How to set up or change your Direct Debit
Direct Debits are the most convenient way to pay your energy bills. Read on to find out how you can easily and quickly set up or change your Direct Debits.
If you’ve ever forgotten to pay a bill (who hasn’t?) you’ll know the hassle it causes. Setting up an automatic Direct Debit changes all that – and it’s the cheapest and most convenient way to make regular monthly payments for your energy bills. Read on to find out how!
What is a Direct Debit?
A Direct Debit (DD) is a set amount agreed between you and OVO, which will automatically be transferred to us by your bank, on the same date every month. Payments will only be taken:
- for the amount you’ve agreed
- on the date you’ve chosen
Why should I pay by Direct Debit?
Paying a monthly Direct Debit amount means you don’t have to spend time paying your bills every month – and you’ll never miss a payment. DD also makes it easy to split the cost of your energy bills into equal payments through the year. Plus, you’ll be able to budget better, because you know how much you’ll be paying every month.
Paying by DD can also be the cheapest way to pay. That’s because we charge you a lower unit price for your energy when you sign up to pay this way, if you’re on our variable Simpler Energy plan.
Are there any disadvantages to Direct Debits?
You need to make sure you have enough money in your account to cover your DD payment every month. If not, you may end up getting charged by your bank.
Sometimes, your energy supplier may change your DD amount, to better suit your energy costs. They’re obliged to tell you this at least 10 days before the changes are made.
How to set up your Direct Debit
You can do this easily from your online account:
- Go to Home
- Select Set up your Direct Debit
- Hit Let’s go
- Enter all your details, including your full name, sort code, bank account number, the DD amount, and the date you’d like the amount to debit your account
- Hit Next
- Hit Confirm payments
- We’ll send you an email within 3 working days to let you know it’s all set up.
Once this is all done, if you change your mind about anything, it’s easy to tweak the details on your online account. You can:
- Increase the payment amount – use our Direct Debit calculator (in your online account), to see how changing it can impact your balance. To access the calculator, scroll down the Payments page in your online account.
- Change the date it goes out – pick any day between the 1st and the 28th of the month.
Top tip! If you’re on our variable plan and choose to pay by Direct Debit, you get lower energy rates. Because it costs us less to manage your account this way.
How to change your Direct Debit amount
Paying a set amount through the year is a good idea – even if you use less energy in the summer – because it’ll all even out by the time winter rolls around. But, if you’d rather adjust your payment amount accordingly, our handy video makes things easy for you. You can increase or reduce your DD amounts directly in your online account.
We also run Direct Debit reviews every 3 months. These are to make sure your payments are spot on. If your readings show your Direct Debit won’t cover the costs of your energy up to the end of your contract, we’ll ask you to adjust it. This is to protect you from building up a negative balance. And if your account is in credit, you get 3 to 5% Interest Rewards1!
Here’s a tip! Before doing anything, try out our Direct Debit calculator (in your online account) to see how paying different amounts can affect your balance over time.
How to change your Direct Debit date
It’s easy. Log into your account, go to Payments and click Direct Debit date to choose a new one.
Just remember, we’ll need 6 days notice, so we can check the change with your bank. If your new date falls within the next 6 working days, we’ll take the current month’s payment on your old date. Then update it from next month.
How to change your Direct Debit bank details
If you need to change your bank details, just call us on 0330 303 5063 (Mon-Fri 8am-6pm), and we’ll update them for you.
How to make a top-up payment in your account
If your Direct Debit isn’t covering the energy you’re using and you’d like to make a top-up payment, it’s easy to do online by following these simple steps:
- Log into your account
- Click on Payments.
- Click on Make a top-up payment.
- Fill in the amount you want to pay.
- Click on Pay now.
- Fill in the online form to give us your personal and card details, and make your payment.
This handy video also shows you how:
What happens if you cancel your Direct Debit
If, for any reason, you cancel your Direct Debit through your bank account, we’ll get in touch to ask you to set it up again. Or, you can simply pick another payment method.
What If you’re on our Simpler Energy variable plan and you don’t have a Direct Debit?
If you don’t pay by Direct Debit, you’re Paying On Demand, once you’ve received your bill. It’s slightly cheaper for us to manage your account when you pay by DD – so Paying on Demand costs you that little bit more. If you want to set up a DD, it’s easy to do at any time, straight from your online account.
Why is it important to get Direct Debit amounts right?
The idea of Direct Debit is to find the right amount to balance your account through the year. So by the end of the billing period, you don’t owe us anything, and we don’t owe you anything.
Think of your energy account like a pot of money – each month, set payments go in and a variable amount comes out (to cover the energy you actually use).
In months where you use less energy, like in summer, you might build up a positive balance. But in winter, the opposite may happen. The idea is that it should all even out.
Our goal is for you to have a £0 balance at the end of your contract (or 12-month billing period), so you don’t have to pay back a lump sum.
This handy video explains exactly how your Direct Debit is worked out.
Use our Direct Debit calculator to see how changing your monthly payments can affect your balance over time.
Popular questions our customers ask about Direct Debits
How do you work out the cost of my energy use?
When you join OVO, we work out how much energy we think you’ll use over the year. This is calculated by taking into account factors like the size of your home, and how much energy you’ve used in the past. Then we divide that cost by 12, to work out your monthly payment.
How do I know if I can afford my Direct Debit?
We work out your DD based on your energy use over the past year – so if your circumstances haven’t changed, you should still be able to afford your DD. Using a smart meter means you can always keep an eye on your energy use, so you can be sure you’re keeping within your budget.
Can I lower my Direct Debit amount?
If you’re regularly paying too much, even in winter, you can lower your Direct Debit quickly and easily in your online account. Check out our helpful video on how to change your DD amount. But do bear in mind, if you build up a positive balance, you’ll receive 3 to 5% Interest Rewards2. If you still want to change your DD amount, you’ll need to do it at least 6 working days before your next payment is due, to make sure the changes take place in time.
What happens if I miss a Direct Debit payment?
Because your Direct Debit is an automatic payment, it’s not possible to miss it. But, if your DD bounces, we’ll try to collect it again about 10 days later. If it bounces again, we’ll wait until the following month’s due payment to try again. If that bounces, we’ll try one more time. If your Direct Debit debit bounces 4 times in 2 months, we’ll cancel it and try to contact you.
If you’re having trouble keeping up with payments, please reach out to us and we’ll be able to support you in various ways, to get you back on track.
Book a smart meter appointment today
Still sending meter readings yourself? A smart meter will do it all for you! Book an appointment to get your free smart meter fitted. It sends readings automatically from the get-go, so you’ll receive accurate bills rather than estimated ones. Sending regular automatic readings means you’ll be able to see your energy use in your online account – and get real-time feedback via your free In-Home Display that comes with it.
We’ll also offer you free energy-saving tips via our handy OVO Greenlight tool – designed to help you green up your home, and reduce your bills.
Find out more about how to get a smart meter, with our handy guide.
Join OVO, for a lower-carbon life!
Any further questions?
We understand that Direct Debit check-ins can sometimes be a little confusing – so if you need a hand, don’t hesitate to get in touch in our online chat. There’s also 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 members will be happy to help.
Sources and references:
1 and 2. Interest Rewards are paid on credit balances of customers paying by monthly Direct Debit. It is calculated at 3% in your first year, 4% in your second year and 5% in your third year (and every year thereafter) if you pay by Direct Debit. Interest Rewards are paid monthly based on the number of days you have a positive balance and the amount left in your account after you’ve paid your bill. Full terms apply