Learn everything you need to know about how billing works, with info on billing periods, how we calculate your bill, and much more.
Billing works like this. We charge you for the energy you use in each billing period – which we take from your set payment once a month. And we also add on any fixed charges (like daily standing charges).
Here’s more guidance on the billing process:
What’s a billing period?
A billing period starts on the day your plan starts, and runs to the same date on the following month. Sometimes, (depending on your account setup) billing periods can also run by calendar month, or even quarterly.
We’ll generate your next bill a few days after the end of your current billing period. It’ll show your opening balance, new charges and payments during this billing period, as well as your new closing balance.
Here’s an example:
Your billing period ends on the 19th of each month
Here’s a list of payments you’ll see going in to your ‘money pot’:
Direct Debit payments made from your bank account
Any top-up payments you've decided to make
You’ll see these on your bill, and on the Billing screen in your online account, too
We calculate what to take out of your ‘money pot’ by adding up:
Your standing charges – this is the daily fixed charge for supplying your energy. It includes the cost of the pipes and power lines, and meter maintenance
The cost of the energy you’ve used, plus VAT
The cost of any upgrades you might have – such as OVO Beyond.
Any extra charges – these might include things like late fees, if you didn’t cancel a smart meter appointment in time
From this total we’ll take off any rewards you might have – such as the 3-5% Interest Reward on any positive balance.
The importance of meter readings
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).
If you haven’t given a meter reading recently, your supplier might use your average energy usage to calculate your bill. But you don’t always need to pay an estimated bill. Instead, contact your supplier to give an up-to-date meter reading, and ask them to send you a new bill.
DR (or debit) means you owe money to your supplier, as you haven’t paid enough. If a debit balance keeps growing, your supplier may suggest raising your Direct Debit payment, to help you catch up.
At OVO we don’t use the word “debit”. Instead we call this a negative balance.
We know Direct Debits can sometimes be confusing. That's why we've put together an easy-to-follow guide, to help you understand exactly how Direct Debits work.
What does credit mean on a bill?
CR (or credit) means you’ve paid for more energy than you’ve actually used. Not a bad predicament to be in! It happens if you use less energy than you’ve paid for – but remember, you may use more than usual over the winter months. So any credit in your account could be handy to help cover those extra heating costs.
At OVO we don’t use the word “credit”. Instead we call this a positive balance.
If you’re already an OVO member, you can also get 3-5% Interest Rewards if you’re in credit. And if you’re not yet with OVO yet, switch today, and start reaping those rewards yourself!
Why is my bill so high?
There are a number of reasons why your gas or electricity bill could suddenly be higher than you expected. They include everything from price rises and increased energy use, to inaccurate estimates (based on estimated meter readings) and poor home insulation.
As an OVO member, you already get 100% guaranteed renewable electricity, a tree planted every year in your name, and 3-5% Interest Rewards. But if you’re ready to take a step up in caring for the planet, check out OVO Beyond, our green upgrade.
With OVO Beyond you get all the same benefits as now – plus:
100% carbon-neutral gas, including 15% green gas (one of the best fuel mixes around!)
Not 1, but 5 carbon-busting trees planted in the UK on your behalf
Personally customised Energy Spotlight tips, to help you cut 10% off your bills
And you’ll also be helping to give UK children more fresh air in urban areas, by supporting our charity partner Earthwatch Europe. They plant 8 Tiny Forests across our nation – which cover an area the size of 8 tennis courts with 600 trees!
Any further questions?
We understand that the billing process can be confusing sometimes – so if you still need a hand, don’t hesitate to get in touch. There’s more help available in the OVO Forum. And if you don't find the answers you need, feel free to ask a question, and one of our forum users will be happy to help!