Half of UK homes owed average £100 in overpaid energy credit
15th April 2020 | Residential Energy
Almost 13 million households across the UK are owed money by their energy supplier, with an average reclaim amount of £136. However, one in 10 billpayers could be entitled to more than £200 in overpaid credit. Compared to last year, the amount of outstanding credit has risen 13.5% or £230m to a total of £1.7bn.
The research from comparison and switching service uSwitch.com found that around half of billpayers don’t know how to claim a refund while one in 10 don’t know whether they are in credit or debt to their supplier.
If you pay for your energy by direct debit, you can find yourself in credit as the monthly payments don’t exactly match your gas and electricity use. While the direct debit amounts stay the same every month, energy use naturally changes during the colder and hotter months of the year. This means you should be in credit with your supplier following the summers months, and in debt o the provider during winter.
But uSwitch reveals that 46% of UK households will come out of winter this year being owed money. Some energy providers don’t automatically issue refunds to customers whose accounts are in credit, meaning any money owed can go unclaimed for months. Almost six in ten (57%) report that their energy supplier has never automatically credited their account. And for half, they’re not aware of how to claim outstanding credit.
However, uSwitch also found that nearly four million households (14%) are in debt to their provider at the end of winter, a total of £548m for the UK. This is an average of £142 each.
During the coronavirus lockdown where finances are under pressure, uSwitch said billpayers should think about whether they want to reclaim the credit, or use it as a buffer to help pay for the extra gas and electricity they will use while at home.
More information available on the website below