Is it legal for a utility company to keep a customer's credit balance? | LawHive - Solicitors & Lawyers Online
Is it legal for a utility company to keep a customer's credit balance?
Hi. I wondered if anyone would know anything about electric refunds. My mum is £420 in credit and continues to pay £82 per mom’s to them. My brother her carer has tried once before to get that paid back to mum but they won’t. Can they honestly keep her money? Thanks.

Nobuko Erskine

23rd March 2022

Top Answer
NQ. They should refund this. However be be careful of asking for the refund at this point. It’s winter. Gas and electric prices are through the roof. You don’t want your mum to be stuck with a large bill that the credit could cover. That could be why energy company is hesitant to give refund.

Shirley Smith

24th March 2022

1 upvote

NQ- also when was the last time a meter reading was given and a bill generated? Are you sure that bill won’t eat some of the credit anyway

Shirley Smith

24th March 2022

Nq. Most companies will be reluctant to refund going into winter as she will probably use that credit, especially as she is only paying £80 per month. Most households are paying over £100 a month especially following the recent increases.

Glen Triplett

24th March 2022

NQ - no they can’t keep the money if she says she wants it back no matter how much they try to pressurise her into building up a large balance for winter. They can hang on to it until the next billing quarter but then must return it. If they say otherwise cancel your DD to pay quarterly and tell them you are going to contact your MP. Sounds dramatic but might be necessary. I was in exactly this situation a couple of years ago with a large balance on the account & this is how I got it back. Just make sure accurate meter readings are provided to make sure the account is in credit.

Linda Dodson

24th March 2022

My friend is in credit, about £300,after official meter reading and when he rang them to ask for it back they tried to convince him to increase his direct debit

Carl Brandt

24th March 2022

Legal Executive - is the issue that the provider will not take direction from your brother? If your mother is the account holder and your brother doesn't have a power of attorney / deputyship then the supplier would be correct in not taking instruction from anyone other than your mother. If this is not the case then a refund can be requested but be cautious, it will likely increase the monthly direct debit to prevent the account falling into arrears over the winter.

Enola Carmon

24th March 2022

2 upvotes

NQ it is her money so she can ask however given it’s winter the electric company know the usage will go up so don’t want her to get a nasty bill. I’m £690 in credit and pay £178 a month but will ask for it back after my winter bill

Loretta Jones

24th March 2022

2 upvotes

NQ - From a personal experience I ended up with about £700 in credit in my gas and electric as they took meter readings incorrectly. They asked if we wanted it to be kept in the account as credit or have it refunded and got it refunded straight the way with no problems.

David Perry

24th March 2022

Thank you all for your replies. We have managed to get a rebate back from them. Your replies are very much appreciated thank you x

Nobuko Erskine

24th March 2022

1 upvote

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