If you pay for your gas and electricity by direct debit, you may, at times, find your energy bill in credit.
That is because, regardless of your energy consumption in a particular month, you pay the same amount monthly. This is designed to spread out your energy costs over the year.
The advantage of spreading your costs out is that you won't be struggling to manage large bills in the winter because your overpayment in the summer months should cover the increased costs of the colder ones. However, you may find that this leaves your energy account in credit at certain times.
But you don’t need to let the money just sit there. Find out how much you could be owed and what to do about it.
If you’re considering switching and you're in credit with your energy company, you might be wondering - what happens to my credit if I switch to another energy provider?
Part of your switchover process includes taking a meter reading on the day of your switch. You send this to your old supplier, who will produce a final bill based on this reading. The supplier will then apply any credit you have to this charge, and they will either send you a bill for the remainder or refund the leftover credit to your bank account.
If you find your electricity or gas bill in credit but you haven't received a refund, you can contact your old supplier to ensure they refund the credit to you.
Yes, you don’t have to switch suppliers to get your credit returned to you! If you have hundreds - or even just £50 - sitting in credit with your supplier and you need that cash, you can ask for it back and request your monthly direct debit amount be reviewed.
Each energy supplier will have a different process for administering refunds. Some suppliers will have an online form or ask you to put in your refund request over the phone or by mail. Either way, it’s your money and they are required to pay it back to you.
If you think you might be owed money by an energy supplier you no longer use, and you think you've missed your window after switching or it's been a few years, you actually have a very good chance of getting it back.
However, it is certainly trickier as you will not be able to provide a meter reading. In fact, you will need to rely on your old energy supplier's data to help you out unless you have all your statements kept handy.
Contact your old energy supplier and tell them the date range you were their customer and explain that you think you were overcharged.
If their customer service is helpful then they should be able to locate your file and see if there was an outstanding credit on the closing balance.
It's worth noting that energy suppliers are obligated to refund any money that you are owed. Ofgem, the energy regulator, has put measures in place to ensure that every supplier credits customers.
In many cases, energy suppliers have failed to notify customers of money they are owed, so you may need to chase them up to make it happen, but ultimately, it is your money.
If a supplier is refusing to cooperate and won’t give the money back that you’re owed you can take your issue to the Energy Ombudsman who may decide to take your case on.
Yes, but you might need to do some extra digging around to get the information you need.
We recommend checking your old bank statements or checking with your current supplier to see if they have a record of the supplier you switched from. If you were renting then get in touch with your landlord or flatmates and check with them to see if they remember.
Millions of households in the UK are overcharged by their energy supplier. In order to avoid being overcharged, take a meter reading regularly and send it to your supplier. They will then review your reading versus the estimated amount you pay monthly and see if you are owed money or adjust your bill for the next month.
Taking a meter reading regularly will ensure that you are not paying too much on your energy bills.
However, taking a reading is not the easiest task if you've never done it before. There are a few different types of meter and they're not always easily located on your property.
You can read more in our in-depth guide to taking an energy meter reading and learn how to locate and read your meter. Once you know how, it’s fairly simple - you just have to remember to do it regularly to avoid paying too much for your energy.
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