What to do if you’re owed money by your energy supplier
If you’re in credit with your energy supplier, you’ll want to get at your money. Nothing strange about that.
Sometimes, though, it can be a little less than straightforward.
Believe it or not some one million UK energy customers are in credit to the tune of £1.5b and one in ten customers are owed more than £200.
Here’s what you do…
First, a quick invite: join our community for free by whacking your email into the box at the bottom of the page. We’d love to have you on board.
What are the rules on credit refunds?
Energy watchdog Ofgem has new rules that force suppliers to hand back your cash if you ask for it – unless, of course, there’s a good reason why not, like you’re in credit but you still owe money for fuel used.
If you get in touch with your current supplier to ask for your money, you’ll need to give them an up-to-date meter reading.
How do I tell if I’m in credit with my energy supplier?
The Big Six energy suppliers – British Gas, EDF Energy, E.ON and Scottish Power – usually refund overpayments automatically.
British Gas and EDF Energy will return any extra money every year, on the anniversary of the date you took out a direct debit. E.ON will refund any amount over £5 and Scottish Power any over £75.
We suggest you check your account to ensure that this refund actually takes place.
If you’re with one of the smaller suppliers, check with them to see what their policy is on returning credit.
How come they’ve got my money anyway?
The obvious answer to this is that your direct debit is too high.
It’s worked out based on the energy you consume, or have done previously, so it if often going to be a bit out.
If it’s a lot out and credit has built up it may be because you are simply consuming less, so speak to your supplier, point this out and get your direct debit revised.
Or it could be that credit wasn’t repaid or transferred when you switched supplier. This is rare, but you should monitor the account of the supplier you leave behind, just to check there’s no credit left in there.
What about a refund from my current supplier?
If you’re in credit and you want it back, rather than just letting it roll over to meet future bills, tell your supplier.
They may point out that energy use varies wildly throughout the year and a healthy balance in the summer, say, may well be eaten up over the winter.
Really, whether you accept this logic is up to you. You’re entitled to the money if you want it.
What if I'm owed money by my previous supplier?
The Big Six suppliers promised in 2014 to hand over an estimated £153m in credit to customers that had built up over the previous six years.
It’s known as "MyEnergyCredit" and is targeted at giving back to customers any credit they had with a previous supplier. The scheme applies to anyone who didn’t give a final meter reading when they switched.
Switching energy can save you a packet – give it a go using our free comparison tool.
But if you were in credit when you left your previous supplier, this is supposed to be transferred to your new supplier after switching.
If it doesn’t happen, get in touch and, after checking, a refund should be a simple process, so long as there is no dispute about what you owe.
What if they refuse to give me the money?
Well, they’re going to have to have a good reason.
If they explain and you think they are wrong, you can make an official complaint to that supplier.
If they do not find in your favour and you still believe you in the right, you can raise a complaint with Ofgem, the energy industry watchdog. Contact them and find out more here.
Also publicise your issue on A Spokesman Said – we’re here to make your voice heard.