The cost of energy is one of the largest household outgoings, so budgeting correctly for it is a must. Traditionally, you would pay your energy company more when you use more energy (typically during the winter months) and less when you use less (in the summer months). This isn't ideal for everyone, as most of us get paid the same each month regardless of whether it's cold outside.
Equal Direct Debit payments help you to budget and avoid any nasty surprises. We do regularly review how much you're paying to ensure that your equal payment amount reflects your expected energy usage.
We calculate your equal monthly Direct Debit payment amount by taking your estimated annual energy cost and dividing this by 12. This spreads the annual cost of energy into equal monthly payments.
Your estimated energy cost is based on the information you provide to us when you get a quote. The most accurate way to forecast your energy cost is by using your annual kWh figures (these can be found on your energy bills). If you don't have these to hand, we can help you estimate this by looking at the tariff you are currently on and how much you pay, or by asking you some questions about your energy usage.
Most people use more or less energy depending on the time of the year, so you’re likely to see your account balance in debt over winter and in credit the summer. Paying by equal monthly instalments should even this out across the year.
For example, if you're expected to spend £600 over the next 12 months, we will split this into 12 equal payments of £50...
We take payment in advance of your usage, so we would expect your account to often be in credit, except during some winter months when it's possible for your account to be in debt.
During your first month, your account will be in credit because we've taken your first Direct Debit and we haven't produced your first statement yet. Your next month's Account Balance will be calculated as follows: the Account Balance from the previous period (i.e. your first payment) - your charges for the month before + plus your next month's advance payment.
So in the example above, January Account Balance is your first payment amount (£50). Your February Account Balance will be your previous months Account Balance (£50) - the January energy charges (£71) + your February advance payment (£50) = £29 CR. Over the year, your account balance would look like this...