Direct Debit is an easy way to pay for your energy and helps you budget for your bills. It’s good value too – because you’ll benefit from a lower unit rate for your energy compared to other payment methods.
- You pay an agreed amount each month so you can keep track of how much you'll be spending
- We'll contact you to confirm any changes to your monthly payment amount at least once a year according to how much energy you use
- The Direct Debit Guarantee makes sure your payments are secure
- You never have to worry about paying your bills on time
How does it work?
- You choose which day of the month your payments leave your account, when you set up your account
- A payment review will take place at least once a year to make sure that you're paying the right amount for the energy you use
- Meter readings help us work out if you're paying too much or too little. Based on these readings, we'll let you know if we need to change your payment amount
- Your Direct Debit is covered by the Direct Debit Guarantee, so you're protected in the unlikely event of a mistake with your payments
- You receive an annual summary showing how much energy you've used over the year and how much you've paid
Where possible, we use any previous meter readings we have for you to estimate what you're likely to use in the future. When it’s time for a Direct Debit review, we also take into account any outstanding balance on your account. We divide this cost into equal payments, which are spread across the plan.
This means that you won’t end up paying more in winter or less in summer – just the same amount all year round.
How often we review your monthly payment
We’ll look at the amount you pay for your Direct Debit within 15 months of it being set up, and then on each anniversary of that date. This is known as your ‘annual Direct Debit review date’. We might review it before your annual Direct Debit review date, for example, if we receive a meter reading, but this isn’t guaranteed.
If you make any additional “one-off” payments to us these will be taken into account at your next review.
How your annual Direct Debit review works
At the annual Direct Debit review if we have an up-to-date meter reading for you and we find your account is in credit, we will refund you
We will then estimate the cost of your energy consumption up to the date of your next annual review, which will be shown on your bill.
This estimate will be based on the energy you’ve used in the past (with adjustments for typical weather patterns), current energy prices and any other factors like existing debit or estimated credit on your account. We divide this cost into equal payments, which are spread across the plan.
Why your Direct Debit amount might change
After we’ve completed the annual review, if your Direct Debit needs to increase or decrease to match your estimated annual energy cost, we’ll let you know and make the necessary changes. If we carry out any ad hoc reviews then we’ll usually only make changes to the amount you pay if we think it needs to increase or decrease by more than 10%. We do this so that your payments don’t change too often.
How any debit or credit is balanced out
Once we’ve completed your review, if we have an up-to-date meter reading for you and we find your account is in credit, we’ll refund you. If your account is in debit we’ll usually update your monthly payment amount to split the outstanding balance across the following 12 monthly payments.
In exceptional circumstances we may collect the full amount you owe from your bank account. In these cases we’ll get in touch at least 12 working days in advance.
Here are some reasons why the amount you pay each month could alter at the time of your reviews:
- If your contract price goes up or down, your payments may need to go up or down too. This can happen if you're on one of our fixed term tariffs so look out for our notification when the contract is nearing its end
- If more people are living in your home you’ll probably be using more energy. But your bills might be lower if you’ve been away for while
- You may use less energy if you get new, more energy-efficient appliances. On the other hand, an old or faulty appliance can consume more energy than expected
- Installing roof or cavity wall insulation could mean you use a lot less energy for heating
- If you’ve just moved into a bigger property, you might consume more energy than you expect. And moving into a smaller property could mean smaller bills