The major energy suppliers announced today that they have launched the “MyEnergyCredit” campaign to reunite cash with former customers. The campaign has 3 parts:
Reuniting former customers with unclaimed credits
9 out of 10 customers receive their credit as normal when they leave a supplier. However, sometimes, the energy suppliers have difficulties tracking down former customers because, for example, they have switched supplier or moved home and not left a forwarding address. The campaign will encourage these customers to get in touch with their old supplier if they think they left any money. £153 million accumulated over the last six years remains to be claimed. The average credit balance is around £50.
Providing continued help for vulnerable customers
No matter how hard energy companies try, some credit balances will be left unclaimed. Over the last 6 years that the credit balances money has built up, the major energy companies have spent £175 million on assistance for fuel poor and vulnerable customers.
This is spending in addition to the support the companies are legally required to provide. This commitment to vulnerable customer will continue but now through a new, more formal process. From now on, after two years, any monies remaining from unclaimed credits will be put towards funds to help the fuel poor and vulnerable. This will amount to at least £65 million over five years. Suppliers will kick start this new deal with £38 million for 2014 and 2015 combined.
Introducing a set of voluntary minimum standards
Energy companies will introduce new minimum standards to minimise unclaimed credit balances building up in future. For the avoidance of doubt, any valid credit will always be refunded, however long ago it may be the customer left.
Amber Rudd MP, Minister of Energy and Climate Change said:
“This Government is committed to helping hard-pressed consumers with the cost of energy bills. People should rightly be returned money that is theirs and was left behind when they moved house or switched. Earlier this year, the Government and Ofgem announced plans to get to the bottom of problems with outstanding credit balances and an agreement was reached with the major energy companies to ensure they automatically refund direct debits to customers who are in credit. It is very encouraging that Energy UK’s new campaign www.myenergycredit.com will now work harder to reunite former customers with unclaimed credit balances too.”
Energy UK’s chief executive, Angela Knight said:
“This is a great campaign launched today and we will be ramping it up throughout the autumn. This money has been left behind and we are urging former customers to come forward and make a claim. Customers who think they haven’t left a forwarding address or a final meter reading when they moved or switched should contact their old supplier. The web site www.myenergycredit.com will help you do this.
“Inevitably, there will be some former customers who will not be found and so the major suppliers are announcing what will happen to credit balances from now on. In future, after two years, the credit balance will be used to help vulnerable customers – and suppliers will make it very clear what is happening. By 2018, these new arrangements are expected to add up to around £65 million of help to those in difficulties. The suppliers will kick start this process now by donating £38 million for the first two years combined”
Ann Robinson Director of Consumer Policy at uSwitch.com said:
“This is great news for consumers. I am delighted with Energy UK’s campaign and that the energy companies are prepared to go the extra to return this money to customers who probably won’t be aware that they have a credit owing to them.”