Martin Lewis the Money Saving Expert urged Britons to check if their are in credit with their energy provider today.
The financial expert said: “Check now if your energy bill’s in credit. As if it is at this time of year, you’re likely due cash back.”
Speaking to presenters on the popular ITV programme, he said: “If you’re one of about 70 per cent who pay for electricity or gas bills by direct debit, check now if you’re due credit back – the timing is perfect, so don’t delay in checking.”
He went on to explain that this time of year is the most likely time that Britons could claim back credit from their energy provider.
The amount they could claim back is in the hundreds, so it may well benefit your pocket to look into this.
Martin told This Morning viewers: “With most direct debit energy bills, you pay the same each month, to smooth out the cash flow.
“In other words, you overpay in the low-use summer months, to prevent bill shock in the costly winter months.
“Yet direct debits are usually an estimate of your usage, which means they can be, and often are, wrong – though as it’s cyclical it’s often tough to tell, until this point of year.”
In around May your energy account will bottom out and be in debit, and as it can take a bit of time to filter into your bill, this is a spot-on moment to check.
It means everyone, regardless of when you switched, should usually be at the lowest point, and not in credit.
If you’re in credit by over a month’s direct debit, then assuming you give regular meter readings (if not, do one first) or have a smart meter, check your energy account online or on the phone.
Martin said: “To be a month’s worth in credit right now is a lot, so unless you’re with one of the few firms that pay you interest on it, politely request your provider explains why, and if its reason isn’t good enough, ask for the cash back.”
The impact can be huge, as Claire tweeted: “@MartinSLewis Phoned my energy supplier as I was paying £147/mth and was £960 in credit. They reduced my DD to £80 and I got a £570 refund.”
Full help in Martin’s how to reclaim £100s in energy credit blog.
Yesterday, Martin Lewis addressed the BBC TV licence fee.
Today Martin said: “My initial response was that they have chosen the benefit which is one of the worst claimed benefits, which I find somewhat frustrating.”
He hoped the BBC used their resources to communicate that people should be claiming state pension credit if they are eligible.
He said 1.3 million homes are eligible for the credit, but don’t claim it.
He said: “40 per cent of those eligible don’t claim it.
“Let’s do this together,” he said, “let’s make this a sea change. Lets talk about this, lets make this a national conversation.”