Problem with Octopus Energy

Hello all,

Has anyone switched to Octopus Energy via Monzo? I am having the worst experience so far. Sorry in advance for the wall of text (and I hope this is the right category).

Before switching, I have been proposed the following deal: £28.12/mo, set up via direct debit.

The first weird thing happens on day one: I get charged £28.12 as soon as I switch.
So, obviously, my first instinct is to contact them and ask for explanations and they say that the above charge is so that I can start my account on credit and that the amount will be detracted from the following bills.

At that point, I am very confused because I was proposed a fixed fee but I assumed I probably didn’t read correctly, that it was actually too good to be true, and I just accept the situation that I’ve been “tricked” (maybe there was an asterisk that I didn’t read somewhere that stated ***estimated) and that I will have to pay by consumption. It still looks good since I used to pay much more and I’m sure that if they give me an estimation, that means it’s gonna be accurate and based on my monthly consumption anyway. (I, however, went back and checked the switching screens and there is no mention to the fact that that amount is an estimation)

Well, a month later (few days ago), I get another bill of £28.12 and very confused I contact their customer service for clarification. At this point, I have been already told two different things:

  1. Direct debit of £28.12/mo - fixed price
  2. The first payment is to start off in credit, then it’s based on consumption and that amount will be detracted from following bills.

During the following few days, I will be told yet other different things. The first one being “We charge you £28.12 a month so that during winter months you don’t pay massive bills”. Hold on, what does that mean? That if I consume less than £28.12 I pay that amount, but if I pay more, I am being charged more? That doesn’t really seem a customer-friendly plan (I never win). It seems that the energy company always gets more than what I am supposed to pay.

Then I am being told:

“Looking into your account, I can see that the £28.12 taken out on the 7th May and 8th June was your monthly direct debit, we have not yet charged you for any usage.” -

What does this even mean? That they just took money out of my account when a bill was yet to be made?

To my requests of clarification they answer:

"If you wish to be placed on a variable debit, where you pay exactly what you use, I can set this up for you. Looking into your account, it seems when you signed over to us through the setting up of a direct debit. The direct debit amount is generated based on your EAC (Estimated Annual Consumption), this is based on property history and also your previous usage amounts with your previous provider(s) among other things. This is why we have quoted you this direct debit amount, as we believe, based on your EAC, that this is the amount you are likely to use. According to actual usage, you may use more than your direct debit covers or less. "

So, again, why have I been charged at the beginning of the May (again day 1 from switching) and then again on June 7th, the same amount? From what they are saying here (which is not what I have been proposed before switching), I spent £54 of energy bills during the month of May. This is unlikely since with the other company I was with my bills would get at a maximum of £40 and I have been very careful with energy during May.

I am still trying to figure out what to do. I have contacted Monzo via chat and waiting for an answer. Also trying to solve this with Octopus. But in the meantime, I thought it was a good move to share my experience and see what other people experience has been like.

Thanks if you have read everything!

I would imagine they estimate your total annual usage to be £337.44. You paid a month in advance when you joined, which isn’t great but not that unrealistic. Then each month you pay £28.12 to cover your total for the year. Some people prefer it this way so that they can budget. Rather than pay £10 in July and £40 in Jan when it’s colder.

But I’m not sure what you’re contacting Monzo for, this isn’t their issue. They are just a third party, your account is now with Octopus.


Pretty much as above.

Have you ever had an energy contract before? These things are fairly standard but I don’t want to be patronising and explain stuff you already know!


I switched to Octopus with Monzo and had no issues.

I did have an issue with my meter though and Octopus have really good customer service. They even credited me £50 for what I saw to be a very minor inconvenience. I’m sure if you reach out to them they will clear it all up for you :slight_smile:

1 Like

This is basically how energy bills usually work.

You pay a fixed amount every month, which goes into your energy account with the provider. They then deduct an amount every month (or sometimes three months) for the energy you have used.

As they have said, you can change to paying only for the energy used per month, but this will mean your payments will vary.


Hey Revels, thanks for your answer. This is my second contract with an Energy company, as I moved to the UK just a year ago, so I might not be aware of all the technicalities.

Anyway, I would be OK with what you are explaining. I have been proposed an yearly/monthly price, which is more than fine.

But, from what they are saying, they will be charging more than £28.12 if I consume more, but still £28.12 if I consume less. I’m sure I’m missing something, but I don’t think that’s fair?

I am involving Monzo because they are the ones who have “mediated” (through the app) with my switch. So if Octopus says they have not proposed me a fixed monthly price, then I can refer to Monzo and say “here’s what I have been told in your app”.

I guess overall my frustration comes from very mixed messages which are creating confusion.

Hey there Anarchist,

So from what you are saying, it means that I pay £28.12/mo, and every three months (for example) they send me a bill stating if I am in credit on debit with them?

What will happen is that you’ll be in credit and then you can either take that back or adjust future debits.

Do they have this sort of screen anywhere on their website/app? You might be a bit too new for it to be of any help yet.

For reference, this is what mine says from British Gas

But this is high because I pay them monthly and then they bill me every 3 months. There’s a tracker that will tell me if I’m paying too much or not enough and let me adjust it.

Yeah. As you will use less energy in summer, you should build up a positive balance, which will be depleted in winter as you use more energy.

Ideally, it will be back at £0 in 12 months. In my experience, they usually over estimate my usage, so I still have a positive balance after 12 months.

Thank you both Anarchist and Revels,

I was not aware of how this worked, which makes sense. I am still frustrated that two “simple customers” could explain me this more efficiently than Octopus has been able to, but at least I now know that I’m not being scammed (which is exactly how I felt up to this point).

Thanks again for your time and for clarifying this. I will get back in touch to Octopus and set up a variable direct debit instead.



your variable direct debit will mean that in winter you will be faced with big bills though for your usage , but if that suits your situation :ok_hand:

I don’t mind that ian, as long as I pay the right amount I’m ok with that.

1 Like

If they work the same as when I was with them then every time you submit a meter reading that will produce a bill based on actual usage, this can also trigger the your using more than we expected think about increasing your payments trigger

As @Revels mentioned you can log into your account on their website and see your balance and payment history so you can keep tabs on if you’re paying too much or too little. They will also email you in both those circumstances to give you options.

This is where you submit your meter reading too and you get to play the ‘Spin the wheel’ game to win money off your bills :sunglasses:

As @Ordog says. Makes sure you submit your readings. No more than 3 months apart, I usually do it monthly, otherwise they won’t generate a bill.

They have this info on the website, but they’ve explained it so badly… They’d be better off taking this thread to replace this

Octopus are like a number of energy companies who take ‘payment in advance’.

This is in the T&Cs and is pretty standard.
So in effect start of month 2 you will have made x3 monthly payments - or at least I did when I joined them.
The more traditional suppliers don’t do this and that’s how people in my opinion can get into large debt - not the only reason!

Please note nothing is totally fixed!
They ask you for your yearly use age and then work out your monthly payment based on 1/12 - if you use more energy than they thought your monthly payment will go up.

Really really important you know your KWh for energy you use as it’s the only way you know you can save money!

Octopus will have you build a credit in summer for those winter months when bills are higher.

This is important too.

I recall being several hundreds of pounds in credit and was considering withdrawing it, which you can do at the touch of a button. Thankfully they advised the above which is true. Colder weather in winter means that your heating is on more so your bill each month is more in theory but thankfully you’ve got some money stashed away to cover the increased usage :slight_smile:

Your old supplier should give you your usage for the year which you can give to Octopus to adjust your payments :slight_smile:

Thank to everyone who have added to this. Just to clarify for everyone, I have just recently moved (a year this month!) to the UK and I’m not aware of how things work in the electricity billing world.

When I was offered to switch from Monzo app, the screen stated an amount that I would pay monthly. There was no mention at all for it to being an estimate, or additional information on how it would work. So me, being the naive person that I am, I assumed it was going to be a fixed fee.

Then, when they first took off my first £28.12 and I asked for clarifications, they said that it was to start my account in credit and that it would go against the following bills. I now realise that they meant that it would go against my ANNUAL bill, but at the time they haven’t really been clear about it.

I understand that part of my fault it’s not have gone in their T&C, but I also feel that the way the deal is presented is misleading (at least to someone who doesn’t know how energy billing works in this country).

With that being said, the past year I have been with another company and paying as I was consuming energy and while my bill would fluctuate it was never a dramatic change (and actually if a dramatic change would happen I feel like in that way I could investigate on it better) that worked for me.

Now that I know the situation (thanks again to you all for clarifying, still shocked that they haven’t been able to explain the situation as well as you did) I can reach to them and change my plan.