Why have you changed my Direct Debit amount?
At the start of your billing year, we set your monthly Direct Debit amount by estimating how much energy we think you’ll use over the next 12 months. We aim for your 12 monthly payments to cover the cost of your annual energy consumption, but there are reasons why we may need to change the amount:
- Your actual energy use is different to our estimate
- Your energy use has changed
- Your account is in debit
- Your account is in credit
- Our energy prices have changed
1. Your actual energy use is different to our estimate
This is usually fairly accurate, but it is an estimate of your future energy use. We don't always get it absolutely right.
When you submit a meter reading, we may review your Direct Debit payments. We do this by comparing your actual energy use to our estimate.
If we see that you've been using less energy than expected, we may decrease your Direct Debit amount. If we see you've been using more energy than expected, we may increase your Direct Debit amount.
2. Your energy use has changed
There are many reasons why your energy use might change. For example, you may have had a new boiler or heating system installed, or bought a new, more efficient domestic appliance. Or the number of people in your household could have changed - meaning more or less hot water being used, and more or less time spent watching TV or using devices.
3. Your account is in debit
Was your account in debit when we sent your annual bill? If so, we may roll your outstanding balance over and add it onto your current Direct Debit payments – your Direct Debit will be higher until the debit is paid off. Alternatively, you will be paying the outstanding balance off on an instalment plan, and these instalments have been added to your Direct Debit payments.
Did your debit arise because you used more energy than expected? If we know this has happened (i.e. you gave us a meter reading ahead of your annual bill), we may also have increased your Direct Debit amount to reflect your higher energy use.
4. Your account is in credit
If we know this has happened (i.e. you gave us a meter reading ahead of your annual bill), we may have decreased your Direct Debit amount to reflect your lower energy use.
Once we've completed your review, if we have an up to date meter reading and we find your account is in credit or in debit, we'll usually update your monthly payment amount to spread the balance across the following 12 payments.
5. Our energy prices have changed
Occasionally, we raise or lower the price we charge per unit of energy in response to what's happening in the energy market. For example, if the market price for gas goes up significantly, we may respond by increasing all tariffs that include gas supply.
This type of price rise will only affect you if you're on a variable tariff; we'd give you advanced notice that this change will happen. Following your interim or annual review, we may also increase your Direct Debit amount as a result of the price rise.
If you're on a fixed tariff, a change to our energy prices will not affect you. The unit price you pay for your energy will stay the same for the full length of your fixed tariff. However, your Direct Debit may still change for the other reasons outlined above.
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I’ve changed tariff – why has my Direct Debit amount not changed?