How to reclaim money from your energy supplier

How to reclaim money from your energy supplier

More than 8 million households are owed money by their energy supplier. Find out if you're due a refund and how to claim.

lovemoney staff

Household money

lovemoney staff
Updated on 26 March 2019

Millions of energy customers owed money

British households could reclaim £909 million for energy they paid for but didn’t use, new research suggests.

The average household in credit with their energy supplier is owed £108, according to price comparison site MoneySuperMarket.

Households in Northern Ireland are owed £209 on average, whilst Co-Operative customers are owed £196.

Over half of us pay our bills by fixed direct debit, with the amount we pay based on an estimate of the energy we will use. With winter over – the time where we all use the most energy – many of us have paid for more energy than we have actually used.

Unfortunately, 54% of those paying by direct debit don't get automatically refunded: under Ofgem rules, you need to send your energy supplier a reading (provider rules vary - see below).

With a rise in the energy price cap pushing bills up by an average of £117 next week, now is the time to act, explained Stephen Murray, energy expert at MoneySuperMarket.

"The easiest way to find out if you’re owed money is by taking a meter reading and giving it to your provider, so they know exactly how much energy you’re using, rather than just charging you based on estimated usage."

"For many people bills are big enough without paying for energy you don’t use!" 

Read on to find out more about getting a refund and cutting your bills in the long-term.

See how much you could save by switching energy deals

Automatic refunds and smart meters

Before getting started, don't forget that direct debits are worked out to cover a whole year of energy. So it’s normal for an account to be in credit in summer and even out again in winter.

Three of the Big Six energy firms and some independent suppliers have policies to automatically refund credit (subject to meter readings being submitted) to energy customers that pay by direct debit.

British Gas and Scottish Power will automatically refund you if you're more than £75 in credit. npower provides refunds if you're more than £5 in credit. EDF Energy will turn the refund into a discount on your next 12 payments.

Refunds are automatically paid once a year on the anniversary of when you first signed up to your tariff.

If you've got a smart meter

Households with smart meters are unlikely to be eligible for a refund. That's because smart meters provide constant meter readings to suppliers so, in theory, you're only paying for what you've used.

Unfortunately, the first generation of smart meters have a tendency to 'go dumb' when you switch suppliers. Check with your new supplier to see if it's working.

If you don't have a smart meter and aren't with a supplier that gives automatic refunds, you'll need to get the ball rolling

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How to get a refund

Different energy suppliers have different rules when it comes to getting a refund.

We've only included suppliers that don't provide automatic refunds (see above).


Submit a meter reading online and then email requesting a refund. You'll need a month's worth of credit in your account to cover the next month's statement.

Co-operative Energy

Submit a meter reading online to get a refund.


Submit a meter reading online or by calling 0345 052 0000. You can then call or email to request the refund.

First Utility (now Shell Energy)

Contact customer service on 0330 094 5800 or online.

Octopus Energy

Email to request a refund.

OVO Energy

Check My OVO to see when a statement is due, then submit a meter reading online. Check the statement to see if the account is in credit then request a refund using MyOVO.


Submit a meter reading online or by calling 0345 026 7033. Then fill in the online refund form.

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Energy supplier phone numbers

If you're struggling to use online services or need more advice, give your supplier a call.

Here are contact details for the Big Six and major independent suppliers.

Energy supplier

Number to call

Opening hours

British Gas (and Sainsbury’s Energy)

0800 048 0202

Monday to Friday: 8am-8pm

Saturday: 8am-6pm

Bulb 0300 30 30 635 9am-6pm Monday-Friday

EDF Energy

0800 056 7777

Monday to Friday: 8am-8pm

Saturday: 8.30am-2pm


General: 0333 202 4610

Bill queries: 0333 202 4606

Monday to Friday: 8am-8pm

Saturday: 8am-6pm


0800 073 3000

Monday to Friday: 8am-8pm

Saturday: 8am-4pm

SSE (and Atlantic, Southern Electric, Scottish Hydro, Swalec and M&S Energy)

0345 026 2658

Monday to Friday: 8am-8pm

Saturday: 8am-2pm

Scottish Power

0800 027 0072

Monday to Friday: 8am-10pm

Saturday: 8.30am-6pm

Co-operative Energy

0800 954 0693

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday: 8am-8pm

Thursday: 8.30am-7.30pm

Saturday: 9am-4pm

First Utility

01926 320 700

Monday to Friday: 8am-8pm

Saturday: 9am-4pm

Good Energy

0800 254 0000

Monday to Friday: 8am-8pm

Saturday: 8am-1pm

Ovo Energy

0800 599 9440

Monday to Friday: 8am-8pm

Saturday: 9am-5pm

Octopus Energy

0808 164 1088

9am — 5pm, Monday to Friday

Utility Warehouse

0333 777 0 777

Monday to Friday: 9am-5.30pm

Saturday: 9am-4.30pm

How to complain

You could also be owed money from a previous supplier so it’s worth checking out at the same time.

Energy firms are meant to refund any credit on your account when you switch to another supplier but they’re pretty rubbish at doing it.

The simplest way to find out if you were in credit before you left is to get in touch with your old supplier.

Use an old bill to find your account number and the exact address of the property supplied to make the process a lot simpler.

If you don’t have any old paperwork, but remember the supplier, give them a call anyway as they will be able to use other details to track down your account.

If you can’t remember the name of your old supplier do some digging with old bank statements or ask old flatmates or landlords to see if they can recall a name.

Back in September 2014, Energy UK set up a website called My Energy Credit to help people claim money back from their old energy companies. It lists contact details of the Big Six firms and what you will need to make a claim.

The average balance for those owed money stands at £50 per household according to the website.

The website claims it doesn’t matter how long has passed as legitimate claims are always refunded, but it tends to be easier if the claim relates to the last six years.

If your old provider wasn’t one of the Big Six firms, just give them a call to find out what you need to do (phone numbers are listed further down this guide).

See how much you could save by switching energy deals

Making a complaint

If your provider doesn’t resolve your refund request within eight weeks or refuses to make the payment you can complain to the Energy Ombudsman for free.

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