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What happens to my balance when I switch energy suppliers?

When you switch suppliers, what happens to your balance depends on whether you’re in credit to your current provider, or have a debit balance.

What happens to my balance with my current supplier when I move to OVO?

When you get your final bill from your old supplier, you’ll be able to see whether you have a debit or credit balance, and exactly how much it is. 

Remember, it can take a while for your old and new suppliers to organise your transfer, and you won’t get your final bill until the switch has actually taken place.

If you have a debit balance 

If you haven’t paid quite enough to cover the energy you’ve used, or if you’ve fallen behind with your payments, you’ll need to pay your old supplier what you owe them. 

This is what it would look like on an OVO bill

If you have a credit balance

If you’ve paid for more energy than you’ve actually used, your old supplier should give you a refund of that credit – but it’s worth checking to make sure they do, and chasing them up if they don’t.
At OVO we usually refund credit balances about 2 weeks after customers leave us. That’s 2 weeks after you’ve actually switched and received your final bill, not 2 weeks after you’ve applied to move to a new energy company. Other suppliers might take longer or act faster. 

This is what it would look like on an OVO bill

If you’re in credit and you’ve been paying for your energy by monthly Direct Debit

Your old supplier will probably pay your refund into the bank account from which you paid your Direct Debits.

You shouldn’t need to cancel your Direct Debit; your old supplier should simply stop taking it from your account each month. However, it’s sensible to keep an eye on your bank account for a couple of months to make sure they don’t forget.

If you’re in credit and you’re a Pay As You Go (PAYG) customer

If you’ve got a prepayment meter, try to use up all your credit before you switch, as it might take a while to claim a refund.

If you have a debit balance and you’ve been paying monthly

If you’ve only owed the money to your energy supplier for 28 days or less, the debt can simply be transferred to your new provider, and you’ll have to repay them.

However, if you’ve been in arrears for more than 28 days, you can’t switch until you’ve paid off the debt to your current supplier.

If you’re in debt because your supplier made a mistake, they can’t stop you switching.

If you’re in debt and you’re a Pay As You Go (PAYG) customer

If you’ve had a debit balance for more than 28 days, you can still switch to a new energy company if your debt is less than £500 for gas and also less than £500 for electricity. You need to get your new provider’s permission if you want to switch your debt as well as your supply (this is known as the ‘Debt Assignment Protocol’).

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