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Nobody likes being ripped off. Nobody likes losing money.
But, is there anything better than that feeling of getting money back that somehow slipped away?
With the official start of British Summer Time closing in, new research by MoneySuperMarket has revealed Brits could collectively be owed £220 million by their energy provider. That’s because they have paid for more energy than they used this winter. You may well be one of those Brits!
Almost two thirds of people pay for their gas and electricity usage through a fixed monthly direct debit. This often results in energy being paid for, but not used. Now, this is the key point: If you’re unsure whether you are in credit you can find out by taking electricity and gas meter readings and contacting your provider with up-to-date information.
MoneySuperMarket’s research shows over half of those paying by direct debit (54%) have never been automatically refunded. Basically what you need to do is contact your provider – if you are owed money they will get that to you. They have to.
Although most energy providers offer a way to give readings online, nearly one in 10 (7%) have never given their provider a meter reading. 18–24 year olds are the least likely to take one (15%). That means they’re risking inaccuracies in bills and potentially leaving themselves out of pocket. You need to get your meter read in order to get your money back – so don’t hold back, ask, ask and ask again!
Co-Operative customers who pay by direct debit are the most in credit on average: £196. Next are those with Ovo (£139), Scottish Power (£126), EDF (£119), British Gas (£113) and Npower (£98).
Across the UK, those based in Northern Ireland are in credit by the highest amount and could reclaim an average of £209. This is over double those in Scotland (£92) and the South West of England (£93).
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. However this is often subject to a minimum amount and refund policies vary depending on which company you are with.