British Gas, OVO, Octopus Energy and E.ON customers urged to check if they’re owed £315 | Personal Finance | Finance

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suppliers are sitting on £3billion of households’ money – with the average home in credit having £210 left with their provider.

Consumers typically aim to enter spring with minimal or no credit usage after using it during the colder winter months. Spring and summer, when energy usage is lower, are ideal times to begin rebuilding credit levels again.

However, research by Uswitch.com, the comparison and switching service, found 16 million households (56 percent) still had credit with their energy supplier at the end of this winter.

One in seven (14 percent) have balances over £300, and five percent have more than £500 with their energy provider – but only a quarter (28 percent) plan to ask for it to be refunded.

Two in five households with more credit than this time last year said their balance built up over winter because their direct debit had been set too high.

Two-fifths attributed the increase in their credit balance to their efforts to reduce energy usage, while a third (33 percent) said they used the heating less often due to the mild winter.

According to the research, Newcastle is the UK’s energy-credit capital, with the average home storing £315 with their supplier, while Bristol has the least, at only £176.

Brighton has the highest proportion of households in credit, while Newcastle, London, and Birmingham jointly have the highest percentage in debt.

In recent years, households have largely been advised to keep some credit in their account to help pay for that have remained high over the spring and summer.

However, bills are now falling, with the energy price cap reduced by 12 percent in April, and a further decrease predicted in July.

Will Owen, energy expert at Uswitch.com, said: “Despite the expensive winter for energy bills, more than half of UK households are exiting winter with credit on their accounts.

“In recent years, when bills have been so high and unpredictable, it has been a good idea to keep a lot of credit with your energy supplier.

“However, the fall in prices this spring means that consumers with excessive credit may want to consider reclaiming some of it. If you have a high credit balance, you may want to ask your supplier to check that your direct debit is set at the right level for the amount of energy you use.”

Here are the highest average credit balances per UK city, with the percentage proportion of households in each with credit as of March 2024, according to Uswitch.

  • UK average – 56 percent – £210.08
  • Newcastle – 55 percent – £315.58
  • Southampton – 65 percent – £274.16
  • Manchester – 57 percent – £222.91
  • Edinburgh – 57 percent – £222.18
  • Brighton – 66 percent – £213.29
  • London – 54 percent – £209.98
  • Nottingham – 54 percent – £209.91
  • Cardiff – 58 percent – £209.83
  • Glasgow – 60 percent – £208.22
  • Norwich – 57 percent – £203.86
  • Birmingham – 62 percent – £202.66
  • Liverpool – 55 percent – £201.00
  • Sheffield – 55 percent – £194.93
  • Leeds – 60 percent – £192.59
  • Plymouth – 42 percent – £186.90
  • Bristol – 64 percent – £176.64.

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