
3) Any change to your tariff rates since your last review.
If we need to change your monthly payment amount, we'll let you know.
For example, if at your review we find...
A) ...you're using less energy than we expected, your monthly payment amount will go down.
B) ...your energy use is as we expected, your payment amount will stay the same.
C) ...you're using more energy than we expected, your payment amount will go up.
In the above examples, your tariff rates have stayed the same and there's no significant credit or debit on your account.
The only time you might see a change to your payment amount outside of your review periods, is when you make an extra payment. If your extra payment isn't too close to the end of your billing year, we'll reduce your payments as soon as we can.
Yes. We'll ask you to give us two readings each year, just before we review your Direct Debit amount.
If you give us your readings, it helps us to keep your payments in line with your energy use.
If we don't get your readings, we have to estimate your energy use.
Please only send a meter reading when we ask you for it.
You should get two bills a year when you pay by Budget Direct Debit.
Your bill will arrive shortly after we've asked you for a meter reading.
The bill will be based on your latest energy use if you've given us a meter reading. If not, you'll get an estimated bill.
So why have I had more than two bills this year?
You might get an extra bill if you submitted a meter reading we didn't ask for, when your last bill was estimated. This extra bill simply gives you an up-to-date account balance.