Our direct debit policies
Paying by Direct Debit
Paying by Direct Debit is the easiest way to pay your green energy bill. There are two simple options to choose from:
- Variable Direct Debit – pay for the energy you use each month
- Fixed Direct Debit – pay a fixed, regular amount to spread your payments equally across the year.
Variable Direct Debits
How can I just pay for the energy I’ve used each month?
If you pay by variable Direct Debit, we’ll send you a bill each month, showing the outstanding balance.
To ensure that your bill is accurate, we’ll email you to request a meter reading just before we’re about to produce your bill. The easiest way to submit meter readings for your home is through your account online – on your smart device or desktop. You can also send us a meter reading on our website, or by giving us a call on 0345 555 7 100.
Your monthly payments will leave your account within three days of the date quoted on your bill. You can change your bill date so we collect your payments on the most convenient day for you once you’ve received your first bill.
Meter readings are a great way to keep your account up to date, but if you’d prefer just to send a meter reading every three months, that’s absolutely fine. We’ll simply estimate your usage in between the readings you send us.
Fixed Direct Debits
How do you work out my fixed monthly payments?
For new customers, we either base your payment amount on information you’ve given us, or we’ll simply use the average energy consumption for the size of your home. We may need more information from you to make your monthly payment as accurate as possible.
For existing customers, we predict how much you’ll pay for the coming year based on the information we hold about your usage – quite simply, we see how much you have used in the past to estimate how much you’ll use in the future.
How often will I receive a statement?
If you pay by fixed Direct Debit, you’ll receive a statement every quarter, which will show you the current balance on your account.
We’ll email you just before we’re due to produce your statement to request a meter reading (unless you’ve got a smart meter, which will send us your reading automatically). This will ensure that your statement is accurate.
We also ask our meter readers to read your meter every three months.
If we aren’t able to get a meter reading, your statement will be based on estimated readings.
Do keep an eye on your statements – and contact us with a meter reading if you think you’re paying too much or too little, particularly if we’ve estimated your meter readings on two consecutive statements.
How will you stop me paying too much or too little?
We promise to work with you to make sure your payments are as accurate as possible and you aren’t paying too much or too little.
The monthly payment is averaged over a year– which means it’s higher than your consumption in the summer and lower than your consumption in the winter. We review how much gas or electricity you use annually. If you're paying too much or too little, we contact you to make any changes we need to.
The more meter readings we have, the more accurate we can make your monthly payments, so please send us a meter reading when you can. The easiest way to submit meter readings is through your online account– on your smart device or desktop.
What if my account’s in debt?
Every year we review your monthly Direct Debit to make sure that you’re paying the right amount. If we find that your monthly payments have been too low to cover your energy consumption, we’ll spread any amount owing over the period until your next review by adding it to your Direct Debit.
Do you automatically refund credit?
We’ll refund credit at any time if you ask us to, but we always need an up-to-date meter reading to ensure we’re refunding you the right amount. We always suggest that you stay at least one month’s payment ahead on your account, just to help prevent a build-up of debt throughout the year.
If you pay by fixed Direct Debit, it’s quite normal to have credit on your account in the summer months when you’re using less energy. This is balanced out in the winter when your consumption is higher.
So although we’d be happy to discuss this with you, if we refund any credit on your account, you could then build up a debit, and so we may have to recalculate your payments accordingly. This could lead to your monthly payments being increased to cover the winter months.
How often do you collect fixed Direct Debit payments?
We usually collect fixed Direct Debit payments every month, but if you’d prefer to make more regular payments (weekly or fortnightly), we can arrange this for you. Just get in touch with us using the contact details below.
Which days do you collect payments?
You can choose the best date for you (excluding 29th, 30th or 31st of each month) for us to collect your monthly Direct Debit payments. The payments will leave your account on or within three working days of your chosen date.
What if my circumstances change?
Let us know if your circumstances change, and you think those changes will affect the amount of energy you use. For example, a change in heating system (e.g. ground/air source heat pump), change in occupancy, building work, or microgeneration could make a difference to how much energy you use. You can contact us using the details below.
I’m also a Microtricity (Feed-in Tariff) customer – how does this affect my payment method?
If you’re a Microtricity customer, you have two options to pay by Direct Debit.
You can pay by variable Direct Debit to pay for the amount of energy you use each month, and we can add your Microtricity payment to your account to reduce your bills too.
Alternatively, you can pay by fixed Direct Debit and we can pay your Microtricity payments directly to your bank account separately.
What happens if my Direct Debit payment is unsuccessful?
As long as your Direct Debit hasn’t been cancelled, we’ll try to collect it again around seven working days after the original payment date – so you just need to make sure that there are funds available in your account on that date. If the second collection attempt is unsuccessful, we’ll cancel your Direct Debit and send you a letter to let you know. If there’s an outstanding balance on your account, you’ll need to make a payment to keep your account up to date. If you have concerns about paying your bill, or if you’d like to set up your Direct Debit up again, just give us a call on 0345 555 7 300 and we’ll talk you through your payment options.
What if I have more than one property on supply?
If you have more than one property, we’ll set up a separate Direct Debit for each account you have with us.
How do Direct Debit payments for businesses work?
Direct Debit payments are the only payment type we accept for business accounts. You can pay by fixed or variable Direct Debit, and all of the information above applies. Business Direct Debit mandates usually require more than one signature, so we can’t process these online.
You'll need to download and complete a paper mandate (see below) for every supply related to your business and return it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. For example, if you have two electricity supplies and one gas, you’ll need to return three paper mandates to us, with appropriate signatures on each.
You can also call our Business Customer Service Team on 0845 230 6 102 if you need any help or have any questions.
Will I be protected by the Direct Debit Guarantee?
Yes. The Direct Debit Guarantee applies to all Direct Debits and protects you in the rare event that something goes wrong.
The Direct Debit Guarantee
This Guarantee is offered by all banks and building societies that accept instructions to pay Direct Debits.
If there are any changes to the amount, date or frequency of your Direct Debit Ecotricity will notify you (normally 10 working days) in advance of your account being debited, or as otherwise agreed. If you request Ecotricity to collect a payment, confirmation of the amount and date will be given to you at the time of the request.
If an error is made in the payment of your Direct Debit, by Ecotricity or your bank or building society, you are entitled to a full and immediate refund of the amount paid from your bank or building society.
If you receive a refund you are not entitled to, you must pay it back when Ecotricity ask you to.
You can cancel a Direct Debit at any time by simply contacting your bank or building society. Written confirmation may be required. Please also notify Ecotricity.
- This Guarantee is offered by all banks and building societies that accept instructions to pay Direct Debits.
- If there are any changes to the amount, date or frequency of your Direct Debit Ecotricity will notify you (normally 10 working days) in advance of your account being debited, or as otherwise agreed. If you request Ecotricity to collect a payment, confirmation of the amount and date will be given to you at the time of the request.
- If an error is made in the payment of your Direct Debit, by Ecotricity or your bank or building society, you are entitled to a full and immediate refund of the amount paid from your bank or building society.
- If you receive a refund you are not entitled to, you must pay it back when Ecotricity ask you to.
- You can cancel a Direct Debit at any time by simply contacting your bank or building society. Written confirmation may be required. Please also notify Ecotricity.
How do I contact you to talk about my Direct Debit?
You can email us at email@example.com, or give us a call on 0345 555 7 200.