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The Warm Home Discount

What is the Warm Home Discount? The Warm Home Discount is a central government scheme funded by energy suppliers. Larger energy suppliers are obligated under Ofgem regulations to deliver support to fuel poor consumers. The most recognisable element of the scheme is the £140 fuel rebate to fuel poor households during the winter. ‘Larger suppliers’ … Continued

What is the Warm Home Discount?

The Warm Home Discount is a central government scheme funded by energy suppliers. Larger energy suppliers are obligated under Ofgem regulations to deliver support to fuel poor consumers. The most recognisable element of the scheme is the £140 fuel rebate to fuel poor households during the winter. ‘Larger suppliers’ include those with at least 200,000 customers. Smaller suppliers can voluntarily offer funding to support the scheme.

There are Core and Broader group rebates for fuel poor households based on different eligibility criteria. The Core Group receive their rebates automatically as they are identified as fuel poor or at risk of living in fuel poverty via the Department of Work and Pensions’ credit database. The Broader Group must apply to receive their rebate via their individual energy suppliers. Not all suppliers have to offer the rebate, and some only have applications open for a very short period of time. It is also possible for the funding amount to run out, so applications should be made as soon as possible. You can read more about the two groups and how to apply here.

The third strand of the Warm Home Discount Scheme is the Industry Initiatives section. This element supports programmes and partnerships to assist those in or at risk of fuel poverty as part of suppliers’ broader group obligations. These programmes largely include supporting energy advice services, but they also fund the installation of some energy saving measures. This element is capped at £40 million of funding, which is spread across the large suppliers. Suppliers do not have to provide funding for this strand, and can instead meet their non-core obligation targets through the rebate strand only.

 

 

Warm Home Discount Industry Initiatives

This Industry Initiatives funding is largely used to fund energy efficiency advice. This includes referring consumers to the rebate strand of the Warm Home Discount, income maximisation schemes, tariff switching sites, as well as providing energy efficiency measures. This funding is largely what supports the Council’s free home energy advice service, from which nearly 500 Portsmouth households received assistance from May 2019 – May 2020. Industry Initiatives also funds the boiler replacement scheme which the council offers during the colder winter months as an emergency measure for owner occupiers. Over 80 vulnerable households were able to access this scheme in the winter of 2019/20, ensuring they can keep their homes and their families warm and healthy. It is also used to support the Council’s free first time gas central heating scheme, which is available to 1,500 households to provide more affordable heating methods.

 

Ending in 2021?

The Warm Home Discount obligation is set to close at the end of March 2021. It is not known what, if anything, will replace this hugely important scheme after this date.

The Warm Home Discount Scheme offers a lifeline for those struggling to pay their fuel bills. During winter it supports households to stay out of debt, and with providing the necessary equipment to ensure their homes stay warm. In 2018/19 the rebate strand of the scheme provided support to more than 2.2 million households, totalling £310 million of funding.

Without an extension to this scheme, millions of people will miss out on energy rebates and wider support to help them stay healthy in their home. This could be hugely detrimental to individuals, and also to the central government’s fuel poverty reduction targets, which the UK is already set to fail. It was recently reported by the BBC that two thirds of UK homes fail to meet long term-energy efficiency targets, meaning the majority of homes are having to spend more on their energy bills.

National Energy Action (NEA) have launched a campaign in partnership with Fair By Design to lobby for an extension to the scheme. They would like to see a 1 year minimum extension, and obligations for smaller suppliers to also provide the Warm Home Discount rebate. They would like to see better promotion of the scheme, as many eligible households are unaware of its existence, and more funding to ensure every fuel poor household that applies to the scheme is offered assistance.

 

 

The national Fuel Poverty Strategy went out to consultation in September of 2019 – we are yet to hear the outcomes of this consultation and to receive a finalised strategy. Without clear direction, it is impossible to identify how fuel poor households will continue to be supported in future. With fuel prices set to rise, it is more important than ever to invest in improving energy inefficient households and supporting vulnerable families to stay warm and healthy.

 

You can support NEA with their campaign to protect and extend the Warm Home Discount through social media – tweet your support using the hashtag #WarmHomeDiscount to your local MP, @Ofgem and @beisgovuk.

 

By Anttonia Lindup

Anttonia

10 Pandemic Energy Saving Tips for Small Businesses

Construction sites, non-essential shops, restaurants, cafes, hairdressers, barbers, dental practices and offices will open at different rates all over UK depending on the risk of coronavirus spread. For the latest updates please visits the Government’s coronavirus business support pages here. The pandemic has put a strain on all aspects of life, including financial. Luckily there … Continued

Construction sites, non-essential shops, restaurants, cafes, hairdressers, barbers, dental practices and offices will open at different rates all over UK depending on the risk of coronavirus spread. For the latest updates please visits the Government’s coronavirus business support pages here.

The pandemic has put a strain on all aspects of life, including financial. Luckily there are some simple steps below we can take to avoid overpaying on energy bills. These are steps for all small businesses; whether your businesses has been open for weeks, or it opened very recently or it is still not open:

1) Take a meter reading!

Most homes & businesses are billed on estimated usage and if you have not been occupying your business premises then it is likely your actual usage will be much lower than the estimated reading.

2) Unplug unnecessary electrical devices

For example if you have an office fridge for lunches and milk you could unplug this if you do not expect to use it in the near future.

3) Adjust to your new capacity

Bars, Restaurants & Cafes: if you are not running at normal capacity and you would normally run several fridges and have a reduced stock you could consider reducing the number of running fridges.

4) Lighting & timers

Check there are no unnecessary lights left on; this is bad for your energy bills and the planet. If are leaving lights on for security purposes make sure you have put them on timers. Many businesses also leave signs saying ‘No cash/merchandise not left on premises’ which may be a good idea if appropriate for your business.

5) Heating controls

Adjust heating controls: when lockdown hit in March, many of us may not have adjusted thermostat lighting timers by then. Now that we are well into the summer months make sure your heating controls reflect the summer climate. If your business opening hours are changing to reflect the pandemic, make sure your timers are adjusted too.

6) Keeping cool in the heat

If you struggle to keep items in your business/shop cool in the summer months and have to use air con and fans to achieve this consider:

7) Consider a canopy

Keeping your door shut typically keeps your shop/business cool from the warmer air outside in summer. Many business will be unable to do this now in order to minimise public contact and spread of the virus. You could consider a canopy to shade the front of your shop and keep it cool this summer.

8) Do a price comparison and consider switching

You could be overpaying and missing out on a cheaper tariff. Click here for advice on switching suppliers as a small business.

9) Energy bill struggles?

If your small business is struggling or may struggle to pay its energy bills click here for advice.

10) Final tip: be scam aware.

If you receive an energy bill that looks suspicious check it is legitimate with your supplier. There are useful tips to avoid energy scams here.

 

By Louise Hyde
Louise

Record Solar Energy Production During Covid-19 Lockdown

It may have meant lockdown for many of its buildings, but that hasn’t slowed down Portsmouth City Council’s growing fleet of solar panel installations. As the UK broke sunshine records between March and May, the council’s 400 solar systems outshone their previous best to generate enough clean electricity to power 350 homes for a year! … Continued

It may have meant lockdown for many of its buildings, but that hasn’t slowed down Portsmouth City Council’s growing fleet of solar panel installations. As the UK broke sunshine records between March and May, the council’s 400 solar systems outshone their previous best to generate enough clean electricity to power 350 homes for a year! The panels, installed on schools, offices, community centres and housing sites, thrived in the long periods without rain and cloud; generating 14% more power per panel than the same months last year.

Solar power is free and clean, allowing the sites on which it is installed to reduce their energy bills and carbon emissions. In fact, the carbon saved from the 1.3 gigawatt hours of power, is equivalent to nearly 5,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide. It is for these reasons that the council aims to pursue the installation of more solar in the future; promoting its deployment and committing millions of pounds to further developments using the technology. As lockdown restrictions ease, the council plans to emerge with a renewed drive to install solar and storage technology across a range of the council-owned sites and has plans for its first solar farm.

600 solar panels were installed at Harry Sotnick House, Fratton, last year.

Commenting upon the record, Councillor Darren Sanders, Cabinet Member for Housing said, “This record is a real statement as to the success of our ongoing solar campaign; which helps to reduce the council’s energy overheads whilst tackling climate change and providing much needed employment in the low-carbon sector. Our commitment to this technology remains strong, with a new multi-million pound procurement framework close to being established to help to deliver solar and storage in the coming years.”

It has been a period of records on a natural scale, as well as for Portsmouth. As the Met Office confirmed the sunniest period between March and May since records began in 1929, with over 600 hours of sunshine, the UK’s solar systems produced more than ever. This has helped to generate huge amounts of clean power, meaning that coal-fired power stations haven’t turned on for more than 50 days; the first time that this has happened for 140 years. Meanwhile, the lockdown has led to much lower consumption of power nationally, as workplaces and industry have been shut down.

Councillor Dave Ashmore, Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change made reference to this wider context, “It’s important that everyone does their bit to tackle climate change and Portsmouth City Council is no exception. We recognise that there is more to do, which is why this council has declared a climate emergency and helped set up the Climate Action Board to action further change. Whilst it is undoubtedly good news to see such a huge amount of solar generated; we shouldn’t lose sight that the phenomena driving this, such as record low rainfall and high temperature, may themselves be down to human-made climate change. We should prioritise a green recovery as we come out of the COVID crisis to ensure our planet is fit for future generations.

The updated fuel poverty statistics explained

The Government department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has released the most recent fuel poverty statistics from 2018. We can see a number of trends within this data that we can use to provide targeted support to households in fuel poverty. A household is classed as being in fuel poverty if they are … Continued

The Government department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has released the most recent fuel poverty statistics from 2018. We can see a number of trends within this data that we can use to provide targeted support to households in fuel poverty.

A household is classed as being in fuel poverty if they are Low Income, High Cost:

  • Their fuel costs are above average
    and
  • Their disposable income (after housing and fuel costs) is below the poverty line

There are three main factors which contribute to a house being fuel poor:

  • Energy inefficient homes
  • High energy costs
  • Low incomes

In 2018, approximately 1 in 10 households were fuel poor (10.3%). This is a decrease from 2017 by 0.7%. These figures are based on the Low Income, High Cost indicator, which is set to be changed by BEIS as outlined in their Fuel Poverty Strategy consultation. This indicator has shown to not accurately capture the reality of fuel poverty, as it allows households to move in and out of the fuel poverty classification dependant on temporary circumstances. It is likely that the 10.3% is not truly reflective of fuel poverty in England, and the true amount of households in fuel poverty is likely to be much higher. It does provide a useful base value to help with reaching fuel poor households, however.

 

Energy efficiency

The majority of fuel poor households live in a band D property. This is an Energy Performance Certification (EPC) based on assumed energy usage of a property.  A band D is the average for English households, and under the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) legislation is set to be a minimum standard required for private rental properties by 2025.

Those who live in the least efficient properties (band E, F and G) are subject to fuel bills 3 times higher than those in the most efficient properties (A , B and C). Households in band G are almost 3 times more likely to be fuel poor.

 

Pre-payment price cap

Historically, households on a pre-payment meter for their gas or electricity have been subject to the highest fuel bills. Due to the prepayment price caps enforced by regulatory body Ofgem, households on prepayment meters are no longer the most likely to be fuel poor. It is now those on standard credit meters who are more likely to be fuel poor – this can be tackled by switching to a fixed tariff with guaranteed prices for an agreed contract length (usually 12 months).

 

Household composition

Single parent households are most likely to be fuel poor, with 19% of those in fuel poverty being single parent households. Fuel poverty can affect children’s physical health – children living in bad housing conditions are likely to have mental health problems including anxiety and depression, and are subject to poor physical health as they are more likely to contract meningitis, have respiratory problems and experience slow physical growth and delayed cognitive development.

Tenure type

Households living in privately rented homes are the most likely to be fuel poor, and those in social housing are the least likely to be fuel poor. The majority of fuel poor households are owner occupied (51.3%).

 

Fuel Poverty in Portsmouth

The South East collectively has the lowest proportion of households in fuel poverty at 7.9%, and Hampshire only 6.8%. Portsmouth, however, has a rate higher than the national average of 10.8%.

Switched On Portsmouth has a wide range of support available to support fuel poor households in Portsmouth, Gosport and Havant. Portsmouth City Council recently launched its “Energy and Water at Home Strategy” which has a strong focus on supporting fuel poor households, and to reduce this rate of fuel poverty.

 

By Anttonia Lindup

Anttonia

6 months of SO
6 months of Switched On Portsmouth

Over 400 residents benefit from energy saving help as council approves strategy to tackle fuel poverty and lower carbon emissions from homes Portsmouth, Gosport and Havant residents have benefitted from energy saving schemes through Switched On Portsmouth, since it was launched six months ago. Schemes include fully-funded gas central heating and installation, emergency boiler replacement … Continued

Over 400 residents benefit from energy saving help as council approves strategy to tackle fuel poverty and lower carbon emissions from homes

Portsmouth, Gosport and Havant residents have benefitted from energy saving schemes through Switched On Portsmouth, since it was launched six months ago. Schemes include fully-funded gas central heating and installation, emergency boiler replacement and energy-saving home visits.

switched on website
Switched On Portsmouth was launched in November 2019 and has had over 20,000 views.

The news comes months after the council approved the “Energy and Water at Home” strategy; aimed at building on work taken to tackle fuel poverty in Portsmouth and offer a range of services to all home owners to help them lower their energy use.

Switched On Portsmouth was launched in November 2019 in order to house all of the Council’s energy saving schemes and initiatives. Allowing people to more easily access the help and support that they need through a single website and team.

The Council has worked hard to develop schemes to tackle fuel poverty. It is estimated that fuel poverty affects 12.1% of households in Portsmouth, equating to over 11,000 households. The launch of Switched On Portsmouth and the accompanying strategy gives additional scope to provide support to all of the households in the city, not just those in fuel poverty. It is hoped that this focus will help to reduce carbon emissions, as well making energy more affordable.

A strategy to help all homes in the city to use their energy better

The new strategy looks to provide a framework for support for all households up until 2025. In the early stages the strategy will look to formalise and bolstering the council’s approach to tackling fuel poverty. Since 2017, Portsmouth residents have been benefiting from award-winning fuel poverty mitigation initiatives run by the council’s Energy Services team. These initiatives will be expanded and scaled in the initial phase to reach more households with appropriate advice.

energy water at home
The councils ‘Energy and Water at Home’ strategy, includes an action plan to tackle fuel poverty.

The vision put forward by the council is “to ensure all homes in Portsmouth use energy and water as efficiently as possible for an appropriate level of comfort, safety, health and dignity; and that every Portsmouth household can afford their energy and water bills.”

Being unable to afford to adequately heat the home or use energy for other essential activities, such as cooking and cleaning, contributes to social isolation, poor health outcomes, an increase in hazards in the home, and impedes child development.

The councils ‘Energy and Water at Home’ strategy, includes an action plan which outlines how a reduction in fuel poverty, carbon emissions and an increase in energy and water efficiency will be achieved.

How the strategy’s vision will be delivered

  • The council will lead the way in helping our community to make Portsmouth’s homes more energy and water efficient and low carbon.
  • Residents will be empowered to reduce their energy and water bills and increase their household income, ensuring that their home energy costs are affordable.
  • Support will be offered as widely as possible, to maximise the number of people who benefit, while targeting those most at risk from cold homes, to maximise the impact.
  • The council will develop national partnerships to attract investment in energy and water efficiency into the city, supporting the creation of skilled green jobs locally and driving innovation in clean energy generation to ensure the city’s energy and water needs are affordable, sustainable and secure.

Councillor Darren Sanders, the council’s Cabinet Member for Housing said:

“Too many people in our city are forced to choose between heating and eating. That is wrong, which is why it is great that the council is – yet again – tackling the problem.

“This new strategy outlines a new way of helping those at risk from colder homes and suffering from fuel poverty.

It is hoped that this strategy will also act as a catalyst for decarbonising homes in the city; providing support to households who wish to improve their home’s energy efficiency or generate clean energy.”

Six months of Switched On Portsmouth

Almost 7,500 people have visited the Switched On Portsmouth website since its launch. Residents have been seeking further information on energy saving initiatives, applying for energy saving schemes as well as accessing expert advice and tips.

Key energy saving schemes include free energy saving home visits, fully-funded gas central heating and installation and emergency boiler replacement. Each of these initiatives are run in conjunction with partnering organisations; LEAP, Warmer Homes and ECHO.

Switched on Fuel Poverty event
Switched On Portsmouth recently held a fuel poverty awareness event in Portsmouth.

Over recent months, the effects of COVID-19 were felt most severely by vulnerable households who do not have the money to make pre-payment meter top-ups; leaving many in confusion and without a means to pay their energy bill. Fortunately, Switched On has acted as a source of clear information, even as messages from suppliers and government has changed. The council was also able to secure funding for pre-payment meter top ups to help those unable to afford them, or safely leave their homes.

Since the launch of Switched On Portsmouth six months ago:

  • Over 400 residents have directly benefitted from energy saving schemes including fully-funded gas central heating systems and installation, free fuel top-ups and emergency boiler replacement.
  • 727 tonnes of carbon has been saved. Achieved through the installation of energy saving measures during expert home visits, as well as fully-funded gas central heating installations in Portsmouth homes.
  • £331,000 has been saved by residents in energy bills, thanks to expert advice, home visits and free energy saving measures.
  • There have been over 18,000 page views on the Switched On Portsmouth website with helpful tips, advice and scheme information. With almost half of these visits to pages dedicated to support on COVID.

A £170,000 charitable grant has also been secured in partnership with the Environment Centre from funding provided by the Energy Redress Scheme.

The grant will help to develop a team to reach out to vulnerable and disadvantaged communities to reduce their risk of fuel poverty and support them to stay warm and well in their homes.

It will also enable fuel-poor households to receive an in-depth and extended home-visit service, covering free fuel top ups to a dedicated energy advice phone line.

energy efficiency award win 2020
Portsmouth City Council were crowned “Council of the Year” at the recent regional Energy Efficiency awards.

In October 2019, Portsmouth City Council’s in-house Energy Services team received national recognition at the Energy Efficiency Awards for its work mitigating fuel poverty and the provision of affordable energy for vulnerable residents; as well as being crowned as Council of the Year at the recent regional awards.

To visit Switched On Portsmouth and to see how you could save energy and money in your home, click here.

How to Protect Your Home From Overheating

We saw high temperatures this May Bank Holiday Monday in Portsmouth and with temperatures forecast to reach 23°C this weekend we are starting to feel the heat! The average number of hours for sunshine in England for May is 190.6 but is a much higher 240.8 for Portsmouth. We are lucky to receive more hours … Continued

We saw high temperatures this May Bank Holiday Monday in Portsmouth and with temperatures forecast to reach 23°C this weekend we are starting to feel the heat! The average number of hours for sunshine in England for May is 190.6 but is a much higher 240.8 for Portsmouth. We are lucky to receive more hours of sunshine than the rest of the UK and although we like to soak this up we may want to keep our homes cool, particularly if working from home during lockdown.

1) Protecting your home from direct sunlight:

Inside the property: windows in direct sunlight with no blinds or curtains will heat the home quickly through solar gain. For windows which receive lots of direct sunlight, particularly any south-facing windows it is worth sourcing some curtain and blinds. Light colours will help reflect the heat for these, whereas dark colours absorb it.

Outside the property: trees with large canopies can shade the parts of the house. Specifically you may want to shade the kitchen area of your home if it’s south-facing. Shutters are not common in the UK but if your property was particularly exposed to weather elements (perhaps at the front) then shutters can protect solar gain and from wind.For UK climate you may want the best of both worlds; to allow low-level sun into the property in the winter but prevent overheating in the summer. ‘Brise soleil’ is a design-solution to allow just that.

2) Insulating the property envelope

The more insulated your home is the more the inside is protected from outdoor temperatures, such as the cold air in the winter months and warmer air in the summer months. Therefore insulating all available aspects is a good idea: loft, floor and walls will help you protect from external conditions. You can also consider draft-proofing round doors and windows. Double-glazing and a UPVC door.

3) Air flow

Sometimes the air outside the property will be much hotter than the air inside in the summer months, especially if your home is well-insulated or shaded like above.

For natural ventilation to work effectively, cross-ventilation is best, i.e air would enter one side and exit another opposed to single-sided ventilation.

If your property is spread across several storeys utilise this; as hot air sinks it cools, so opening any roof windows and a basement or ground floor windows will help this cycle of cooling air. This cools the house from top to bottom.

4) Electrical devices

Lighting: halogen and incandescent bulbs emit more heat than LEDs.

Appliances/electronic devices: turn off unnecessary devices as these can contribute to overheating the property. It is also not good for the devices themselves to overheat.

Fridge: as it gets hotter your fridge has to worker much harder to keep its contents cool. It is worth hoovering the back of the fridge at this time of year if you can access it, as it over gathers dust and makes the fridge have to work harder.

Fans: shading and a cooling air flow are natural and inexpensive ways to cool your home, if using a fan over the summer months this will increase your electricity bill.

Air Conditioning: If you do use air conditioning then check it is running efficiently before running it this summer. It may be worth servicing it if you have not had this done recently.

5) Kitchen

You may notice fresh foods spoiling quicker in the heat and you may not have enough fridge space for it all. Try finding the coolest spot in your kitchen to keep items, ideally away from any oven or hobs.

 

We hope you enjoyed the blog, if you’re a Portsmouth resident and have any tips on how to stop your property from overheating please share them in the comments!

 

By Louise Hyde
Louise

What to Consider Before Switching Energy Suppliers

What to Consider Before Switching Energy Suppliers The ‘big six’ are commonly known as British Gas, EDF Energy, E.ON, Npower, Scottish Power and SSE. Over the last few years the UK has seen a change in the domestic energy market, with an increasing number of customers switching suppliers and more energy suppliers to choose from. … Continued

What to Consider Before Switching Energy Suppliers

The ‘big six’ are commonly known as British Gas, EDF Energy, E.ON, Npower, Scottish Power and SSE. Over the last few years the UK has seen a change in the domestic energy market, with an increasing number of customers switching suppliers and more energy suppliers to choose from. To understand if there are savings and benefits to be made through switching it’s best to understand your current, tariff, usage, ‘perks’ and potential exit fees first. Then you can weigh up any potential benefits.

Your current tariff

  • Since the supplier 4 tariff maximum was lifted in 2016 there are now many tariffs to choose from, the most common being: a fixed rate tariff and a variable tariff. A fixed rate tariff will charge you set prices, usually for 12-24 months. Whereas a variable tariff can fluctuate according to the market. For example, if the wholesale cost of electricity rises this will be reflected in your bills.
  • When choosing a fixed rate tariff, make a calendar reminder in your phone or laptop to notify you 1 month before the contract runs out so you can shop for the best deals before it runs out. If your contract ends you will get put onto a default standard variable tariff which is typically the most expensive.
  • Dual tariffs – if your property gets gas and electricity this may suit best. Typically suppliers will offer discounts on these to retain customers and business but you should also check if you can find any cheaper rates on a separate basis. 

Your current usage

  • Your supplier will be able to see your energy use patterns from meter readings and make recommendations on what tariffs may suit your usage best. New suppliers can also offer this if you know your usage information (which can be found on your latest bill, or will be estimated based on standard consumption figures).
  • The best thing is to check your printed bills or online account and check your current tariffs and how much you are currently paying per kWh to see if there are savings to be made. A switching site can do this comparison for you.

Current supplier perks

  • It’s worth checking if your current supplier offers the Warm Home Discount or the Priority services register. These are both useful for vulnerable households and not all suppliers are obligated to offer these services.

Current exit fees

  • This is where you would be charged if you want to leave the contract early. Ending as normal has no extra costs.
  • If you are on the default, standard variable tariff there are typically no exit fees.
  • As a general rule of thumb the cheaper your plan is the higher your exit fees may be.
  • Some suppliers may waive the exit fee if you are moving to another tariff within the same company if they would otherwise lose you.

Switching considerations

Customer service

  • Things which are usually important to consider are call wait times, complaints handling, transparency and bill clarity.
  • Which conducted a survey of over 8,000 households from 35 different suppliers in September 2019 to find how suppliers rated on such topics. You can view the results here.
  • You can see scores on sites like Trustpilot, which also lets you search for best green supplier etc. This can be helpful for ‘newer’ suppliers, for example Bulb has over 37,000 reviews gaining an impressive score of 4.8 out of 5. Similarly Octopus has over 25,000 reviews on Trustpilot and also a score of 4.8.

Environmental & Social Responsibility

  • Beyond how a supplier treats us we can consider how they treat the environment, their staff and local communities. It might be worth checking out your supplier’s commitments to support more vulnerable households. Additionally check their environmental approach, some suppliers will offer a green tariff and some suppliers are only green.

Paper or paperless

  • Most suppliers now offer both. Some supplies can offer a cheaper online i.e paperless tariff as this reduces printing and postage costs. It also cuts carbon emissions. Some new suppliers such as Pure Planet only offer online services.

‘Perks’ of larger suppliers

  • Some larger suppliers are able to offer ‘free’ gadgets on sign-up to their tariffs. Typically smart thermostats and plugs.
  • Some larger suppliers offer boiler cover too and you may want your boiler cover and energy supplier to be the same company.
  • Not all suppliers are obligated to offer the Warm Home Discount, to check which suppliers offer this click here. Check if this is an important factor for your switch.

Sustainable business growth

  • Scalability is key here, if the customer base increases quickly there will need to be customer operations support to handle this. Ofgem toughened up their requirements to trade in June 2019, meaning future suppliers had to show more thorough evidence of future funding and also customer service plans. These were introduced to try to prevent new suppliers failing. For peace of mind if your supplier does fail, Ofgem acts as a safety net by; protecting customers energy credit balance, ensuring continued energy supply and covering customer service aspects. Read more on what happens if your supplier stops trading here.

Reminders

  • Switching to a cheaper supplier or tariff can save you money, but to reduce your bills further and for the environment we should all try to save energy where possible. Read our energy saving tips for more!
  • If you are on the Priority Services register you will need to re-register with your new supplier.

Considering switching now?

Visit uSwitch to get started!

By Louise Hyde
Louise

 

Want to find out more?

If you have any questions about what you might be eligible for or if you just want to find out more about how we can help, just send us an email or give us a call