We periodically review your payments to check you’re not paying too much or too little. Your first payment is calculated by asking you how much energy you'll use in a year (read more about how your first payment is calculated). However, few things in life go exactly to plan, and your energy usage is no different! If you're using more or less than we first planned, we will change your payments to match.

We look at 4 things to review your payments

1. Your estimated energy usage in kWh (units of energy)

For every meter in your property, we estimate the amount of energy that you will be using over the next 12 months. This is often called an estimated annual consumption (for electricity - abbreviated EAC) or annual consumption (for gas - abbreviated AQ). This figure is generated by independent industry validators and is based on the historic usage of the property. This figure is adjusted a few times per year, especially when you (or your smart meter) sends us a meter reading.

The more meter readings we have, the more accurate this figure will be. If you (or your smart meter) haven't provided a meter reading in a while, please make sure you have one to hand when contacting us about your payments.

This figure may be an estimation, but we often find that it matches the actual usage at the end of the year, especially if we have enough meter readings. You can find your estimated energy usage on your bill.

We now know how much energy you might use in a year, but how much will that cost?

2. Your tariff (unit rates and standing charges)

How much your energy costs depends on your tariff’s unit rate and standing charge. A unit rate is a price per unit of energy (pence per kilowatt hour). A standing charge is a set price per day (pence per day), regardless of how much energy you're using. 

We take your estimated annual energy usage and multiply this by your tariff rates for the next 12 months. We do this for every meter at the property, gas and electricity. We can now say how much your energy we think will cost you over the next 12 months.

When our ‘So Flex’ variable tariff rates are used for your review, we can only use the rates that are currently known (including government subsidies like the Energy Price Guarantee).

You can find your unit rates and standing charges on your bill (5% VAT is added on top of the figures you see below). You can also find the unit rates and standing charges displayed on your online account under "Tariffs", this time with 5% VAT already included.

We now know how much your energy will cost in a year, but what should your monthly payments be?

3. Your account balance

In addition to your expected yearly costs, we need to take into account your current account balance. If you’ve been underpaying, your account balance will be less than it should be, possibly in debit. We will suggest a payment that covers both your expected usage, as well as the shortfall that’s already happened.

If you’ve been overpaying by a lot, we may offer a refund as well as lower your payment amount. For small over-payments, we may just lower your payment amount.

If it’s been a while since you provided meter readings, your current account balance will be based on estimates, so it might not be accurate. If that's the case, please provide us with meter readings - you should also consider getting a new smart meter installed if you are eligible!

In addition to the above, are there any government rebates that we should take into account?

4. Energy government schemes 

In addition to all of the above, we also take into account certain discounts or rebates provided by the government. The Energy Price Guarantee sets a cap on your unit rates (though not standing charges), so this is already factored into the calculation. 

In October 2022 the government also introduced the Energy Bill Support Scheme, giving electricity billpayers £400 over 6 months as credit on their account. We've accounted for this scheme when calculating Direct Debit reviews between October 2022 - March 2023, but the last payments were provided in March. Starting from April 2023, we will have to account for the fact that this scheme has stopped when calculating your Direct Debits. Most customers will see their monthly payments go up as a result of this.

Other schemes like the Warm Home Discount are only taken into account when you are in receipt of them (in other words, when the credit reaches your account).

Your review outcome

✉ We will email you to tell you when and how we will change your payments. There will be some time before your payments change, to give you time to prepare and provide any relevant information (like meter readings). It's important that you pay the right amount for your usage so your account does not fall into debt - you can adjust your monthly payments via your online account yourself within a reasonable limit. 

Working examples

If you're paying too much
if you end up using less than initially anticipated, we will reduce your monthly payments so that you don't end up paying us more than you need to!

A chart showing monthly payments being lowered after 6 months of paying higher than the actual usage. The new payment amount is lower than the actual usage of the following 6 months.

If you're not paying enough
If you end up using more energy than expected, we will need to increase your monthly Direct Debits. In this example the account is in credit when the change is made, however, if the payment amount stayed the same, there would be a large debt at the end of the contract.

A chart showing monthly payments being increased after 6 months of paying less than the actual usage.

Remember – you only pay for what you use, any remaining account balance can be settled at the end of your contract.