uSwitch recently revealed that despite higher disposable incomes, lower inflation and price cuts to energy tariffs, the number of households in debt to their energy supplier is at almost four million.
Collectively, these households owe £507 million, yet it turns out that the energy suppliers themselves could owe consumers even more!
New credit research
New figures suggest that 46% of homes could be owed money amounting to £1.1bn, that’s an average refund of £93 each.
One in ten UK homes could even be in for a refund of £200. It’s likely that these households paid estimated bills over their usage amount, and are now entitled to some of their money back — a welcome boost to personal finances no doubt.
To avoid overpaying in the first instance, you should take regular meter readings so your supplier knows exactly how much energy you are using and should be paying for. This can be done by phoning your supplier, or using your online account management.
The rules around reclaiming
Check your bill to find out whether or not you’re in credit, or phone your energy supplier if you’re still not sure.
Many energy companies, including the majority of the big six, now refund credit automatically on the anniversary of when you switched to them as a supplier.
Although it may seem taxing and laborious to reclaim any money you think might be owed to you by an energy company, it is probably easier than you think. Energy companies have to return the excess amount you’ve paid if you ask for it, unless there is a good reason not to.
Ann Robinson, Director of Consumer Policy at uSwitch.com, says:
“Under rules introduced a few years ago, suppliers must refund this money to you if requested, so claiming what is yours has never been easier.”
Even if you’ve been paying more than you should be, being in credit doesn’t mean you’re on the cheapest tariff for your household, and switching could still save you money.