Power firms agree to automatic refunds for customers in credit

Suzie Neuwirth
MAJOR energy companies have agreed to give automatic refunds to direct debit customers whose accounts are in credit, after pressure from the government to return the outstanding money.

EDF and FTSE 100-quoted Centrica, which owns British Gas, have both confirmed that they will automatically issue refunds for customers in credit. SSE said it would automatically return money to customers in credit by £100 or more. But big six supplier Npower has refused to follow suit, although it is reviewing the government’s suggestion. “We’ve had feedback that refunding very low amounts isn't worthwhile and we also know many people like to keep their account in credit, as a buffer for next year’s bills,” said the company.

Energy minister Greg Barker said: ‘This is an excellent result for consumers worried about energy prices and this is a good step towards restoring trust in the majority of companies.”