Make your energy company work for youHow to get your energy supplier to pay you money
12 March 2016
In an ideal world, every energy supplier would offer superb service and instantly hand over any money it owes you. But we know that this doesn't happen. So find out how to ensure your energy provider doesn't get the better of you.
You could be owed money by your energy supplier. To help make sure you don't miss out on what you're owed, we've asked our energy experts to pull together their top three tips to claiming cash from your provider.
Not all energy suppliers are built the same, though. Our annual energy survey asks customers to rate their energy company, so you can find out which firms offer the best customer service and value for money.
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1. Don't lose out on compensation
If an energy company doesn't give you two days' notice about a planned power cut, you can claim £30 compensation. But you need to be quick, as you have one month to claim.
In the case of an unplanned power cut, you can claim £75 if the power was out for longer than 12 hours and £35 for every following hour. If more than 5,000 homes are affected by an unplanned power cut, you can claim a maximum of £300 for the extra following hours.
You can get £75 compensation if your power goes off more than four times in one year.
If the unplanned power cut was due to bad weather, you will get £70 if the power was off for 24 hours. Then £70 for every following 12 hours, up to a maximum of £700. This is one situation where you do not have to make a claim through your supplier, as it should automatically pay you (although you might still have to chase it up).
2. Complain and get money
If you have a formal complaint with your energy company that's not fixed within eight weeks, such as an overcharged energy bill, you can make a complaint with the Ombudsman Services.
It will mediate a resolution that might end up with your energy company fixing the problem and being forced to offer an apology or, even better, a financial award that's most often about £100.
3. Are you owed money?
If you're switching energy companies, your old account may be in credit. Make sure you ask your old energy provider to check.
The trade association Energy UK's My Energy Credit scheme helps you find lost credit at myenergycredit.com. It says households are owed £50 credit on average. You can claim this back even if you switched years ago.
The scheme can only give you credit details from the Big Six, as energy market regulator Ofgem hasn't yet asked smaller companies to provide the details.
If you think you may have leftover credit with a smaller energy company, you'll have to contact the company directly.