Energy refunds galore if you pay by Direct Debit

20 February 2014

Hurray! Good energy news at last! Actually, you might want to sit down for this one. We’re so used to getting mightily shafted by energy companies that the idea of them giving our money back to us seems very strange indeed, but unbelievably, it's actually happening.

money jar

Yes, after EDF energy’s decision to refund credit balances if you pay by Direct Debit, five out of the Big Six have agreed to follow suit. So if you’ve got a credit balance of £5 or more, they’ll refund you automatically. British Gas, E-On, EDF, NPower and SSE are all on board. Only the tight wads at Scottish Power are reluctant to lower the threshold for automatic refunds.

Of course, your energy supplier will still try to ‘suggest’ that you roll it over to your next bill, and you’ll need to provide a meter reading before your annual energy review. But it sure beats having to make formal requests to claw back any excess you’ve paid. And it means your hard earned cash will no longer languish in the bulging coffers of the Big Six, racking up interest.

Which! calculate that 55% of energy customers pay by Direct Debit, and that 56% are in credit to the tune of an average of £161. Which means a nice Spring pay out for quite a lot of people.

But although it's tempting to go and spend it on new clothes, or a slap up meal at the Harvester, maybe we should put it towards something useful – like next winter's astronomical energy bills...

3 comments

  • matron
    Had a £1200 refund from British Gas last year. Ka-ching.
  • Keith D.
    I pay quarterly with SSE and I only pay what I am billed for (if I over pay it is my own fault for not giving them a meter reading). I think that Energy companies should bill you monthly for your usage (like phone companies do) rather than making you overpay! But then again, I think that car insurance should be billed a month in advance rather than paying it all up front (and having to pay tax on the loan if you want to pay it monthly!)
  • Jack S.
    Holy crap, the trolleys changed.

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