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Why don't my Budget Direct Debit payments change with my energy use?

Energy Hub shows you how your energy use and costs are constantly going up and down over time. Your home appliances and devices, how much time you spend at home, and the different seasons all affect this.

But Budget Direct Debit is designed to smooth out the highs and the lows of your energy use over the year – so you pay the same amount each month.

Let's take a look at how this works for our imaginary customer, Billy.

Billy's energy year

1. Billy's Energy Hub costs go up and down but his Direct Debit stays the same

Billy likes going into Energy Hub to see how much energy he's using. He can easily see when his costs go up or down from hour to hour, day to day, month to month and year to year.

He's pleased to see his heating costs have come down since he turned the thermostat in his flat down by 1°C. That's a tip he picked up from Energy Hub.

But his Direct Debit amount hasn't changed. He's been paying £74 a month since he signed up to Budget Direct Debit in January (that's his expected annual energy costs divided by 12).

He likes it this way, as it helps him to manage his household budget – and avoid big winter bills.

Graph showing usage over a year

2. It's time for Billy's Direct Debit review – reducing his energy use this year is about to pay off

We review Billy's Direct Debit twice a year to see if his monthly payment amount needs to go up, down or stay the same. It's the only time his Direct Debit will ever change.

We review Billy's latest energy use, as well as any debit, credit or charges on his account, and any change to his tariff rates. 

It's good news! Billy's Direct Debit payments are going down to £66 a month – he's used less energy than we expected because he turned his thermostat down at the beginning of the year. We'll send him an email to let him know his payments are changing.

Graph showing energy consumption

3. Billy doesn't need to do anything – his payments should cover his energy costs for the next year
Billy's Direct Debit amount was reduced to keep his payments on track to cover his expected energy costs next billing year (these are lower than the year before, because his energy use has come down).

We will review his energy use again next year. If it turns out he's paid too much, his credit will be put towards his future energy costs (or automatically refunded if more than £40).

If he's paid too little because his energy use has gone back up, his Direct Debit payments will go up. But in the end, he'll only ever pay for the energy he uses.