Martin Lewis' MoneySavingExpert warns everyone to do quick energy check after reader gets £3,832 refund – how to do it | The Sun

A WOMAN has revealed how she was left "in shock" after bagging a £3,832 energy bill refund.

The reader's story was shared in the website's most recent newsletter.

The woman, known only as Debbie, shared how she discovered she was paying far too much for her energy after using the website's direct debit calculator.

She then contacted her supplier EDF who confirmed she was in fact £3,831.91 in credit and was due a refund.

She has since moved on to a variable monthly direct debit payment plan which charges you different amounts based on your actual usage.

In an email sent to the MSE team on January 6, she said she "easily" switched to the new payment method by using WhatsApp to contact the supplier's customer services team.

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She added: "After giving EDF both meter readings yesterday and changing over to whole amount direct debit, it was confirmed this morning that I am £3,831.91 IN CREDIT, which is being repaid to me. I am in shock."

How do energy bill direct debits work?

Customers who pay for their energy by direct debit are charged based on what their supplier thinks they will use over a year.

Payments are split equally between the 12 months – this is designed to make it easier for you to budget.

But sometimes you could be owed money if your supplier estimates your usage wrongly and overcharges you.

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In this scenario, your supplier can refund any money owed to you at the end of the year or reduce any ongoing direct debit payments.

If they don't, you might have to apply to claim back the credit.

You can work out if your direct debit is accurate by using calculators, like on's website.

You have to enter your annual gas and electricity usage and the region you live in.

It will then calculate how much roughly you should be paying on your energy bills.

If the result comes back and it's much less than what you are being charged, you should go to your supplier about a refund as it means you are likely being overcharged.

It's worth noting, you may end up being undercharged on direct debit payments and might have to make up the difference.

There are alternatives to paying by direct debit.

You can switch to a variable monthly direct debit – these are intended to charge you more accurately for your energy use.

You are charged different amounts each month based on your actual usage.

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But you need a smart meter or have to give monthly meter readings so your supplier can work out how much energy you have used.

Of course, this means payments won't be split evenly across 12 months and they will be most likely be much higher in the winter, when you use more energy, and lower in the summer, when you use less.

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