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Reclaim energy bill credit

Millions owed get money back

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Marcel | Edited by Steve N

Archived May 2017

Energy overpayments

If you've switched energy in the last six years and were in credit, some providers operated a "don't ask, don't get" policy. So ask now.

The regulator Ofgem says suppliers are now doing much more to return cash taken from customers who'd overpaid on bills before switching - but it says there's still 97 million left unclaimed from closed accounts since 2014. If you think you might be owed money, it's worth checking with your old supplier. Here's how.

Reclaiming overpayments in a nutshell

When you switched energy firms, if you were in credit, you should've been given that money back. Yet for years, many energy firms pocketed the cash. Sometimes they claimed they couldn't contact you as you'd moved house, otherwise they just kept schtum.

There are other instances when unclaimed credit may have been left on an account, such as after a customer passed away or if you didn't cancel a direct debit in time (so they kept on taking payments after you'd left).

How much can you get back?

It depends on your circumstances, but if you've regularly been switching provider and have overpaid with all or many of your old suppliers, you could be owed 100s. You're entitled to get your FULL overpayment back, plus possibly some interest on top.

This is because many suppliers earn interest on the unclaimed credit. While there are no rules saying they must refund it, on principle they should, so ALWAYS ask.

Energy UK My Energy Credit

Energy UK has set up the website My Energy Credit which aims to help people claim money back from their old energy companies. It lists contact details for the big six (as we do below) and information about their claims processes.

Quick questions

I wasn't with one of the big six. Can I get a refund?

Do I have to call my previous supplier(s), or will they contact me?

I'm in credit on my current bill, can I get a refund?

Don't let this put you off switching! Many people massively overpay for energy and can save 100s. Yet it takes five minutes to slash your bills. Use our free Cheap Energy Club comparison to find your best deal. Then it'll monitor your tariff to alert you when to switch again, ensuring you get cheap bills constantly.

How do I reclaim overpayments?

Find out if you've overpaid

There are THREE ways to find out if you've overpaid, and it depends on what information you've got to hand.

A. Got old paperwork? If you have an old bill from a previous supplier then you'll have your account number. You can quickly find out if you're owed money from your supplier by ringing it and quoting your account number.

B. Know what supplier you were with? If you just know what supplier you were with, you can call it to see if you're owed money. You might have to provide some proof of ID along with your past address.

C. Can't remember your old supplier? You might have to do some digging see if you can find any old bank statements or, if you were renting, check with any old flatmates or perhaps even an old landlord to see if they remember the supplier. Your current supplier might be able to tell you who your old provider was by checking the UK database.

We don't think there's a time limit for claims. Having said that, it's easier within the last six years.

Credit refund contact details for suppliers

Ofgem only looked into refunds owed by the big six. Yet it may be worth calling your previous supplier even if it's one of the smaller firms, so we've included contact details for those too.

Many get vexed at being put on hold for an age, so avoid calling at the busiest times. These are usually any time Monday, lunchtimes, month ends and starts, 8.30am-9am weekdays and when people get home from work.

British Gas 0800 048 0202 (free from landlines)
Mon-Fri 8am-8pm, Sat 8am-6pm
Also includes Sainsbury's Energy.
EDF energy 0800 056 7777 (free from landlines)
Mon-Fri, 8am-8pm, Sat 8am-2pm
E.on 0345 052 0000
Mon-Fri 8am-8pm, Sat 8am-6pm
0800 073 3000
Mon-Fri 8am-8pm, Sat 8am-6pm
0800 027 0072
Mon-Fri 8am-10pm, Sat 8.30am-6pm
0345 071 9710
Mon-Fri 8am-8pm, Sat 8am-2pm
Also includes Atlantic, Southern Electric, Scottish Hydro, Swalec, M&S Energy.
0800 954 0693
Mon-Fri 8am-8pm, Sat 9am-4pm
0800 028 6699
Mon-Fri 8.30am-5pm
0192 632 0700
Mon-Fri 8am-8pm, Sat 9am-4pm
0800 254 0000
Mon-Fri 8am-8pm, Sat 8am-1pm
0800 599 9440
Mon-Fri 8am-8pm, Sat 9am-5pm
0333 777 0777
Mon-Fri 9am-5:30pm, Sat 9am-4.30pm

Get your money back

This is easy basically, if you call an old supplier and ask for the cash back, it needs to refund you. The supplier will go through the process on the phone or will tell you to write in. Every big six supplier says past customers can go through the process on the phone.

There may be rare cases where you'll have to write, for example when you've given your name, address and other information, but the supplier can't trace your old account. Here you may need to include proof of ID such as a copy of a passport or driving licence.

Once you've gone through the process of either writing or calling, you should get the full overpaid amount. How long it'll take varies by supplier. You should get it within eight weeks, but some have had to wait months. Refunds will be paid by cheque or straight into your account.

Here are some success stories from the forum to inspire you.

Second day in a row you've saved me over 150. Today, it was 170 reclaiming credit from old energy supplier. Thank you. Wiggo Feb 2016

Eight minutes work calling my old energy suppliers, got 140 refunded after leaving in credit. Why don't more people do this? Aston May 2015

The balance owing to me from17 months ago(which they never got back to me about) was... 1,364.22. A brilliant result but I do feel an idiot for not knowing how much I'd overpaid, so I urge everyone to do the same as me and check. Col.escargot Feb 2015

Quick questions

How do I claim for a deceased family member's account?

How do I claim if I was renting?

What to do if they don't play ball

If your provider doesn't resolve your refund query within eight weeks of your first request for it (although SSE has six weeks to resolve it), you can complain to the free, independent Energy Ombudsman.

Once you've contacted the ombudsman, if it agrees to take on your case it will send a response within six to eight weeks. If it rules in your favour, it will send a letter to your provider (and you) detailing what the provider needs to do. If the provider needs to pay you a refund it has 28 days.

In December 2015 Npower was fined a record 26 million for failing to treat customers fairly. See the Npower fined record 26 million MSE news story.

Tell us how it's gone

We've done our research for this guide, but we need your help to make it even better. So we would appreciate any feedback.

We'd also like to know how you're getting on with having your money paid back. Are suppliers easy to deal with, or are you finding it an uphill struggle to get what you're owed? Please let us know how you got on in our Energy bills reclaiming forum discussion.

Free tool if you're having a problem

This tool helps you draft your complaint and manage it too. It's totally free, and offered by a firm called Resolver which we like so much we work with it to help people get complaints justice.

If the complaint isn't resolved, Resolver will escalate it to the free Ombudsman Services.

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