Big energy firms owe customers £220m
Energy firms are hoarding your money - £220m nationwide to be precise.
You know when you get a bill for your energy usage and you forget to pay it, you get bombarded with phone calls, letters, emails and then, finally, your energy supply could be switched off.
Yep, well, apparently it doesn't work the same the other way around.
Almost two thirds of people pay for their gas and electricity usage through a fixed monthly direct debit, which often results in energy being paid for, but not used.
But research shows the big firms are absolutely awful when it comes to automatically paying customers back.
Co-Operative customers who pay by direct debit are the most in credit on average, to the tune of £196, followed by those with Ovo (£139), Scottish Power (£126), EDF (£119), British Gas (£113) and Npower (£98).
Across the UK, those based in Northern Ireland are in credit by the highest amount and could reclaim an average of £209 from their energy provider. This is over double those in Scotland (£92) and the South West of England (£93).
Although most energy providers offer a way to give readings online, nearly one in 10 (7%) have never given their provider a meter reading, with 18–24 year olds the least likely to take one (15%) – risking inaccuracies in bills and potentially leaving themselves out of pocket.
Ofgem rules stipulate that people are entitled to any credit on request as long as up-to-date meter readings have been provided.
Stephen Murray, energy expert at MoneySuperMarket, commented: “With the price cap set to push average energy bills up by £117 next week, now is the time to check your account and see if you’re in credit with your supplier. The easiest way to find out if you’re owed money is by taking a meter reading and giving it to your provider, so they know exactly how much energy you’re using, rather than just charging you based on estimated usage. For many people bills are big enough without paying for energy you don’t use!"
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