Search

You could have a refund of £117 for energy you have paid for but not used over winter

PUBLISHED: 08:46 26 April 2017 | UPDATED: 09:18 26 April 2017

Consumers overpaid an average of £117 by not using all the energy they paid for over winter, a survey found. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Consumers overpaid an average of £117 by not using all the energy they paid for over winter, a survey found. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Millions of British households could claim an average of £117 for energy they have paid for but did not use over the winter, figures suggest.

More than 11 million households, or 42%, are in credit to their energy companies, and nearly one in 10 could reclaim more than £200, uSwitch said.

Just 14% of consumers – around 3.7 million households – have emerged from winter in debt to their supplier, a survey for the price comparison site found.

Under Ofgem regulations, consumers are entitled to any credit on request, as long as they have provided up-to-date meter readings.

But while households could reclaim £1.3bn in total, 38% of consumers plan to leave their money in their account to cover price hikes.

Almost a third of customers (30%) say they will struggle to pay higher energy bills, while more than one in five (22%) say increases of £100 or more will force them into debt.

Millions of households paying by direct debit overpaid for their energy this winter as a result of warmer temperatures and steps to cut bills, according to uSwitch.

Two-thirds of customers (66%) took some form of action to cut their bills, such as turning down the thermostat (31%), turning down individual radiators (24%) and setting the heating to come on for less time every day (22%).

The Tory election manifesto is expected to include a promise to cut around £100 from energy bills by capping prices for the seven out of 10 households on standard variable tariffs.

Claire Osborne, uSwitch energy spokeswoman, said: “Under Ofgem rules, providers must repay any credit on request, so now is the time to read your meter, update your account and reclaim what you’re owed.

“Consumers who are building up credit to soften the blow of price hikes should instead consider reclaiming this money and switching to a cheaper deal.

“With an average credit refund of £117 and savings of over £350 by switching supplier, it could be a very effective way to control spiralling energy bills.”

:: Opinium surveyed 2,010 households online between March 31 and April 4.

Search hundreds of local jobs at Jobs24

Management Jobs

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Insight

The brightest stars in our business community were recognised last night as the winners of the EDP Business Awards 2017 were revealed.

Consumer borrowing is growing at 10% a year and inflation has hit 3%, meaning that the Bank of England’s decision on interest rates was the most eagerly-anticipated for years. BETHANY WHYMARK explores the potential impact on savers and borrowers.

Green 100

cover

Enjoy the Green 100
digital edition

Read

Meet the Team

Mark Shields

Business Editor

|

Chris Hill

Agricultural and Farming Editor

|

Business Most Read

Awards

Norfolk Future 50 EDP Business Awards Green 100