Direct Debit explained
Direct Debits help you pay for gas and electricity over a period of time, spreading payments regularly. We want to help you make sure you pay just the right amount for your energy so Direct Debits are a great way to manage your costs, because they're convenient and help you budget.
Ideally, we work out what your Direct Debit amount should be by looking at how much energy you actually use. But if you're a new customer and you don't have a bill from a previous supplier to hand, we can ask you for some information that will help us set up the payments to start with - things like how big your house is, how many people live there, whether you have gas central heating or you use electricity to heat your home.
- We'll try to work out how much energy you're likely to use over the next 12 months (remember, in the winter you'll probably use more heating your home than you would in the summer) and what that will cost at today's prices.
- We divide that estimate by 12 - it doesn't matter when in the year you join us, we always calculate this over the next 12 months - and that's what your monthly Direct Debit amount will be to start with.
Then, as time goes by, we can look at exactly how much energy you've used and forecast what your ongoing costs will be. We'll do this review about once every 6 months to make sure your payments are at the right level. You'll also get an annual statement from us, which gives you an update on how much energy you've used over the last 12 months and how much we think you should be paying in the coming months.
This is why up to date meter readings are really important. They show us exactly how much gas or electricity you've used and how much you should pay, on average, by Direct Debit each month, for the energy we've supplied and what you're likely to use in the future.
Here are some handy video guides to how our monthly Direct Debit works. It is designed to answer any questions you may have about your chosen payment method.
Paying for your npower gas and electricity by monthly Direct Debit can make life easier. You'll be spreading your payments evenly over the course of a year and this can help you manage your outgoings and budget for bills. If you’re a new customer, we’ll establish your monthly direct debit amount by estimating your annual energy usage based on the bills you received from your previous energy supplier, or the type of house you live in and the size of your family. We’ll regularly review your direct debit amount and get meter readings from you to make sure you’re not over- or under-paying.
Paying by Direct Debit is an easy way to manage your npower energy bills. The amount of your monthly Direct Debit is based on the amount of gas and electricity that we estimate you use and sometimes we may adjust your Direct Debit amount to more accurately reflect your real energy consumption. We review your account every six months, around the time that we get a meter reading from you. If you’ve built up too much credit (because you’ve been using less energy than we estimated) or debit (because you’ve been using more than expected) you’ll get a statement from us that says that your monthly Direct Debit has changed.
To help make sure your npower Direct Debit gas and electricity payments are spread evenly over the course of a year, we’ll review your account every six months. Following a review, you may find that while your account is in credit, your monthly Direct Debit amount has increased. This could be because we expect your energy costs to rise over the coming 12 months because you’re using more energy than we originally estimated or you might be moving to a new, higher tariff. Any credit in your account simply might not be enough to cover these new costs and so your Direct Debit amount goes up.
Paying your npower gas and electricity bills by Direct Debit means that your energy costs are the same every month, making budgeting easier. However, while your bills might be predictable, your actual energy usage will always fluctuate. You’ll probably use less in the summer and more in the winter. That’s why we take accurate meter readings and review your account twice a year. We want to make sure that your estimated energy usage reflects your real energy usage over the whole year. If, at your annual review, you have an account credit of less than £5 on either gas or electricity, we’ll keep that money in your account and use it to pay for your bigger, winter energy bills. If your credit is more than £5 we’ll automatically refund it back to your bank account.
Hopefully this information has helped to explain how monthly Direct Debits work. If you have any further questions, please look in our FAQ section. Or if you'd prefer to talk to us, you can contact our call centre.
Set up a Direct Debit
There's a reason why so many of our customers choose to pay for their energy by Direct Debit, it's because it's simple, secure and rewarding.
Our Direct Debit Guarantee
- The 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 the organisation will notify you (normally 10 working days) in advance of your account being debited or as otherwise agreed. If you request the organisation 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 the organisation 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 the organisation asks 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 the organisation.
Terms and Conditions
Meter read reminders: We’ll use the reading(s) you supply to produce your next bill whenever it is possible to do so. There may be some circumstances when it is not possible to use your meter readings and in this case we will estimate your consumption. Our agents will still require access to your meter to take readings and for safety checks. The meter reads you supply will be in addition to our own meter reads and will be used to provide the most up-to-date view on your statement.
Under the Direct Debit Guarantee, if the amount you pay or the payment date changes, we will let you know 10 working days before we debit your account, or on another agreed date. If npower, your bank or building society makes a mistake with your payment, you're also guaranteed a full and immediate refund from your branch of the amount paid. This information has been sourced from BACS.
Automatic refund: Given on credit balances at time of annual review based on actual reading (which may be a customer's own reading supplied to us) and where the credit is over £5. If you take both fuels from npower, we'll use any credit on one fuel account to clear a debt on the other fuel before any refund will be made. Credits of less than £5 will be refunded on request but this could affect future monthly direct debit amounts. If your credit is less than the automatic refund amount, it will be used to offset ongoing payments.