Gas and electricity Updated:
No-one likes paying more than they need to for their gas and electricity, but unfortunately, many of us end up doing just that. Isn't it time you got it back? Happily, the industry has stepped up and is working hard to reunite customers with the cash they're owed, so it's time to see if you're one of them.
My Energy Credit
The My Energy Credit campaign, run by Energy UK, is an industry-wide initiative designed to help those who have moved or switched providers reclaim the credit they could have languishing in their old accounts. A website was launched in September, but it's been announced this week that customers will be given a telephone number and Freepost address to use as well, ensuring that those who aren't online can be reunited with their cash.
And the amount isn't insignificant, either. The average customer is thought to be owed around £50, and that could be a nice little sum to help cover a few extra household expenses – or even a couple of last-minute Christmas presents.
The campaign has been welcomed by industry regulator Ofgem, as Philip Cullum, consumer partner at the regulator, comments: "[The] launch of the My Energy Credit campaign is an encouraging step by the six largest energy companies to address Ofgem's call to reunite former customers with their cash. It's good news for consumers, and we recommend that you contact My Energy Credit if you believe you may be owed money."
Of course, this is just the first step to repairing customer confidence in the industry, as consumers have become widely disillusioned thanks to ongoing price hikes and poor service. As such, Ofgem has urged suppliers to continue focusing on delivering good customer service, and has called on them to "do everything within their powers to return the money and prevent a similar situation from happening again. Ofgem will continue to monitor suppliers' progress and keep the need for action under review".
What should I do?
Nonetheless, the progress so far is to be welcomed, and if you think you could be owed money, it's time to get the process started. Head to the My Energy Credit Campaign[LR1] website, call the helpline (helpline on 0370 737 7770), or write to: Freepost RTHL-ZYBU-KBCC, My Energy Credit, 47 Aylesbury Road, Thame, OX9 3PG – you could have that extra £50 in your pocket before you know it!
But, remember that there are other things you can do to save even more cash – and comparing tariffs is a great place to start. Price comparison site energyhelpline.com has calculated that switching suppliers could result in a typical saving of £371, and if you're feeling the chill, that extra cash could go straight back into heating your home for double the amount of gas at no extra cost.
"Millions can get out of fuel poverty by switching," said Mark Todd, director of energyhelpline. "Our clear message to anyone struggling to afford their bills is don't shiver in silence; switch! Then you can use the saving to heat your home properly."
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Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.
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