Energylinx News

October 26, 2015

Big Energy Saving Week is here!

The Big Energy Saving Week launches today. Citizens Advice, Energy Saving Trust and The Department of Energy and Climate Change are offering households throughout the UK advice on how to save money on their energy bills.

From energy efficiency measures to switching your households energy supply, these guys have it covered and Energylinx fully support their end goal - to help people cut their fuel bills and get all the financial support they are entitled to!

Energy bills are the top financial concern for households and 63% of people believe that there is nothing that they can do about them. In reality, simply comparing and switching energy supplier could save hundreds of pounds a year. So why aren't we all following The Big Energy Saving Week's advice to Check, Switch and Save?

Check

1) Check that you are getting the best deal from your current supplier

You don't necessarily need to leave your current supplier. Most suppliers will have up to four tariffs for gas and electricity, along with discounts for managing your bill online or choosing a "dual fuel" tariff.

2) Check if there is a cheaper way to pay your bills

As mentioned above, suppliers offer discounts for direct debit. On average it is £100 cheaper per year to pay by monthly direct debit than it is to pay by cash or cheque. Partner that with the discount you can receive for managing your account online, without switching you could still make a significant saving on your energy bills.

3) Check that you are getting ALL the benefits that you are entitled to

If you've reached state pension age you may get a Winter Fuel Payment to help with winter heating costs.

Some people who receive benefits can also get a Cold Weather Payment of £25 if the temperature drops below freezing in their local area for seven days in a row. You don't need to apply - if you are eligible it will be paid automatically in the same way you receive your benefits.

The Warm Home Discount scheme is a Government scheme, whereby energy suppliers provide rebates to households on certain benefits. The rebate is £140 for 2015/16 and you should contact your electricity supplier directly to see if you qualify.

Switch

If you have never switched your energy supplier before you might be surprised by how much you can save. Visit OFGEM's Be An Energy Shopper switching website for helpful tips to get started.

To make sure you get the best deal, you'll need to know:

1) the name of your current supplier
2) the name of your current tariff, usually found on your bill
3) the amount of energy you use
4) how you currently pay, and would like to pay with a new supplier
5) Your postcode.

Save

Are you worried about how much money you're spending to heat and light your home? Do you want to spend less? The most effective way to pay less for your fuel bills is to save energy around your home.

Insulate your home

Did you know that approximately 33% of heat is lost through the walls of your home, and 26% through the roof?
Insulation acts like a duvet for your home, and slows down the rate at which your home loses heat, meaning you don't need to spend as much to keep warm.

Some of our favourite energy saving (and money savings!) tips are:

1) Heating costs rise by about 8% for every 1°C - so even turning down the heating a tiny bit can make a £75-a-year difference!
2) By maintaining your boiler, heating costs can reduce by about 30%. Ensure that your heaters and boilers are serviced at least annually and are adjusted for optimum efficiency.
3) Take your clothes out of the dryer before they're completely dry - they'll iron much quicker and use less energy.
4) Don't fill your kettle up every time, only boil the amount of water you need!
5) Keep your freezer full - Empty space in your fridge or freezer wastes not only space but energy too.
6) If you're going to use the oven, bake a few meals at a time to get the most out of having your oven on.
7) Or use the microwave instead of the oven. Microwaves use around 50% less electricity than conventional electric ovens.

Looking for some more money saving energy efficiency tips, pop over to the Big Energy Saving Week website.

Looking to see what you could save on your energy bills but don't know where to start? OFGEM have created the perfect website for you. Click here to the Be an Energy Shopper website.

Energylinx are one of 12 accredited OFGEM Comparison and Switching sites. To see what you could save, click here to be taken to our free and impartial comparison tool.

Posted on October 26, 2015 at 09:00 AM

October 15, 2015

Utilita Hit with Fine

Pre-payment energy provider, Utilita, has been hit with a £560,000 penalty after being found wrongly blocking customers from switching supplier between June 2010 and May 2015. Energy Regulator, OFGEM, found the supplier had been blocking customers in a variety of ways; including stopping those on fixed term contracts with Utilita transferring to another supplier.

Utilita also failed to inform customers in writing why their switch had been blocked and what action they could take to resolve any issues. The supplier has now made changes to its processes to ensure there are no barriers faced by customers should they wish to transfer to another supplier.

In total, Utilita have been ordered to pay a fine of £560,000. Step Change, a debt charity, are to receive £450,000 and £110,000 is to be refunded to any customer who financially lost out after being prevented from changing supplier.

Anthony Pygram, OFGEM'S Senior Partner with Responsibility for Enforcement said:

"The ability to switch suppliers is important for customers and fundamental to a well-functioning energy market. Utilita's prolonged failure to allow many customers to switch was unacceptable. Utilita acknowledges its failure and is rightly looking to refund customers left out of pocket."

OFGEM added that Utilita had co-operated well throughout the investigation and this was reflected in the penalty issued.

Responding to the penalty, Utilita has apologised "unreservedly" to those customers whom we wrongly prevented from switching supplier.

In a statement, Utilita added:

"Most customers impacted were only affected for a part of the period. Of those customers affected, under 10 per cent were left out of pocket. We will be contacting those customers as quickly as we can to rectify this. Our customers are vitally important to us and we have taken quick and decisive action to update and improve our switching procedures. None of the issues investigated remain a problem and all our transfer processes are now compliant."

Posted on October 15, 2015 at 11:34 AM

October 8, 2015

New "Power to Switch" Campaign Launched Today

In the UK there are 13.5 million households that could financially benefit from comparing and switching their energy supplier. If we are happy to shop around for the best holiday deals, cheapest insurance policies and almost everything else, then why not one of our biggest household bills?

In a mission to reach those who haven't considered switching supplier (19% of UK Households), or those that simply lack the motivation to do so (67% of UK Households) the Department of Energy & Climate Change launched their second "Power to Switch" campaign today.

The first campaign took place in February 2015, and included television and radio adverts, billboards, as well as printed ones across the UK. It focussed on raising awareness of savings to be gained from shopping around for the best energy deal using OFGEM accredited sites such as Energylinx. DECC reported that 130,000 homes took up the call to switch energy and save during the last campaign, with the average dual fuel switch saving switchers £312 per year. It is hoped this campaign will experience the same kind of success.

For more information visit www.beanenergyshopper.com or call The Energy Saving Advice Service on 0300 123 1234. People interested in switching will be directed towards one of the OFGEM Confidence Code accredited sites, of which Energylinx is one.

Energy shopping is easy, straight-forward and could save you £200 on your energy bills. Click here to be taken to our free and impartial energy tariff calculator.

Posted on October 8, 2015 at 04:57 PM

October 7, 2015

CMA Appoint Ipsos MORI to Survey Tenants

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has appointed Ipsos MORI to conduct, on its behalf, research with domestic energy customers in Great Britain who are tenants.

The research will be used to understand the perceived or actual barriers to switching supplier that may be experienced by tenants, including contractual restrictions associated with tenancy agreements and other barriers to switching which may limit tenants' ability to engage in the energy market.

The CMA began looking at the UK energy market in July 2014, after a referral by OFGEM which was concerned that competition was "not working as well as it should for consumers". The final findings are due to be published in April 2016.

Are you a tenant?

It is a common misconception among people who rent that they have to accept the energy supplier they have when they move in to the property, however this is rarely the case. Last year OFGEM made it their mission to encourage the 9 million tenants currently in the UK to go energy shopping. OFGEM's "Be an Energy Shopper" website includes key facts and top tips for breaking down the barriers which prevent tenants applying their practical shopping habits to their energy bills.

OFGEM's statistics regarding tenants energy switching behaviours:

• 77% of tenants say they have never switched energy supplier
• 20% of tenants are not aware that it is possible to switch to a different supplier
• Renters are only half as likely to switch compared to home-owners
• 9 million renters could save a massive £200 if they shopped around for their electricity

Don't stick with an expensive energy tariff, know your rights and compare suppliers today. You could save a small fortune. Click here to be taken to our free and impartial energy comparison and switching service.

Posted on October 7, 2015 at 03:11 PM

September 30, 2015

Energy Consumers Face Customer Service Lottery

Citizens Advice have called for a wider review of complaint levels among energy companies, after claiming that households throughout the UK are facing a customer service lottery when it comes to energy suppliers.

The charity, which offers free, confidential advice to help people with their money, legal, consumer and other problems and have said there was a gulf between the best and worst performing energy.

Scottish Power recorded the highest number of complaints - 944 per 100,000 customer, with SSE being the best performing with 47 complaints per 100,000 customers. Complaints numbers were recorded between April and June this year.

Scottish Power have publicly stated that teething problems with a new computer system was to blame for their high complaint numbers.

Suppliers with over 400 complaints per 100,000 are First Utility, Spark Energy, Npower and Co-operative Energy.

The Suppliers with fewer than 100 complaints per 100,000 customers are SSE, EDF Energy, Ecotricity, British Gas, E.On, Good Energy and Green Star Energy.

The Competition and Markets Authority is currently investigating competition in the energy market, with the final report due in April 2016. Citizens Advice argued that this should include a review into customer service.

Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice

"We have long called for a more competitive energy market and transparency on complaints across the board can help to support that.

Consumers need the whole picture on energy suppliers, so they can choose who to buy their energy from on the basis of what is most important to them whether that's price or service.

Complaints are a significant part of this, and people will rightly question why some energy firms have nearly 20 times as many complaints as others."

Lawrence Slade, of Energy UK, which represents the major energy suppliers, said there were options available for customers who were not happy.

"It is great to see a number of suppliers working hard to put their customers first. However, no one wants to see complaints spiral out of control. Most grievances are dealt with by the end of the next working day with no more than a phone call.

The key thing here is a range of choice comes into play when shopping around for energy. Customers can consider fuel type, cheaper tariffs and good service when choosing their supplier. Smart meters will also significantly iron out any issues relating to billing when they roll-out in the next few years."

Are you unhappy with your current supplier? Paying too much for your Energylinx take the hard work out of switching suppliers by comparing the whole of the market for the most competitive energy tariff for your household. If you would like to see what is available to you then click here to be taken to our free and impartial comparison service, or if you would rather speak to one of our Domestic Energy Advisers please call 01259 220 000.

Posted on September 30, 2015 at 12:44 PM

September 24, 2015

Green Star Energy Launch "Unlimited Tariff"

This week Green Star Energy released a unique energy tariff called "Unlimited Tariff".

The duel fuel tariff is unique in the fact that it does not have any unit rates, only a daily standing charge, so promises no surprise bills. Customers on it will pay a set direct debit covering the standing charge every month.

The tariff is available to customers that are dual fuel, pay by direct debit and are on paperless billing.

The Unlimited Tariff is designed around OFGEM's medium consumption figures for electricity and gas. Currently the tariff is not available for low or high energy consuming households. In order to switch to the Unlimited Tariff you must provide monthly meter readings and have a standard consumption between 10,500 and 16,500 kWh for gas and between 2,200 and 4,200 kWh for electricity.

It is worth noting that this tariff is only available in certain postcodes, however Green Star Energy is looking at eventually rolling the tariff out nationwide and hope to have separate versions of the tariff available for low and high energy consuming households.

There is an early termination fee of £30 per fuel, should you choose to leave.

To see if you qualify for the Unlimited Tariff please click here. You will be taken to our easy and impartial energy comparison and switching service.

Posted on September 24, 2015 at 03:18 PM

September 17, 2015

Is your energy tariff coming to an end?

The following energy tariffs come to an end on the 30th of September 2015:

British Gas

• Discount Fix September 2015
• Fix and Reward September 2015

Co-operative Energy

• Fair & Square September 2015

Extra Energy

• Fixed Price September 2015 v1
• Fixed Price September 2015 v2
• Fixed Price September 2015 v3
• Fixed Price September 2015 v4
• Fixed Price September 2015 v5
• Fixed Price September 2015 v6
• Fixed Price September 2015 v7
• Fixed Price September 2015 v8
• Fixed Price September 2015 v9
• Fixed Price September 2015 v11
• Fixed Price September 2015 v12
• Fixed Price September 2015 v13
• Fixed Price September 2015 v14
• SaverPlus Fixed Price Sept 2015 v1
• ValuePlus Fixed Price Sept 2015 v1

First Utility

• iSave Fixed September 2015 (v27)

M&S Energy

• M&S Energy Fixed Price Sep 15

Scottish Power

• Online Fixed Price Energy September 2015
• Platinum Fixed Energy October 2015

If you are currently on one of these tariffs then you will be moved to your supplier's standard tariff. This could mean that you end up paying more than you should for your energy.

Shopping for a new energy tariff? Energylinx make comparing and switching energy tariffs easy! Compare the whole domestic energy market and offer free and impartial advice on the cheapest tariff available to you.

To do a quick and simple comparison, click here.

Posted on September 17, 2015 at 12:27 PM

September 2, 2015

Npower Launch New Fixed Price Tariff

Today Npower launched a new fixed price plan - Home Safe March 2017.

Customers that switch to the new tariff will see their electricity and gas prices fixed until 31st March 2017 - after that they will revert to Npower cheapest standard variable tariff.

Key Features

• Average annual cost for electricity and gas is £1,051*.
• The tariff comes with a Gas Appliance Safety Inspection for your gas boiler and gas appliances and also a Carbon Monoxide alarm.
• Customers can pay by Monthly Direct Debit, Quarterly Variable, Direct Debit or on Receipt of Bill.
• Those that pay Direct Debit will receive a daily discount off their standing charge - worth over £90 over a year.
• No early exit fees.

Terms, conditions and exclusions apply, for example it is only available to home owners that have a standard credit meter or an E7 credit meter installed.

To find out more or if you would like to switch to Npower's Home Safe March 2017 plan, look no further. Click here to be taken to Energylinx's free and impartial comparison and switching tool.

* The average annual cost is based on standard single rate meter customer with a typical annual average electricity consumption of 3,100kWh and gas consumption of 12,500kWh paying by direct debit.

Posted on September 2, 2015 at 12:09 PM

August 27, 2015

The Best Fixed Energy Deal Around

Energylinx have teamed up with MyOffers to provide their members with the cheapest fixed price tariff on the market.

It was a well fought contest but we are thrilled to announce that the bidding has now closed and the fixed price tariff winner is First Utility! ISave Fixed October 2016 costs £886 a year at medium usage. That's is saving a whopping £458 saving off the average yearly bill of £1,344*.

This tariff is available to all customers that pre-registered with MyOffers for their Collective Switch and they have till September 8th to take advantage of it.

The news couldn't come at a better time for those that have pre-registered with MyOffers. Households throughout the UK will be experiencing an energy price hike, as eight popular fixed-rate tariffs come to an end on August 31st. Those currently on one of these tariffs will be automatically put on to their supplier's standard tariff and could see their annual energy bill rise by as much as £136 a year - with the average increase being £77 a year.

Not signed up for the MyOffers Collective Switch? Not to worry. You can compare and switch to the most competitively priced offer available to you today. Energylinx offer a free and impartial switching service. Click here to be taken to our energy comparison tool.

* This is based on an average domestic energy consumer using 3,200 kWhs of electricity and 16,500 kWhs of gas per annum

Posted on August 27, 2015 at 02:00 PM

August 20, 2015

Is your energy tariff coming to an end?

The following energy tariffs come to an end on the 31st August 2015:

British Gas
• Fix and Control August 2015
• Fix and Reward August 2 015
• Fixed Price August 2015

EDF
• Blue+Price Promise August 2015

First Utility
• iSave Fixed August 2015 (v23)

Flow Energy
• Thames Online Fixed September 2015

nPower
• Price Fix August 2015

Sainsbury's Energy
• Fixed Price August 2015
• Fix and Reward August 2015

If you are currently on one of these tariffs then you will be moved to your supplier's standard tariff. This could mean that you end up paying more than you should for your energy.

Shopping for a new energy tariff? Look no further! Energylinx compare the whole domestic energy market and offer free and impartial advice on the cheapest tariff available to you. To do a quick and simple comparison, click here.

Posted on August 20, 2015 at 04:37 PM