winter fields Jo Grundy

Jo Grundy

The Big Energy Credit Claim Back is a nationwide campaign to help households reclaim unused energy credit from the big energy suppliers. If you pay your bills by direct debit, you are legally allowed to claim back credit that you have may have overpaid the last year.

We then recommend transferring over to Ecotricity, the only company that offers green energy guaranteed not to come from burning animals in abattoirs (it also offers business and charity tariffs). You can also transfer your mobile phone (keep your number) to sister company EcoTalk, which not only runs on their green energy, but uses profits to rewild certain areas of England and help bird and wildlife charities.

Whichever company you are presently registered with, you should ensure you take accurate meter readings (most companies can help, if need be). If you pay by direct debit, don’t cancel it but instead you can take back owed credit that is sitting in their bank accounts (earning colossal amounts of interest) and although there may be a temporary increase in funds, you can then get back all you are owed after the next winter.

The industry regulator Ofgem says energy companies must by law return credit owed to you, within two weeks. If you switch energy suppliers, the old company still must refund remaining credit (if not, you can legally file a complaint). For bereavements, as well as the account and meter readings, you will also need a copy of the death certificate, alongside details of family members of executors of the person’s Will.

who is running this campaign?

The organisation Warm This Winter has researched how each company compiles their stats, so you know how to claim from each company. People’s energy bills are soaring, and it’s not (as MPs often claim) due to the price of oil due to the Russian/Ukraine war. We should by now be oil-free, it’s perfectly possible to insulate all homes (and new green homes like straw bale and Passivhaus don’t even need insulation). A third of all people in England (mostly elderly people and those on benefits) struggle to heat their homes.

Meanwhile, the big private energy companies take billions in profits. The upcoming (likely Labour) government is planning to put a tax to help pay for their renewable energy ideas, but in truth likely won’t go far enough (the Greens won’t gain power, but would spend money insulating all homes in England, which would provide jobs and drastically bring down people’s bills immediately, as well as offering safe, warm and green homes).

But for now, we have to do what we can as individuals. Obviously using common sense measures to save energy is one (but ‘turning down the heating by one degree’ could give some vulnerable people hypothermia).

The campaign to claim back unused credit could see 12,000 households reclaim a combined £3 billion of credit, which is presently sitting in the banks of the big energy companies, from people who pay in advance by direct debit. A third of energy accounts are ‘in the black’ (not in debt) so this money is sitting in the banks earning interest, while household struggle with their bills.

Low-income households may have been charged too much on their direct debits, leaving them to struggle to make ends meet. With huge sums being earned in interest by energy firms, the least they can do is make sure that interest is paid back to consumers, or used to cancel energy debt of those most in need. End Fuel Poverty Coalition

Claiming back cash we’ve been overcharged is a simple way for busy people to show energy companies they are sick of this broken system. That’s why thousands upon thousands of us are coming together to move millions of pounds from those companies, back into the pockets of hardworking people. 38 Degrees

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