MILLIONS of Brits could be owed hundreds of pounds from their energy supplier due to a mild winter.
This is because almost two thirds of people pay for their gas and electricity usage through a fixed monthly direct debit, based on their estimated rather than actual usage.
Alamy Brits could be owed an average of £220million by their energy firms, according to MoneySuperMarket
Meanwhile, over half of the UK’s households (54 per cent) have never been automatically refunded when their account is in credit, according to research by comparison website MoneySuperMarket.
There are two main reasons why accounts build up credit, according to energy regulator Ofgem.
The first, is that unless you have a smart meter and regularly submit meter readings, your bills are estimated.
This means energy companies may be charging you for more energy than you actually use.
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The second issue, is that you while you may pay the same direct debit each month, some months you’re using less energy than others.
If you’re unsure whether you’re in credit, you can find out by taking meter readings and contacting your provider.
Under Ofgem rules people are entitled to any credit on request as long as up-to-date meter readings have been provided.
The majority of providers automatically refund credit balances once a year, but this is often subject to a minimum amount and refund policies vary depending on which company you are with, so you’ll need to confirm with your supplier directly or check the box below.
How to reclaim creditHERE’S how you can claim back money depending on the firm you’re with, according to MoneySuperMarket.British Gas: If a customer is over £75 in credit after a year, British Gas will automatically refund the credit into your bank account, as long as they’ve got an up-to-date meter reading. If it is less than £75, you’ll have to get in touch yourself to get it
Bulb: If your account is in credit by more than your monthly payment you can request a refund
Co-operative Energy: Customers can request a refund
EDF: A meter reading will need to be provided
E.ON: A meter reading will need to be provided and future direct debit payments may need to change, as they try to get your balance as close to zero as they can by your annual review
First Utility: Customers can request a refund
NPower: After an annual review, a credit of £5 of more will be automatically refunded, as long as the statement was based on an actual meter reading
Octopus Energy: A meter reading will need to be provided
OVO Energy: The minimum refund amount is £25, and the account must have enough credit to cover one direct debit payment, plus an extra £25 to request a refund
Scottish Power: If a customer’s annual review is based on actual meter readings and the balance is greater than one month’s payment or over £75, the balance will be automatically refunded. If your credit amount is less, Scottish Power will carry it forward into next year’s payment plan
SSE: Customers can request a refund you’ll need to provide an up-to-date meter reading
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In February, Ofgem announced the new energy price cap, which will push up bills for millions to £1,254 a year from April 1.
Shortly after, the Big Six energy firms were accused of running a cartel after they all hike prices to the same amount.
If you’re looking to switch provider, here are the cheapest deals on the market.
Ofgem video explains how the energy safeguard tariff or price cap works
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