After a warm winter, there's a good chance that some energy consumers could be owed money. It is thought that the energy companies owe somewhere in the region of £1.5 billion, as their customers have accrued credit on their account.
This is according to the folks at uSwitch, who reckon that the average household is owed £132, if they've paid by direct debit, and have used less energy than they've been billed for. Of course, some suppliers will automatically refund customers if they've paid too much, but you'd be forgiven for not trusting the energy companies.
What you need to do, is check your electricity and gas meters, and get in touch with your energy supplier and see if they've got an up-to-date reading, rather than an estimate. Thanks to Ofgem's rules, you can get any credit you've gained on request, provided you've given your supplier a reading.
Tom Lyons, from uSwitch, says: "After one of the UK’s mildest winters on record, millions of consumers may well have paid out hundreds of pounds for energy they simply didn't use."
"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. Today’s findings underline why providing regular, up to date meter readings is so important – it’s the only way to make sure you only pay for what you use and avoid the risk of falling into significant credit or debt."
"For anyone who finds themselves in debt, we recommend talking to your supplier about managing your account now to prevent the situation deteriorating any further."
Of course, you can let the credit roll-over and get money off your next bill, but if you'd like a bit of extra cash in your account to go on the lash with or go shopping, you know what you need to do. Some people will be able to get as much as £200 back, depending on the arrangement they've got with their supplier, so if you've got a spare 10 minutes, give it a shot! And good luck.