Press release:

Energy suppliers could owe £1.1 billion to customers

  • 12 million households (46%) could be owed a total of £1.1 billion by energy suppliers – or an average of £93 each[1]
  • Over one in ten (13%) homes could be in line for more than £200[3]
  • At the same time, almost four million households (15%) collectively owe suppliers £507 million[2]
  • uSwitch.com is urging consumers to take control of their bills by supplying up-to-date meter readings.

Some 12 million homes could give their finances a boost by reclaiming £1.1 billion of credit from energy suppliers, according to a new survey of consumers by uSwitch.com, the independent price comparison and switching service [1].

The new figures suggest that the average household in credit could reclaim £93[1] from their supplier, with over one in ten (13%) in line for more than £200[3]. The research indicates that as many as half of all UK homes (46%) could be owed a refund. These consumers are most likely to have used less energy than they paid for, highlighting the importance of taking regular meter readings for accurate bills.

While many households could be in line for a refund, there is also a significant number in debt to their supplier. uSwitch.com 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 has soared to almost four million – 260,000 more than last year[2].

Ann Robinson, Director of Consumer Policy at uSwitch.com, says: “Now is the time to check your energy account to see if your supplier owes you money after the winter. Energy bills are often based on estimates rather than actual usage, so can be way off the mark. 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.

“However, many consumers are also in debt with suppliers. It’s important to remember that accounts can fluctuate between credit and debt depending on the season. Being in credit can provide a buffer against the colder months when usage typically goes up. The best advice for ensuring that your bills are accurate is to give your supplier regular meter readings.”

— ends —

Notes to editors

Research was conducted online by Opinium between 1st May and 5th May 2015, among 2,002 UK adults. All responses were from those who were responsible for paying the energy bill.

  1. When asked ‘Thinking about your most recent energy bill from your supplier which of the following best applies to you? 46% of respondents were in credit to their supplier. 26 million households in the UK. 46% of 26 million = 11.9 million. The mean amount of those in credit was £93. £93 x 11.9 million = 1.11billion
  2. http://www.uswitch.com/media-centre/2015/06/consumers-owe-energy-suppliers-507m-43m-more-than-last-year/
  3. When asked ‘Thinking about your most recent energy bill from your supplier which of the following best applies to you? 7% responded ‘in credit between £201 and £300, 4% responded ‘in credit between £301 and £500, 2% responded ‘in credit more than £500. These percentages added together = 13%

About us

Launched in September 2000, uSwitch is an online and telephone price comparison and switching service, helping consumers get a better deal on gas, electricity, broadband, TV services, mobiles and personal finance products including mortgages, credit cards, car and home insurance. Last year we saved UK consumers over £278 million on their energy bills alone.

Customers can sign up to an account that automatically monitors the energy market and notifies them when they can move to a cheaper tariff, while broadband customers can conduct a speed test to find out how fast their broadband is and identify the best deal for their postcode.

The multi award-winning 'Switching Made Simple' app allows customers to compare energy, broadband, credit card, mobile and SIM-only deals – and uSwitch also has a UK contact centre manned by energy and broadband experts. Customers can post their latest energy bills to FREEPOST USWITCH to receive a free call back and be guided through the comparison process, or they can email customerservices@uswitch.com with their postcode and usage details.

uSwitch is owned by ZPG, which operates some of the UK’s most trusted digital brands that help empower smarter property and household decisions including Zoopla, Money, PrimeLocation and SmartNewHomes.

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