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Gas & Electricity Tariffs

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FAQs

We have four pages of gas & electricity FAQs, so if you have a question on a specific topic please choose from the options below

Tariffs, payment, entering your details and moving home

If you are planning to move, visit this service. We can then help you find and sign up for a new supplier at your new home.

No. You need to give your existing supplier at least two days notice of your move. Other than that, you will not incur any penalties for early contract termination in these circumstances.

You need to give your supplier at least two days notice before you move. Your supplier will then arrange for a meter reading to be taken or, more likely, ask you to give them the meter reading. This will be used to calculate your final bill. If you do not tell your supplier that you are moving, you may be liable for the bill at your old address until the earlier of:

  • 2 days after you notify your supplier that you have moved, or;
  • The date that the meter at your old address is next read, or;
  • The date the new occupiers enter into an agreement with a supplier for the supply of the old premises.

To match you to the tariff best suited to your needs we need to know how much energy you consume. You can either provide this information directly or provide us with an estimate of your annual bill from which we will calculate your annual consumption.

To match you to the tariff best suited to your needs we need to know how much energy you consume. You can either provide this information directly or provide us with your annual bill. From the combined details of your annual bill, current supplier and current payment method, we can calculate your annual consumption.

This information will help us identify the tariff that you are currently on. As prices vary depending upon how you pay your bill, we need to do this so that we can calculate the savings that you can make by moving to a new supplier or tariff.

This information will help us identify the tariff that you are currently on. As prices vary by supplier, we need to do this so that we can calculate the savings that you can make by moving to a new supplier or tariff.

As energy prices vary by area, we need to know the postcode where you want your new energy supply. This is to determine the best energy offer available to you.

You should pay your final bill within 28 days. If you have difficulty paying it, your old supplier may agree that you can pay the bill in installments. Alternatively, your new supplier may agree to let you transfer the balance onto your next new bill. Be aware that you may incur additional charges for late payment.

If you feel you have been overcharged, you should contact your previous supplier and give them the meter reading from the day you changed supplier. It is up to your old supplier to resolve the issue with you. If you are unhappy with the response you get you should contact Consumer Focus; who are in a position to investigate the matter further. The Consumer Focus website address is www.citizensadvice.org.uk

The meter reading taken at the time you change supplier will be used to calculate the final bill from your previous supplier. The final bill will be adjusted to account for any under or over payments due from previous estimated bills. The final bill will show the payments you have made, how much energy you have used and any balance outstanding.

If you have difficulty paying your bills, and are unhappy with the way your supplier has handled your problems, you should contact the consumer watchdog Consumer Focus for assistance. Visit the Consumer Focus website.

If you are in debt to a supplier, and you refuse to accept any arrangements your supplier puts forward to try and clear your debt, your household may be disconnected until such time as you make arrangements to clear your debt.

Energy suppliers have a commitment to avoid disconnecting customers who are elderly, disabled or chronically ill, during the winter months.

Your supplier should discuss with you the best way to pay your bill. They should be able to provide you with the following services:

  • Arranging a payment plan to clear the debt in instalments;
  • Installing a pre-payment meter, if it is safe and practical to do so. Each time the meter is credited, a portion of the credit is used to pay off the debt;
  • Accepting deductions from your social security benefits;
  • Providing information about how you might be able to reduce your bills by using electricity more efficiently.

Under the terms of their supply license, suppliers must offer you help and advice if you have difficulties paying your bills. You should contact your supplier as soon as possible to discuss available options if you think that you may get into difficulties paying your bill.

There are several other payment options, we have listed them below:

  • Cash/Cheque
    Also known as Standard Credit, this is where you receive your estimated or actual quarterly bill by post and pay it in the normal way, either by cheque through the post or by cash through your post office. This payment method also includes the option of paying by postal order.
  • Credit/Charge Card
    There are two main ways to pay for your energy with your credit or charge card.

    • Calling your supplier or visiting their website, following receipt of your bill and charging it to your card:
    • Or, having the bill automatically paid with your card under a Continuous Authorised Transaction (CAT).

    With CAT schemes, your actual or projected annual energy bill is divided into periodically equal instalments (monthly or quarterly) and automatically billed to your card. The details of which schemes and cards apply to different tariffs are summarised on the tariff results pages.

  • Charge Card
    Charge card payments are administered in the same way as credit card payment schemes. The main difference is that you must clear your charge card account by the due-date; therefore your interest free period is shorter. However, if you pay your energy bill using your charge card, you will benefit from any loyalty schemes offered by the charge card company.
  • Online Banking
    This option allows you to pay your bills either by calling you bank, or online.
  • Prepayment Meter
    Prepayment schemes are ones where you pay up-front for the energy that you use by inserting coins, keys or cards into your meter.

There are a number of forms of direct debit:

  • Monthly Direct Debit
    The direct debit amount will normally be calculated on the basis of your actual or projected annual energy bill and divided into 12 equal monthly instalments. This amount is normally reviewed once a year and your monthly payments are adjusted accordingly. Some suppliers offer incentives for customers who make use of a monthly direct debit.
  • Variable Direct Debit
    Variable Direct Debit is different to Monthly Direct Debit in that your actual energy bill is deducted from your bank account at the end of a fixed calendar period in which you use the gas or electricity. This calendar period varies depending on the tariff you signed up for, and can be a quarter, a half year or a year. A typical Variable Direct Debit is taken on a quarterly basis.

Direct Debit payments are made automatically from your bank account to your supplier on a pre-arranged date either each month or each quarter. You must have either a bank or building society account to operate a direct debit payment scheme. You will also need to complete a direct debit mandate, which your new supplier will forward onto your bank.

Direct Debit payments are protected by the Direct Debit Scheme, which means that:

  • You can cancel a Direct Debit at any time by writing to your bank or Building Society;
  • The supplier must give you prior written notice, usually 14 days, if they want to change the date or the amount of the payment;
  • If your money is ever collected incorrectly, your bank or building society will give you a full and immediate refund, even if the supplier made the error.

There are 2 main reasons.

  1. Firstly, suppliers are required by their licence conditions to offer a range of payment methods to consumers. It is a regulatory condition of their right to supply.
  2. Secondly, certain suppliers are beginning to offer an increasing range of payment options as a way of differentiating themselves through providing greater flexibility to consumers.

Because different payment methods have different cost implications for suppliers, they will normally charge different rates depending upon how you pay.

There are several different types of tariff:

  • Price Freeze Tariffs
    These are tariffs that come with a price guarantee, usually of a year or more, depending on the offer. PriceFreeze tariffs (also called “Capped” tariffs) usually come with limited availability, and are withdrawn from sign up once an energy supplier has hit a certain quote (so don’t miss your chance if you see a good offer!).

    Price Freeze tariffs make sense during times when energy prices are climbing, and for customers who prefer predictable prices over cheaper (but often more volatile) discount tariff offers.

  • Environmental/Green Tariffs
    These tariffs let you do your bit for the environment.
  • Internet Only Tariffs
    These tariffs are available only over the Internet. You will typically be able to handle your whole account with the supplier online.
  • No Standing Charges
    Most energy bills have two components: a standing charge which you pay irrespective of the amount of energy you use, and price for each unit of kilowatt hour (kWh) of energy that you consume. With No Standing Charge tariffs, you only pay for the energy that you use. Many suppliers now offer both options.

    • No Standing Charge tariffs usually have split unit rates where the price of each unit of energy consumed varies with your annual usage. In these cases, the Standing Charge is usually recovered through the higher priced units you consume first.
    • To check whether No Standing Charge tariffs are your best option, please feel free to search and compare these tariffs with other products listed in our database.

The prices shown on our service always include all costs.

Reward Schemes
Many suppliers are now offering an attractive range of additional benefits above and beyond just savings on your energy bills. If you are a collector of reward points, such as AIRMILES, holiday rewards or retail rewards, then this option is for you.

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