Energylinx News

August 2017 Monthly Archive

August 30, 2017

Warm Home Discount

Winter is coming... did you know that you could get £140 off your electricity bill for the winter of 2017/2018?

The Warm Home Discount (WHD) is a government scheme aimed at tackling fuel poverty throughout the UK. The money comes in the form of a one-off discount on your electricity bill between the months of October and March and applications for this period are now open.

Large energy companies support people who are in fuel poverty or who are at risk of it. Some smaller suppliers also voluntarily participate in part of the Warm Home Discount scheme.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is responsible for WHD policy and legislation and the energy industry regulator, Ofgem, has the role to administer certain elements of the scheme.

Criteria for the Warm Home Discount

You qualify for the discount if on 9th July 2017 all of the following applied:

• your electricity supplier was part of the scheme
• your name (or your partner's) was on the bill
• you were getting the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit (even if you get Savings Credit as well)

You may be able to apply directly to your electricity supplier for help if you don't qualify because you don't get the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit but:

• you're on a low income
• you get certain means-tested benefits
• Check with your supplier to see if you're eligible and how to apply.

What suppliers take part in the Warm Home Discount?

Energy suppliers with over 250,000 domestic customers are required to participate in each element of the scheme.

The following energy suppliers offer customers the WHD:

Atlantic (Part of SSE)
Bristol Energy
British Gas
Co-operative Energy
Economic Energy
EDF Energy
Extra Energy
First Utility
Fischer Energy
Flow Energy
GB Energy (Part of Co-operative Energy)
Manweb (Part of ScottishPower)
M&S Energy
Our Power
Sainsbury's Energy (Part of British Gas)
Scottish Gas (Part of British Gas)
Scottish Hydro (Part of SSE)
Southern Electric (Part of SSE)
Utility Warehouse

If you think that you might be eligible for support under the scheme, you can find information on the Gov UK website or (if your energy supplier is listed above) by contacting your energy supplier.

Switch Energy Suppliers to Save More

You can also save money on your energy bills with Energylinx. Over the last 12 months all 6 of the big energy suppliers in the UK have increased their electricity prices substantially, so now it a good time to consider switching suppliers. If you want to make sure that you benefit from the Warm Home Discount then make sure you switch to one of the suppliers listed above.

If you would like to discuss your options with one of our energy advisors please call 01259 220000.

Posted on August 30, 2017 at 01:56 PM

August 16, 2017

How to switch energy suppliers even if you're in debt

Shopping around for your gas and electricity supplier can cut your utility bills by around £300 a year and you don't have to be in a credit with your current supplier to consider switching energy suppliers. In fact, it could help make it easier to repay what you owe.

Repaying a debt and switching

The options if you are in debt:

• If you've been in debt to your supplier for less than 28 days you can still switch. Any owed amounts will be added to your final bill from your old supplier.
• If you've been in debt to your supplier for over 28 days, you'll need to repay the debt first.
• If it's your supplier's fault you're in debt, they can't stop you from switching.

If you're in debt and have a prepayment meter

The options if you are in debt and a prepayment customer:

• As long as you owe less than £500 for gas and £500 for electricity, you can switch to a new supplier if you are paying off an energy debt through a prepayment meter.
• You are entitled to do so through the 'Debt Assignment Protocol'. This would mean your new supplier takes on the debt and you repay them instead, based on the new terms of your agreement with them.
• Prepayment tariffs are usually more expensive, so you may want to ask about the different options available to you, including if you can change to a standard meter. Most suppliers offer this for free, though some may charge.

If you are thinking about switching your energy supplier and don't know where to start, our advisors will be happy to help you. Please call 01259 220 000. We also offer a free and impartial online switching service. On average our customers save £322.70*.

*20% of all users over the last 60 days (17 Jun - 15 Aug)

Posted on August 16, 2017 at 02:59 PM

August 11, 2017

Over 3m households have switched energy supplier in 2017

New figures released from Energy UK show that more than three million customers have switched their electricity supplier, so far, this year.

This is a huge 14% increase on this point in 2016. July this year seen 385,000 customers switch their electricity provider, 16% more than July 2016.

One in five switches went to small and medium sized energy suppliers and the rest went to the "Big Six" suppliers; British Gas, EDF Energy, E.ON, Npower, Scottish Power and SSE.

It's expected that the upward switching trend will continue in August after British Gas announced an electricity price increase of 12.5% for 3.1m customers. Duel fuel customers can expect their average annual bill to rise by 7.3%.

Lawrence Slade, chief executive of Energy UK said:

"To see over three million customers switch this year and save themselves money is fantastic. There are now over 50 suppliers to choose from, which is driving innovation, improvements to customer service and providing an incentive to keep prices competitive as suppliers fight to keep and attract customers. "Switching is simple to do, make sure you are on the best deal for you by finding some time to switch or speak with your supplier this summer and you could save hundreds of pounds."

Tina Tietjen, independent chair of the Energy Switch Guarantee, said:

"Despite the myths about switching, it is simple, speedy and safe to switch and nearly 400,000 switched to a better energy deal last month. "You only need your bill to hand to find out if you can be on a better deal and your new energy supplier will take care of everything. Energy Switch Guarantee now covers 74 per cent of the market and provides peace of mind that switching will be hassle-free and quick switch so make sure you look out for the logo."

If you are considering switching energy supplier we can help. You can do a comparison through our website or call one of our energy advisors on 01259 220000. On average our customers save £308.01*.

*20% of all users over the last 60 days (12 Jun - 10 Aug) achieved a saving of at least £308.01

Posted on August 11, 2017 at 11:16 AM

August 1, 2017

Over 3m British Gas customers face price hike

British Gas has announced that they are putting electricity prices up by 12.5% in September. The first increase in energy costs from the UK's biggest supplier since November 2013. Gas prices remain unchanged, meaning that the annual dual fuel bills will rise by 7.3% to £1,120.

The price increase will affect 3.1m customers, with 5.3m unaffected. The average bill cost will rise by £76 and Centrica, the owner of British Gas, has said it will give a £76 credit to more than 200,000 vulnerable customers to protect them from the increase.

British Gas said that the electricity price hike reflected the increasing costs of energy and delivery to customers' home, stating that costs have increased 16% since 2014.

Mark Hodges, head of Centrica Consumer, said:

"We held off increasing prices for many months longer than most suppliers in order to protect our customers from rising costs, so it is a difficult decision to have to announce an increase in electricity prices.

"This rise reflects an underlying increase in policy and transmission costs. We know that keeping energy prices as low as possible is vital, and our new standard tariff price has again been set at a level lower than most of the top 10 suppliers. We are able to do this because we have managed our own cost base tightly."

Hodges followed up the announcement with an appearance on Sky News earlier today. When the reporters challenged British Gas' decision to increase electricity costs, Hodges said competition in the gas market is good" and that their customers "have a choice" to select alternative suppliers.

"Customers do have a choice and can move to many other companies. The barriers to switching are low and that puts pressure on us. That's why we don't make decisions like todays lightly."

If you're a British Gas customer and facing more expensive bills from mid-September, we recommend that you compare other energy suppliers by using our simple online comparison and switching tool. Our energy advisors are also on hand to complete the comparison for you and offer you additional advice on energy suppliers, just call 01259 220000 for free and friendly advice.

Posted on August 1, 2017 at 10:05 AM