Switching - utility providers, that is - has become a regular exercise for many of us. It's not that the new tariff gains us that much, it's the minor satisfaction of getting back the £250 that the buggers have been sitting on. And they're all the same. Six months from now my new provider will have carefully calculated my direct debits to provide them with an interest-free £250 of my money. Multiply this by half a million customers all with substantial credit balances and you can see the source of the Chairman's million quid wedge.
A couple of tips for anyone new to this. Three or four weeks after you've switched they will write to you advising you of the credit balance they intend returning, but just need you to provide your latest meter readings. Don't whatever you do give them your current readings; instead, give them exactly the same readings as you provided to your new supplier three or four weeks previously.
And secondly, though they take your money instantly by direct debit, they will only refund your credit balance by cheque. Sent second class.
And they wonder why we hate them so.