UK energy suppliers owe around £980 million to homeowners in overpaid bills.
That’s according to research by Gocompare which stated more than 10 million customers are owed £95 on average in gas and electricity bills.
It also stated a quarter of those with credit balances have overpaid more than £100.
Around 24% said their energy supplier had refunded the overpayment without being asked to while 13% asked for a refund and 40% left the overpayment to sort itself out over time.
Nearly 19% of homeowners in credit with their energy bills asked their providers to reduce their monthly direct debit payments, the research added.
Tom Wilson, Gocompare.com’s energy spokesman said: “Typically, energy companies review direct debit accounts twice a year and make any adjustments to the monthly payments accordingly. Where accounts are found to be £5 in credit at the review date, most of the Big Six energy companies give customers an automatic refund – provided the calculations are based on an actual meter reading.
“Energy companies are also obliged to refund overpayments whenever customers request them to. So if at any time you find that you have a surplus on your energy bills you can contact your supplier to ask for it to be repaid to you but again, you’ll need to provide an up-to-date meter reading.”
Lawrence Slade, Chief Executive of Energy UK said suppliers “regularly review customers’ direct debit arrangements to secure they are accurate”.
He added: “Many customers choose to pay by direct debit as it is a convenient way to budget and spread energy costs which tend to fluctuate with energy usage throughout the year. Customers can build up credit over summer months which is then used to pay for energy over the winter. If a customer has any questions about their direct debit arrangements they should contact their provider.”
Mr Slade will be speaking at the Energy Live 2015 Conference tomorrow at the Barbican in London.