Households are being urged to reclaim credit they have built up with their energy supplier in order to “reset” direct debit payments that remain high as prices drop.

Campaigners from Warm This Winter, while stressing that customers should not cancel their direct debits as this could lead to higher unit costs being imposed on households, said early summer was the ideal time to reset energy payments for the year ahead.

Figures from Uswitch suggest UK energy suppliers are currently retaining more than £3 billion worth of customer credit, with almost a third of UK households in credit all year.

Warm This Winter calculated that the combined bank interest likely to have been earned by firms from customer credit balances was at least £159 million in 2023 alone.

Energy consultants Cornwall Insight said they expect the typical household’s energy bill to fall from £1,690 a year currently to £1,574 on July 1.

This would be £500 less than the cap in July last year, when it was £2,074.

Martin Lewis, the founder and chairman of, has also recently pointed out that while it is sensible to build up credit in the summer months to pay for higher energy use in the winter, May is the perfect time to stop the “rip off” of firms sitting on billions of pounds of customer credit.

Warm This Winter spokeswoman Fiona Waters said: “Energy companies are sitting on over £3 billion of bill payers’ money whilst providing an appalling service in many cases and making billions in profits.

“The Big Energy Claim Back is a way people who pay by direct debit can issue a wake up call to companies that customers are not prepared to be ripped off anymore and demand energy suppliers provide a fit for purpose service, whether that’s smart meters that actually work, customer service centres that pick up the phone, fair tariffs, an end to extortionate exit fees and just basically doing their job.”

An Ofgem spokeswoman said: “Most customers build up credit during the warmer summer months which helps spread costs through the cold winter months when they use more energy.

“However, while reasonable credit balances can help people manage their bills, consumers have the right to request credit back and should discuss their individual circumstances with their supplier.

“If customers are requesting credit is returned but not receiving it, they should complain to the supplier and then the independent Energy Ombudsman.”

Warm This Winter has launched a guide which includes advice and guidance on how consumers can claim back their credit.

The group has issued the following guidance for consumers:

  • Ensure your meter readings are up to date.
  • Check your energy bill or online account and see whether you are in credit or debit.
  • If you are in credit, contact your energy company to request it back.

Before you take action, check that you are able to afford to pay more on monthly bills as energy firms may increase your direct debit if you withdraw your credit.