Why you might be owed money by your energy supplier

If you pay your energy bill on a direct debit, then there is a chance that you may be owed money by your energy supplier. If you previously were not working off a smart meter, you would be paying an estimated amount by your energy company – meaning that if there has been an overestimate, you may be due some money back. This will depend on the amount of energy you are using as if you are using less than the estimation, that is when you will be owed money.

How do I know if I am owed money or not?

You will not know until you ask. Not every supplier will detail credit on your bill. If you have switched energy suppliers and do so on a regular basis then you may have a backlog of companies to call to check whether you are owed. Not every business will settle with you the money you owe unless you ask, as it is a job in itself! Make sure you have your old account number ready and they will be able to locate your refund if you have one. If you are with a supplier for a long period of time and recently switched to a smarter billing method, you may want to consider leaving that credit in your account for two reasons:

  • Covers you in the colder months: Energy is always more expensive in the colder months, so back up with your credit and avoid extra payments.
  • Covers you if you are ever stuck for cash: Imagine losing your job or struggling with payments for a month. Having extra credit in your account gives you that security.

When do I claim?

You can technically do this at any time, but as we have previously mentioned you are probably best leaving some money in the account to keep you in credit to cover high energy costs in colder months.

For example, your bill shows that your account is $45 in credit after paying for your energy bill, but your next direct debit is showing £60. In this scenario, we would recommend leaving in the credit as:

  • It is not a huge amount
  • You will end up forking $60 instead of $15 the following month to cover costs

If your account is in credit by over $100, you may be better off taking some money out but as a rule of thumb, if your direct debit exceeds the credit limit, it is much better to leave it in the account.

How do I do it?

Whether you are claiming from a previous provider, or from your current one, it is as simple as calling up and going through your account details, and the process should take no longer than a phone call. You may have to wait a few business days for the cheque or balance to clear in your account, but aside from that, it is a fairly simple process.

Author: Claire Stapley
Claire Stapley is ElectricityComparison.com.au's Energy Editor, based in Melbourne Australia. Claire is a founding member of ElectricityComparison.com.au News and Energy Team.