How to claim a refund when your account is in credit
Do you have a positive balance in your OVO account? Find out when you can apply for a refund and how, including if you’re switching suppliers or moving home.
From time to time, you might find that you’ve built up some extra credit in your energy account. At OVO, we call this a positive balance.
Having some extra cash in your account can come in handy, as energy bills rise and fall. But we understand that sometimes money can be tight – and when it is, you might want to ask for a refund.
Here’s everything you need to know about how and when you can apply for a refund.
What does ‘in credit’ mean on an energy bill?
If your account is in credit, it means you have money in your energy account left over after paying your latest bill. This is called a positive balance.
Having a positive balance in your energy account is a good thing, because it’ll roll over and count towards your future gas and electricity bills.
Can I get a refund if there’s credit on my OVO account?
There are 3 situations in which you can apply for a refund of your positive balance.
If you’re moving home
If you’re moving house and you’ve got credit left in your OVO account, all you need to do is let us know.
Visit your online OVO account, and select Moving home from the menu. Then just tell us your moving date.
If there’s a positive balance left in your account once you’ve paid your final bill, we’ll automatically refund it to you. It’ll take a maximum of 14 working days after your final statement.
Want to take OVO with you? Find out how to set up a new account with OVO at your new home.
If you’re switching to a different energy company
Leaving OVO? We’ll be sad to see you go!
Once we have your final meter readings, we’ll send you a final statement to tell you if you have a negative or positive balance. If you have a positive balance in your account, we’ll automatically refund this to you. You don’t need to do anything.
The money will go into the bank account your Direct Debit comes from. You should get it within 14 working days of your final statement.
If you’re an OVO member and have a positive balance in your account
You can ask for a refund if your positive balance is at least £25 higher than one month’s Direct Debit.
For example, let’s say your monthly Direct Debit is £50, but you have a positive balance of £80. Because you have £30 excess, we could give you a refund of £30.
But if your positive balance is £60, we can’t give you a refund. That’s because you’re only £10 over your Direct Debit amount.
How to apply for a refund
It’s best to apply for a refund when you’ve recently received a statement that’s based on accurate meter readings – not estimates.
Before you apply for a refund, follow these 4 steps:
- Take a look in your online OVO account to see when your next statement is due
- If you don’t have a smart meter, give a new meter reading a day before your statement is due (both gas and electricity if you’re on a dual fuel tariff)
- Once your statement has arrived, check your account balance – the meter readings should make sure that it’s really accurate
- If you have more than £25 over your Direct Debit, good news! You can ask for a refund in your online account
Simply head to the Payments page, then scroll down to where it says Refunds. Here, you’ll find a button to click that says Apply for a refund.
As long as you’ve met the criteria listed in the previous section, and you have an active Direct Debit, we’ll pay your refund into your bank account within 5 working days.
If you let us know in advance, we can also refund you by cheque, which will take 7-10 working days to process.
Why we recommend keeping your positive balance
The cost of your energy bills can go up and down over the course of a year. This can be due to energy market changes, and it can also be due to the fact that we all tend to use more power in the winter than in the warmer months.
To keep things simple, we recommend paying a Direct Debit that’s the same amount every month. It goes into your account, which is like a pot of money. We then take your energy bill payments out of that pot. Sometimes this leaves you with a positive balance, and sometimes with a negative balance.
But over the course of 12 months, it usually evens out. We work out your Direct Debit amounts with the aim of getting you to a balance of zero by the end of your contract with us. That way, you won’t have to make any extra payments.
If you have some extra money in the pot, it’s understandable that you might want to spend it. But that could be a problem further down the road, if it leaves you with a negative balance at the end of your contract.
Want some tips on keeping your bills low? Read our guide to cutting down your gas and electricity bills in 8 simple steps.
Earn interest on your positive balance
OVO Interest Rewards are our way of saying “thank you” for keeping the positive balance in your account!
We’ll pay you interest on any credit in your account over your Direct Debit amount.
For example, if your Direct Debit is £50, and you have a positive balance of £80, then we’ll give you interest on the £30 extra.
This reward goes up in value the longer you stay with OVO:
- In your first year, you’ll get 3%
- In your second year, you’ll get 4%
- In year 3 and beyond, it’s 5%
How do I check my OVO Energy account balance?
To see your account balance, all you need to do is log in to your online account. It’s displayed right there on your home screen.
For more information on your bills and how we work them out, select Billing history from the menu on the left-hand side.
How do I know if I’ve paid for more energy than I’ve used?
Your latest statement will tell you how much energy you’ve used this month, and how much we charged you for it.
If there’s a positive balance in your account, it’ll roll over to next month, and count towards your next bill. At the end of your contract with OVO, you’ll get a refund if there’s any money left in your account.
Remember, you can change your Direct Debit at any time (but you can’t change it to below the minimum amount). Find out more about how to edit your Direct Debit payments.
How do I close my OVO Energy account and get a refund?
If you’re leaving OVO, all you need to do is start your switch to your new supplier. They’ll get in touch to let us know – you don’t need to do anything.
Make sure your bills are always accurate with a smart meter
The best way to make sure you’re always being charged the right amount is to get a smart meter.
These nifty meters automatically send readings to your energy supplier. That means that we’ll always know exactly how much energy you’ve used, so your bills are as accurate as can be.
It also tells you exactly how much gas and electricity you’re using, via your In-Home Display (or IHD). This helps you save energy, and more importantly, save money.
Need more help?
More help is on hand for this topic on the OVO Forum. If you don't find the answers you need, feel free to ask a question and one of our forum users can help.
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Sources and references
1 Based on analysis carried out by the Carbon Trust for OVO Group (2020), 28% of an average individual’s carbon footprint in the UK comes from energy. In this analysis, the carbon footprint includes the following lifestyle categories: energy, transport, shopping, food and drink and holidays. This carbon footprint data has been calculated using BEIS 2020 emission factors. This excludes emissions from things that the average person cannot directly control such as supporting the NHS, defence, government bodies, etc. Please note these figures are not reflective of potential changes to your habits during the coronavirus pandemic.