During the pandemic, paying the bills feels a little more painful than usual. Energy bills are essential, but take a hefty chunk out of your bank account. What if we told you that UK homeowners are owed billions by energy suppliers?
Some 13 million homes in the UK are owed £1.7 billion by energy suppliers, according to SaveOnEnergy.com/uk – a 13.5 percent increase from last year.
Some providers don’t issue refunds unless you apply for one, so the money will go unclaimed if nothing is done about it.
The energy-saving experts have provided Express.co.uk with tips on how to apply for a refund from your energy supplier.
Linda Dodge explained exactyal how you can find out if you’re owed a refund, and how you can get your money back.
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You could be owed money from your energy supplier without realising.
Linda said: “Across the UK, people are owed money by their previous or current energy suppliers.
“However, many people are either not aware that they are in credit, or they don’t know how to go about claiming an energy refund from their suppliers.
“Fortunately, Ofgem has rules that should make it relatively easy to claim for the money that you’re owed.
Linda added: “If your current energy supplier owes you money, it’s referred to as a “live” account balance.
“There are several different ways that you can find out if your energy supplier owes you an energy refund.”
Linda listed the ways you can find out, they were:
- Online – If you pay your energy bills online, simply log in and check your account balance.
- Paper bills – If you receive paper bills, your latest bill should tell you if you are in credit.
- Contact customer service – If you can’t find a recent bill, simply get in touch with your energy supplier and it should be able to tell you whether you have overpaid or not.
She pointed out: “It’s also worth remembering that three of the big six energy suppliers – npower, ScottishPower and British Gas – will refund credit automatically, so you probably won’t need to request an electric refund.”
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How much money could I be owed?
The amount of money that your energy supplier may owe you is based on the amount of money that you have overpaid.
Linda said: “According to recent research, the average British person who pays by direct debit is £108 in credit with their energy provider.
“Of course, it’s possible that you’re owed significantly more or less than this amount.
“For example, if you regularly switch providers and you’ve overpaid with many of your old suppliers, you may be owed hundreds of pounds.
“To find out for sure, you’ll need to look at a recent bill or get in touch with your energy supplier.”
How can I find out if my previous energy supplier owes me an electric refund?
You may be owed an electric refund from your previous supplier.
Linda explained: “If your old energy supplier owes you money, it’s referred to as a “closed” account balance.
“Aside from looking back at your bills from your previous energy supplier, there is a scheme called My Energy Credit that helps people who have moved or switched suppliers reclaim money that they may be owed, regardless of how much time has passed.
“My Energy Credit’s website provides information about the claims process for all the major suppliers, so it’s a great jumping-off point for anyone who needs to find out whether their previous supplier owes them money.”
How do I get an energy refund from my current supplier?
Getting an energy refund is simple, all you need to do is ask them.
Linda advised: “Get in touch with your current energy supplier by phone and it should handle the rest of the process.”
How do I get an energy refund from my previous supplier?
Your previous supplier should have repaid your energy credit after you switched providers.
However, many providers fail to do this, so what do you do if they haven’t?
Linda said: “You’ll need to pursue the energy refund yourself in this case.
“To get started, just call up your previous supplier, and it will explain the process to you over the phone.”
How long will I need to wait to get my electric refund?
There is no set amount of time you have to wait to get your electric refund.
Linda said: “The length of time that a refund takes will depend on your supplier.
“In some cases, you should be able to get it within eight weeks, although it may take months.
“Ultimately, this is down to the energy supplier, so the sooner you make a request for a refund, the sooner the money will be in your account.”
What happens if my supplier refuses to give me an electric refund?
If your supplier refuses to give you a refund, you should complain.
Linda explained: “If your energy company is not refunding credit readily, or within eight weeks of the request, you can lodge a complaint with the Energy Ombudsman.
“If the Ombudsman agrees to take on your case, they will provide you with a response within six to eight weeks.
“If the ruling is in your favour, a letter will be sent to your energy supplier saying what needs to be done, and if an electric refund is required, it will have 28 days to repay you.”
Can I get a power outage refund?
You can claim a power outage refund if your supplier was at fault.
However, if the power outage was due to an error by you, for example, you didn’t pay your bill or a fuse was tripped, then you won’t be entitled to a refund.
Linda explained: “If the outage was planned, then your provider is required to give you two days’ notification.
“If it didn’t provide you with this notification, you are entitled to claim £30, although you must do this within 30 days of the outage.
“If fewer than 5,000 homes experienced a gas or electricity outage for over 12 hours, each home will get £75, plus £35 for each subsequent 12-hour period.
“If more than 5,000 homes were affected, each home will get £75, plus £35 for each subsequent 12-hour period, but the amount you can claim for is capped at £300.
“If the outage was caused by poor weather conditions, each home will get £70 if they went without power for 24 hours, and a further £70 for each subsequent 12-hour period, capped at £700.
“In order to get the outage refund, you will need to contact your energy supplier.”
How can I make my energy bills more accurate?
If you want to reduce the amount of time you spend dealing with energy refunds, making your bills as accurate as possible can be a great help.
Linda advises: “One of the best things to do is provide regular meter readings to your supplier.
“By doing this once every three months, your supplier can make a much more accurate prediction of your energy consumption.
“This way you’ll be less likely to overpay.”
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