As energy prices are rising and some energy suppliers are going bust, now is the right time to look at your energy suppliers to see if you’re on the best available tariff. Along with this, if you’re struggling, it’s a good idea to look into discounts and schemes that you may be eligible for.
Our new Corporate Plan sets out our six ambitions that we are working towards. The second ambition states “provide warm, safe, energy efficient homes that provide the foundations for tenants to have healthy prosperous lives” which is why we want to support you with getting help with your energy.
Your energy providers
Our usual advice would be to shop around and consider energy switching deals, but with the uncertainty around the cost of energy, the advice according to MoneySavingExpert Martin Lewis is to sit tight, especially if you’re currently on a fairly cheap deal. You should consider checking that your current supplier is offering you the best tariff.
Paying for your energy via a Pre-Payment Meter or Card? Then you could make a substantial saving by switching to a monthly direct debit tariff. Always enquire with your current energy provider if you could save by switching to a direct debit tariff and if this is a manageable payment option for you. This can be set up for a date that suits you, for example if you are claiming Universal Credit this can be set up in line with your monthly payment.
If you are strongly considering an energy switch, before you look to switch, always check if your current contract has an exit fee by looking at your bill or online account. You could be charged if you leave a supplier before your fixed tariff contract ends.
Energy suppliers gone bust
If you find that your energy supplier has gone bust due to the current energy crisis, try not to worry as you will not be cut off. Ofgem has a safety net, that will protect your energy supply. Here are some tips on what to do, provided by Ofgem:
- Take a meter reading, wait, and don’t switch – If you want to, you can cancel your direct debit. If you had a switch already in progress, this will continue to happen and you will move to your chosen supplier.
- Wait for Ofgem to provide you with a new supplier – Your supply won’t be disrupted, and it should only take a few days for Ofgem to sort. You are protected by Ofgem’s safety net which covers your supply and money you have paid into your account if you’re in credit.
- Your new supplier will be in touch – When your new supplier reaches out to you, ask to be put onto their cheapest tariff or shop around and switch if you want to. You won’t be charged exit fees. They will also explain how they will manage your account balance and any credit refunds if there are any.
You can find more information from Ofgem on energy on their website: www.ofgem.gov.uk
Discounts on your bills
A scheme that you may be eligible for to help you save some money on your energy is the Warm Home Discount Scheme.
This could mean £140.00 off your energy bills over the winter period!
Many energy companies offer the scheme, but not all. It’s something to consider and always check for if you’re thinking about switching energy suppliers, as you may find a cheaper deal elsewhere, but they may not offer the discount scheme.
For more information on this scheme and to check if you are eligible, visit: www.gov.uk/the-warm-home-discount-scheme
Not only is it worth checking that you’re on the right deal for your energy, but you should also do this for your other bills, including your internet.
BT is offering the BT Home Essentials Tariff, a broadband package for customers who receive Universal Credit and other means tested benefits. This new package offers fibre broadband and calls for £15 a month.
For more information and to check if you are eligible, visit the BT website: www.bt.com/exp/broadband/home-essentials
If you need help with your energy or support with saving money, our Money Advice Team are available. Visit www.trivallis.co.uk/money-advice-team for information on how they can help you.
This piece is from the Winter 2021 issue of our Trivallis Valleys Magazine. To read the full issue, visit our Valleys Magazine page.