We get a lot of customers asking why their Direct Debit has been changed. This is the page where we try to explain.
The most important thing to remember is that it isn’t guaranteed that your monthly Direct Debit will always match the cost of your energy over time. If you use more or less energy than expected, or maybe you move to a new tariff with different rates, then we’ll need to adjust your Direct Debit amount.
There are some answers to the most frequently asked questions about Direct Debit changes below. You can also watch a video about how your monthly Direct Debit works by clicking here
There are three reasons why your Direct Debit might have changed:
1. You may have moved to a different tariff with different costs for your energy
You may have joined Flow on a home energy tariff that had fixed rates for 12 months. At the end of the 12 months, you may have moved to a different tariff with different costs for the energy you use. For example, you may initially have been paying 10p per kWh of electricity, but now, on your new tariff, you could be paying 11p per kWh. This means that your costs for energy over the next 12 months will be a bit higher – which would mean that we would need to increase your Direct Debit, to cover the new costs.
2. You may be using more or less energy than we previously thought
We set your Direct Debit at a particular level, based on what we know about your usual energy usage (or based on what you tell us about your energy usage). The idea is that, over a 12 month period, the total amount you pay via your Direct Debit matches the cost of the total amount of energy that you use. However, if we notice that you’re using more or less energy than we predicted, we’ll change your Direct Debit amount, so you don’t end up paying too much, or too little.
3. You may have requested a review of your account in order to refund a credit balance or repay a debit balance
You account will always either be in debit or credit because you pay the same amount to us each month via your Direct Debit, but you actually use different amounts of energy each month, This usually means that you’ll have a debit balance at the end of winter, because you’ve been using more energy than you’ve been paying for, and a credit balance at the end of summer, when you pay the same but use less energy.
While this is normal, you may sometimes build up a debit or credit balance that’s abnormally large, usually because you’ve been using more or less energy than we predicted. If this is the case, you can ask for an account review, at which we’ll change your Direct Debit so that it more closely matches your energy use - and which will also take into account any refund your owed or money you owe to us.
We review your Direct Debit amount 6 months after you come on supply, unless you ask us to review it sooner. After that we review it every 12 months – again, unless you ask us to review it sooner.
When we review your Direct Debit, we look at how much you’re paying and how much energy you’re using. If we can see that, over the course of a year, your Direct Debit amount no longer matches your energy use, then we’ll move your Direct Debit amount up or down so that, over the year, you pay for the right amount of energy.
Your monthly Direct Debit amount is the same every month. But, of course, you use different amounts of energy each month. So, for example, in summer, your account may be in credit because the amount you pay is more than the cost of the energy you use. This credit balance will then gradually be used up over winter, when you’re using more energy. If your account is persistently in credit or debit, then we may change your Direct Debit amount. We review Direct Debits every 6 months.