14 Feb 14

EDF Energy is first supplier to give a full annual refund on direct debit credits


They will get the refund at the time of annual review*, provided the company has an up-to-date meter reading for their account.


Customers will be reminded ahead of the review that they will need to provide a meter reading if the company has not already taken one. This
can be easily submitted by phone, online or by smart phone app.


EDF Energy is working to implement the new policy as soon as possible. The company has also decided to review customers’ direct debit payments every six months if they provide a meter reading. This will help ensure monthly payments are set at the right level – and help avoid either a large build up of credit or debt on the account.


Nearly two thirds of EDF Energy’s customers currently pay by monthly direct debit – a higher proportion than the industry average of 55%.


Today’s announcement is the latest move from EDF Energy to listen to customers’ concerns and take action on their behalf. These include:


  • Taking early action to limit prices rise this winter. This means its standard variable customers did not have to wait to benefit from changes to ECO charges announced by the Government in December.
  • The company has called for policy-makers and energy companies to work together to drive down rising costs. For example it has proposed improving the efficiency of the smart meter programme to save customers up to £1.8bn.
  • EDF Energy CEO Vincent de Rivaz first called for a competition review into the energy market two years ago to help restore trust in the industry. This call was again repeated last Autumn.
  • EDF Energy advocated simpler billing and price comparison with ‘petrol forecourt style prices’. These would see standing charges and regional prices scrapped in favour of a simple national unit price for electricity and gas.
  • EDF Energy’s standard variable tariff prices have been cheapest of the major suppliers for 95 out 104 weeks in 2012 and 2013. It gained a net increase of 250,000 customers in 2013 and has 5.7m customer accounts.**


Vincent de Rivaz, Chief Executive of EDF Energy, said: “We are looking at a number of ways to bear down on rising costs for customers and are working closely with policy-makers to find ways to keep bills as low as possible. Today’s announcement shows again that we are listening to customers and taking action on their behalf.


“Direct debit helps spread the cost of energy through the year. Now this move means customers in credit will get their money back without asking. It’s the right thing to do and will give our customers the peace of mind of knowing they are not paying more than they need to.”


EDF Energy has always aimed to have a zero balance on customers' accounts on their annual statement. Currently, EDF Energy automatically repays direct debit customers with credit of £75 or more at their annual statement. Customers can still request any money owed below this level, but if they did nothing the credit would be added to their next bill.


Ends


Footnotes


*Every customer is sent an annual review on the anniversary of the day they opened the account. The review includes details of energy usage over the last 12 months and projected energy usage over the next 12 months.


** EDF Energy’s standard variable tariff prices have been cheapest of the major suppliers for 95 weeks in 2012 and 2013. This is based on comparisons of standard variable Dual Fuel Direct Debit bills, averaged across all regions, and is based on Ofgem’s 2012 and 2013 typical annual consumption figures of 3,300kWh electricity and 16,500kWh gas and 5,000 kWh of electricity for Economy 7 meters. The major energy suppliers are: EDF Energy, Npower, E.ON, Scottish Power, SSE and British Gas. Typical use from 1st January 2014 as defined by Ofgem is 3,200kWh electricity, 13,500kWh gas and 4,600kWh of electricity for Economy 7 customers.