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Why is there a credit on your account, and what does it mean?

Find out everything you need to know about account credit – otherwise known as having a “positive balance”. Learn what it means, how it's credited, and much more.

Firstly, 2 things to be aware of. A ‘credit’ on your account usually refers to when we’ve made a refund to your energy account.

On the other hand, if you're "in credit" – otherwise known as a “positive balance” – this refers to when your chosen Direct Debit is higher than the amount of energy you’re using – leaving you with – you guessed it, a positive balance.

Now we’ve cleared that up, let's explore positive balances in more detail:

What does CR on your bill mean?

A positive balance (which may also appear as CR on your bill) means you’ve paid for more energy than you’ve actually used. Not a bad predicament to be in, eh?! 

It happens if you use less energy than you’ve paid for – so for instance, if your DIrect Debit amount is more than the total cost of your energy.

A positive balance is actually quite handy – as it can help to cover the cost of the extra energy you’ll likely use (above your normal Direct Debit amount) over winter.

If you’re not yet with OVO, switch today to start reaping those rewards.

How meter readings affect your account balance

There’s one way to make sure your bills are as accurate as possible – through regular meter readings. They make sure you only get billed for the energy you're actually using!

Smart meters are making meter reading much easier. If you already have a smart meter, there’s usually no need to give regular readings, as they’re sent automatically (though there are some situations where you may still need to send a manual reading). 

Find out more about smart meters, and how to read your gas and electricity meter. 

If you don’t yet have a smart meter, and you haven’t sent a meter reading recently, your live account balance might not yet show any energy costs for the current billing period. Which means your positive balance might look higher than you’d expect.

This could typically happen at the start of a new billing period. It’s nothing to worry about. As soon as we get a meter reading from you (or we add estimated charges):

  • Your live balance will update

  • Your charges will again show as an amount going out (£ out)

If you haven’t yet got yourself a smart meter, find out how to get one free, with OVO

And learn more about how to read your actual energy bill, with our guide to understanding all the different parts of it.


How can I find out if I have a positive balance?

If you manage your bills online, you can check your current account balance by logging in.

Or, just take a look at your latest energy bill – which should tell you whether you have a positive balance (or “credit”) or negative balance (or “debit”).

What if I have a positive balance with my last supplier?

Sometimes, credit is left behind by customers who’ve moved address, switched supplier, or left unclaimed credit some other way. Energy companies have a system in place to give back “energy credit” to customers – but it’s also possible to apply for a credit repayment, no matter when your account was closed – as long as there’s proof you were a former customer. 

How can I get a refund from my previous energy supplier?

Energy companies are supposed to give back any credit on positive balances when you switch to another supplier – but it doesn’t always happen automatically.

If you think this might be the case, check your bank statements, Direct Debits or energy bills, and then contact your previous supplier to discuss.

What if my supplier refuses to refund me?

If your supplier refuses to refund you and you don't agree with the decision, you can contact the Energy Ombudsman. They’ll assess your complaint and help if they can.

Why am I in credit? Is my supplier taking too much from my Direct Debit?

Your Direct Debit amount is based on your previous or estimated energy use. That means it may not accurately cover your actual use.

If you’re using less energy than budgeted for, you’ll be overpaying on your Direct Debit. The extra amount will come in handy to cover higher winter bills.

Learn more about the cheapest, most efficient way to heat your home over winter – and find out how to keep warm at home in winter without using so much heating.

How can I get an energy refund from my current supplier?

At OVO, there are 3 main scenarios when you might want to ask for a refund, if there’s credit in your account:

  1. If you’re switching to a different energy company

  2. If you’re moving to a new home

  3. If you’re staying with OVO and have extra credit in your account

To find out more about the process in each case, visit our refunds help page

What can I do to make sure my bills are as accurate as possible?

If you don’t yet have a smart meter, you’ll need to submit regular meter readings to us. Doing that will help keep your bills more accurate – as we’ll know exactly how much energy you’re using, rather than making an estimate.

How can I make my energy bills lower?

We’re here to support our members with bright ideas for keeping your bills – and your impact on the world – as low as possible. Check out some of our guides to saving energy, lowering bills, and cutting your carbon footprint:

If you need more help

There’s help available in the OVO Forum. And if you don't find the answers you need, feel free to ask a question. One of our forum users will be happy to help!

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