Claim back credit from your energy supplier

Ofgem, the body that regulates energy suppliers, published data for April 2023 to March 2024 showing that: 

  • the average amount of credit in energy accounts for people who pay for their gas and electricity by fixed Direct Debit was £3.7 billion. 
  • the average household energy account was in credit by £175 at the end of winter 2023/24 – similar to the same period in 2023

In total Energy suppliers hold £3.7 billion credit for domestic energy customers.

If you pay your energy bill by direct debit, you might end up being ‘in credit’ with your supplier – this means that they owe you money.

If you can, it’s a good idea to give your energy supplier monthly readings, as this will help avoid too large a credit (or debit) building up over the year. It’s particularly useful to do this at the present because of the greater than usual changes in the costs of energy.

The amount you pay each month is an estimate based on how much energy your supplier thinks you’ll use over the whole year. You’ll sometimes be owed money because you’ve used less energy than you’ve paid for.

Your supplier might:

  • refund any money owed to you at the end of the year
  • pay the amount back by reducing your direct debit payments
  • If they don’t, you might want to claim back the credit.

When to claim

You can claim credit at any time. But you should probably leave money on your account during summer and autumn to cover higher energy costs in winter.

Before claiming back any money, think about:

  • whether you’re likely to have higher energy bills in the months ahead
  • if it will be difficult to pay your bills without keeping the credit on your account
  • If the amount you’re owed is more than the amount you pay as a monthly direct debit, you might want to claim back the difference.


Your August bill shows that your account is £70 in credit after paying for energy for that month. Your next monthly direct debit is £40. You ask for a £30 refund from your supplier, because you’ll have enough to cover higher winter costs without owing money at the end of the year.

How to claim

Contact your supplier and tell them how much credit you’d like them to refund you. Their contact details should be on your bill or online account.

You’ll need to give them an up-to-date meter reading. 

Your supplier might not give you a refund if they have a good reason. For example, they might not give you a refund if you only have a small amount of credit on your account during summer. This is because you’re likely to need the credit for your higher bills during autumn and winter.

If your supplier says they won’t give you a refund, they must explain their decision.

If your supplier has gone bust

You can still claim back credit. Your new supplier will contact you to tell you how you can claim back credit.

Further help

Contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline if you need more help – a trained adviser can give you advice over the phone, online chat or by email.

Citizens Advice Telephone: 0808 223 1133

Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm

Online, including chat:

If you’re struggling to pay your energy bills or top up your prepayment meter you might be able to get extra help. Check if you can get grants and benefits to help pay your energy bills.

If you live in Salford, then Salford Assist (the Council’s Hardship Scheme) may be able to offer some limited urgent help. You can contact them at: 


Tom Togher

July 4, 2024.