MARTIN Lewis has explained how you could claim back hundreds of pounds from your energy supplier.
The MoneySavingExpert said payments could be due if your gas and electricity firm has overestimated how much you should be paying.Martin Lewis speaking during his ITV Martin Lewis Money Show
Speaking during his Martin Lewis Money Show on ITV, he explained how most energy firms estimate how much you should be paying and then divide this amount by 12 to cover the year.
But in some cases, Martin says these guesses can be “widely wrong”.
In fact, the money guru revealed how one person who tweeted him was in credit of more than £900 to their energy supplier after overpaying for 11 months.
If you’ve been paying too much, and you’re in credit to your supplier, you are entitled to ask for that money back.
But there may be some scenarios where you want to hold off on getting a refund straight away.
This is because you’ll pay higher bills some months to help smooth out more expensive energy-use periods later in the year.
Martin therefore recommends asking for a refund if you’re in credit worth more than one month of your usual payments.
He said: “If you pay by monthly direct debit, you’ll know that’s for them to smooth your bills out.
“What they usually do, although not in every case, is they work out how much you pay a year, divide it by 12 and that’s what you pay – but these can be widely wrong.”
Martin continued: “In most cases, the rough rule of thumb is if you’ve got one month of payment in credit it’s probably too much.”Martin explained how you’ll naturally be in credit and debt over the year
How to claim back £100s from your energy supplier
First, make sure your energy firm has the most up-to-date meter reading.
If your reading doesn’t match the energy use they have down for you, chances are they’ll want to update your monthly bills as you may not be paying the right amount anyway.
But if your meter readings are up-to-date, you can check if you are in credit or debt to your energy supplier.
You should be able to do this by finding your latest bill, checking your account online or by phoning your supplier.
If you’re in credit worth more than one month of your usual payments, and you want your money back, ask your energy firm to return the funds.
How much credit you’re in likely depends on your energy cycle, as you’ll typically be in credit for part of the year, and in debt for other parts.
This is because energy firms usually estimate your monthly use, but there will be times – for example, during colder months – when you’ll use more energy.
As an example, using data from energy firm Octopus Energy, Martin explained that a household whose bill cycle starts on January 1 will typically build up debt all the way until the start of May.
You would then start to build credit until around November, when you’ll then start to fall into debt again – so paying slightly more on some months balances this out over the year.