Direct Debits – explained!

To DD or not to DD? That is the question. Many people wonder if it’s worth switching to Direct Debit. The answer, in short, is yes, of course! Paying by Direct Debit is our cheapest way to pay. But what happens if your energy usage changes? Or if you’re paying too little or too much?

Energy doesn’t have to be confusing, and paying for it even less so, so we’ve put together the following information to run you through some of our Direct Debit FAQ’s.

How is my Direct Debit amount calculated?

We set your monthly Direct Debit payment based on the information we have for the energy use in your home. Even if you’ve just moved in, we can work out how much energy you’re likely to use based on historical usage in your house. With a monthly direct debit, we estimate your annual usage and spread it over 12 months.

How will I know if I’m paying the right Direct Debit amount?

We’ll run a Health Check on your account in the first three months to make sure you’re paying the right amount. We’ll look at your account every three months after that to keep your payments on track. If anything needs to change, we’ll give you at least 10 days’ notice so there are no nasty surprises.

Why has my Direct Debit amount changed?

Your Direct Debit amount can change for different reasons. For example, your meter readings could be higher or lower than we estimated, or you might not have been paying enough to cover your usage. You might also need to increase your monthly amount to reduce any outstanding balance. Whatever the reason, we’ll break it down and provide you with an accurate figure based on all the information we have to hand.

I’m on a Fixed tariff. Why has my Direct Debit amount changed?

Remember, even if you’re on a fixed tariff, your direct debit can go up if it’s predicted you’ll use more. Direct Debit works by smoothing out the payments but these are still subject to change driven by usage. We’ll review your account regularly with the aim of adjusting things accordingly to prevent you getting into debt.

How can I ensure I’m paying the right amount?

You can help to make sure that you’re paying the right amount by giving us monthly meter readings. This helps us to spot any changes early, so we can get things back on track straight away.

How can I keep track of how much energy I’m using?

Every three months you’ll receive an account statement so you can keep on top of how much energy you’ve been using and what you’re spending. We’ve designed our statements so that the information we send you is easy to understand and you know exactly what you’re paying.

How will getting a smart meter help me?

With a smart meter, you can say goodbye to meter reads and estimated bills, and hello to paying for the energy you’ve used. Smart meters track your energy usage in real-time, in pounds and pence, so you can see exactly what you’re spending. With smart meters, there’s no need for the awkwardness of having an engineer under your stairs trying to get a meter reading whilst you’re trying to cook dinner! Smart meters automatically send readings to us regularly, so you can be sure that you are paying a fair amount for the energy you’re using. To find out more about getting a smart meter, and the benefits of doing so, check out our website here.

Don’t forget, winter is coming! So, if you have any questions about our Direct Debit payment method, or would like more helpful information about this service, please visit our Direct Debit page, or the FAQs section of our website.

Remember, if you’re worried about making your Direct Debit payments it’s really important that you talk to us – we’re here to help.  

Stay smart, and keep cosy with Spark and Direct Debit.

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