9 Sep 14
EDF Energy steps up action to return credit to former customers
- Supports industry-wide awareness campaign
- Signs up to 10 new voluntary commitments on refunding credit
- More than £11m returned since March 2014
- After two years, unclaimed money will fund grants for those struggling with debt
EDF Energy, alongside the trade association Energy UK and other major energy suppliers, is launching an industry-wide awareness campaign that will encourage customers to claim back money they have left on closed energy accounts. Typically, this has happened when customers did not supply a final meter reading for their account before closing it, or give any forwarding contact details when they moved home.
The ‘MyEnergyCredit’ campaign, launched today, will raise awareness of how customers can reclaim credit on closed accounts and aims to reduce the level of new balances occurring in future.
This campaign follows on from a range of new initiatives that EDF Energy has implemented to reunite its former customers with unclaimed money. As a result of these initiatives, since March 2014 EDF Energy has more than doubled the number of residential customers who have received credit refunds in comparison to the same period last year.
The new initiatives from EDF Energy include:
- Giving automatic refunds to more customers by using meter reads they have provided to other suppliers
- Providing clear, simple, information within bills on how to get a refund
- Contacting former customers by letter
- Using tracing agencies to find former customers
EDF Energy says that it will pass 100% of balances that remain unreturned after two years* to the EDF Energy Trust Fund**, which offers grants to those who are struggling with energy and other household debts. The company estimates that this will result in around £1-2 million being passed to the Trust each year from 2016, with an initial contribution of up to £5 million to kick-start the process.
Even after money is passed to the Trust, customers will still be able to reclaim any credit balances they are owed, no matter how long ago their account was closed.
In addition, EDF Energy is signing up to 10 voluntary commitments regarding credit that is left on former customers’ closed accounts. These include a commitment to refund credit balances within 14 days following a final meter reading and agreeing to take a meter reading from a new supplier rather than depending on a final reading from a customer. EDF Energy will be applying these commitments retrospectively to former customers, as well as to current and future customers.
The measures announced today follow EDF Energy’s move in February to be the first supplier to give a full annual refund to customers who make direct debit payments.
Managing Director of EDF Energy Customers, Beatrice Bigois, said: “We are doing everything we can to make sure that customers in credit get their money back in full when they leave us – even if they are hard to find.
“It is our responsibility to take action to rebuild trust with customers and this is one of a series of steps we have taken over the years for customers to be treated fairly.
“We believe all energy suppliers should implement the 10 industry commitments as a minimum and make sure that all future unreturned credit balances are used for the benefit of vulnerable customers.”
The easiest way for customers to get a refund when they move or switch suppliers is to provide updated contact details and final meter readings when they close their account. Any former EDF Energy customers who believe they may be owed money should visit: http://www.edfenergy.com/for-home/help-support/unclaimed-credit to find out further information.
For more information regarding the ‘MyEnergyCredit’ campaign visit: www.myenergycredit.com
*This applies to accounts that were closed after April 2014.
**The EDF Energy Trust Fund is an independent charitable trust, first established in 2003, that supports families and individuals living in fuel poverty. In 2013 more than £2.7 million was awarded to customers through the Trust.