Energy companies to refund direct debit customers billions
The big six energy companies are set to refund customers close to £2bn worth of direct debit overpayments
The agreement was announced following a meeting between the heads of the big six and a number of ministers.
According to the new rules, any customer who is in credit by more than one month for their energy bills, will be granted an automatic refund.
Close to 13 million households pay for their energy consumption by direct debit.
New rules follow accusations of energy companies profiteering
The new arrangements were hammered out following accusations that the big six energy suppliers were taking advantage of their consumers.
In a piece produced by the Mail on Sunday, it was revealed that energy providers make an estimated £36 million in interests, based on customers’ accounts which are in credit.
Energy companies are expected to guarantee that they will review customer accounts two times a year to ensure they do not amass a large amount of credit.
A win for ‘hard-pressed working people’
Energy Minister Greg Barker described the news as “a real win for hard-pressed working people.”
“Thanks to the pressure from The Mail on Sunday and consumers up and down the country, we have together been able to get a better deal without having to resort to the blunt instrument of legislation, which means these changes should be in place by this winter.
Speaking on the meeting, he said: “I had a very frank and candid meeting with the big six last week; it was cards on the table time.
“I’m very pleased to report that we appear to have made real progress for consumers. There’s still detail to be agreed and I will not rest until we have scored a better deal for all energy consumers.”