Changes to your direct debit this april

Changes to Your Direct Debit this April

Holly Pigache

A guide to how we review and adjust your Direct Debit ahead of April’s price change.

The Government’s Energy Bills Support Scheme is coming to an end so if you have an electricity supply with us, you will see an increase of at least £67 in your bills. In the coming weeks, we’ll be contacting you with the specifics of your new monthly payments.

This April the Government is scaling back its household energy support and, as a result, all* customers will see an increase in their energy bills. You might be concerned about how this will impact your payments, so here we’ve explained why we change your Direct Debit and provided a guide to our review process and the support we offer.

Why is my Direct Debit changing?

We regularly review your Direct Debit charges and this April, the Government is reducing its financial support offered to households, necessitating an up-to-date review of your monthly payments.

From 1 April, the Government’s Energy Bill Support Scheme comes to an end. Under this scheme, customers who have an electricity supply with us were credited between £66 and £67 a month from October 2022 to March 2023. The end of this scheme means all electricity customers will no longer have a £67 discount applied to their monthly bills and Direct Debit payments.

Customers on our variable tariff So Flex will have their energy bills protected by the Energy Price Guarantee, capping annual energy bills for households with typical energy consumption. The cap will remain the same at £2,500 until the end of June 2023, but remember that your annual energy bills may be more or less than £2,500 if you use more or less energy. If you’re on one of our fixed tariffs and do not have electricity with us, there will be no changes to your Direct Debit as a result of changes to Government support.

How do we review your Direct Debit?

From time to time, we review your Direct Debit payments to make sure you’re not paying too much or too little for the energy you use.

Here is our four-step process for reviewing your Direct Debit.

1) We ask for meter readings so you pay for what you use

So Energy customers paying through Direct Debit make regular monthly payments towards the estimated annual cost of their energy usage. We regularly ask for meter reading submissions because this shows how much gas and electricity you have actually used, and your meter reading submissions help to give us a more accurate prediction of your annual energy consumption. But don’t worry if you forget to submit a reading; we’ll estimate your reading for you, using your usage history.

To calculate your monthly Direct Debit, we multiply the predicted yearly usage of energy in your home by the unit rate (the cost of each unit of gas or electricity) and standing charge (the fixed daily cost to connect your home to the energy grid). Our So Flex variable tariff rates factor in the future price change and are based on the April 2023 price cap - including the new standing charge and unit rates.

2) We acknowledge your account balance

The changes we make to Direct Debit payments may vary between customers because we consider any credit or outstanding charges associated with your account and spread these adjustments over the coming 12 months. This means you pay a regular fixed amount appropriate to your energy usage.

3) We only adjust monthly payments

Whether you are on a seasonal or fixed Direct Debit plan, we will estimate your annual energy usage in the same way and your energy payment will be predictable. Fixed payments remain the same over the year or until your next review, with seasonal payments higher in the winter than in the summer. Under one of our seasonal plans, your estimate will be spread so that you’ll pay more in the winter and less in the summer. Under a monthly Direct Debit plan, the annual estimate will be spread equally over a 12-month period. The total estimated cost for the year will be the same, no matter which payment structure your account follows. Find out more about seasonal payments.

4) We’ve removed the Energy Bills Support Scheme discount

From October 2022 until April 2023, the Government committed to providing a rebate of between £66 and £67 per month for all electricity customers. This financial support is ending on 1 April, so this discount has been removed from your Direct Debit calculation. Find out more about the Energy Bills Support Scheme.

Visit our Payments Help Centre and learn more about your energy for April 2023.

*This does not apply to customers who have a gas-only supply with us.