New research released by MoneySupermarket shows that more than half of Brits are in credit with their energy supplier, by an average of £73.
With winter energy bills expected to be higher than usual, the price comparison site says consumers with accounts in credit could reduce the impact of bigger bills by leaving their surpluses untouched.
The highest average amount of credit
Almost a quarter of UK residents with an account in credit are owed between £61 to £100, while a further 10 per cent are owed between £101 and £200. The regions with the highest average amount of credit are:
London - £90North West - £81Yorkshire - £77West Midlands - £76South East - £76Scotland - £75North East - £75South West - £73Wales - £62East Midlands - £60East Anglia - £54Northern Ireland - £39
Age also seems to be a key factor, with over 55s most likely to be in credit, and least likely to be in debt. Older people are 30 per cent less likely to be in debt than those aged between 25 and 34.
A total of 14 per cent of Brits currently have an energy account in debt, with the average owed £124. The regions with the highest average amount owed are:
East Midlands - £165South East - £158North West - £139Wales - £135Scotland - £131East Anglia - £125London - £122South West - £108Yorkshire - £98North East - £88West Midlands - £82
Should I claim my money back?
Stephen Murray, energy expert at MoneySuperMarket, said, “After a warm summer, it’s not unusual to be in credit on your energy account. You should check whether you are by providing your supplier with an accurate, up-to-date meter reading. If you’re in credit, you’ll be entitled to claim whatever you’re owed.
“With a very cold winter predicted, you might want to consider whether you leave any surplus in your account – it could help to make sure that when spring arrives, you don’t end up with a hiked up direct debit or a hefty bill to bring your energy account back into credit.
“While the picture may be positive for some people in terms of credit on their account, there are many still struggling to stay on top of their energy bills.
“The first thing to do is check your tariff - if you’re on an expensive standard variable tariff, you should switch to a new deal as soon as you can. Doing so could immediately save you up to £238 annually on your energy bills.”