12
Nov

How can I reduce my Utility Bills?

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12
Nov

Changing your gas supplier

Compare and switch your gas and electricity

It’s easy to switch supplier and they do all the paperwork for you. All you have to do is follow a few simple steps and you can switch one or both of your suppliers wish us online in 10 minutes.

What you’ll need to have ready

  • your full postcode
  • your latest gas/electricity bill

Just look online here , choose your plan and then confirm your switch.

We send your application to your new energy supplier who will let your old supplier know you’re switching and set up your new account.

You’ll then need to:

  • pay your final bill to your old supplier
  • cancel any direct debits to your old supplier (make sure you’ve paid your last bill first).
  • Take a final meter reading to give to your old and new suppliers.

And that’s it – you’re done.

What happens afterwards?

What can you expect after you switch supplier? Here are a few common questions answered.

Will my energy supply be interrupted when I switch supplier?
No. You’ll still be receiving your energy through the same pipes and cables so there won’t be any an interruption to your supply, or any need to dig up the road. Only the company that bills you will change.

Am I with my new supplier as soon as I confirm my switch?
No. The whole process takes between 4 and 6 weeks. Your new energy supplier will contact your old supplier and agree a switch over date which they will let you know about. If you’ve switched gas and electricity, the dates may be different for each.

Will I hear from my new energy supplier?
You’ll receive a welcome pack and letter from your new supplier. This will outline what you’ve agreed to.

Will I be billed twice?
No. The companies agree a switch over date , so provided you’ve cancelled your direct debit, you will not be billed twice.

What if I change my mind?
You have a cooling off period of 14 days. If you decide that you no longer want to switch your supplier, just contact your new supplier and let them know.

Can I switch suppliers again?
You can switch suppliers every 28 days if you want to, but be careful to check for cancellation charges

Whether you’re moving to a new property or you’ve been in your home for a while, you may be wondering who your electricity or gas supplier is. If you don’t know, then don’t panic; there are a number of ways that you can find out.

How to find out your electricity and gas supplier

The first and easiest option to find out who supplies your electricity and gas if you’ve just moved to a new property, is to simply ask the letting agent, landlord or the previous tenant of your property.

If the previous tenant of your property has called the electricity or gas supplier to let them know they’re moving, it is likely that the supplier will send you a letter in the near future addressed to ‘The Occupier’. This letter should provide any details you need about your supplier.

If you’ve already been living in your property for a while, or if the previous tenant hasn’t told their electricity or gas supplier that they’re moving on, you may need to contact your local electricity distribution company to find out who supplies the electricity to your property. If you don’t know who your local distribution company are, you can usually find them in the phonebook under ‘electricity’, or check our table below for a list of numbers. To find out who your gas supplier is, simply call the Meter Point Administration Service line on 0870 608 1524.

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12
Nov

Gas helpline Contact Details

Useful organisations

Consumer Focus

Consumer Focus is the consumer watchdog responsible for protecting the interests of electricity and gas consumers.

The Consumer Focus website has:

  • a database of information about consumer rights
  • an ‘Ask a question’ facility which lets you ask a new question online if you can’t find the information you need in the database
  • a range of fact sheets and consumer leaflets to download
  • information about changing your fuel supplier
  • information about which supply companies operate in your area and the prices they charge
  • information about price comparison services
  • information about how to use less energy and cut your fuel bills.

Go to: www.consumerfocus.org.uk.

Consumer Direct

Consumer Direct is a telephone and online consumer advice service, supported by the Office of Fair Trading and local authority Trading Standards services.

Consumer Direct can give you help and advice about energy issues. This includes advice on how to change your gas supplier as well as how to deal with your gas supplier if you have a complaint.

You can make a complaint about your gas supplier to Consumer Direct if you have been disconnected, are threatened with disconnection or are considered to be a vulnerable customer.

The advice and information is free, but telephone calls to Consumer Direct are charged at 0845 prices.

Tel: 0845 404 0506
Website: www.consumerdirect.org.uk

The Energy Ombudsman

If you have a complaint about your gas supplier which you have not been able to sort out directly with your supplier, you can make a complaint to the Energy Ombudsman. You must have complained to your gas supplier first.

The Energy Ombudsman also deals with complaints about electricity suppliers.

You can contact the Energy Ombudsman at:

PO Box 966
Warrington
WA4 9DF

Tel: 0845 055 0760 or 01925 530263
Fax: 0845 055 0765 or 01925 530264
Textphone: 18001 0845 051 1513 or 18001 01925 430886
Email: enquiries@energy-ombudsman.org.uk
Website: www.energy-ombudsman.org.uk.

Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem)

Ofgem is an independent regulatory body, set up by the government to promote competition and monitor and regulate the activities of companies in the gas and electricity industries. Ofgem also monitors suppliers’ codes of practice and tries to ensure that the needs of vulnerable customers are met. They cannot deal directly with consumer complaints. Their Consumer Affairs team deal with enquiries about their policies. They can be contacted on: 020 7901 7295 or by email at: consumeraffairs@ofgem.gov.uk.

Gas Safe Register

The Gas Safe Register is an independent organisation which promotes gas safety. Anyone who installs or services gas equipment must register with the Gas Safe Register. The Gas Safe Register ensures that the Gas Safety Regulations and the British Standard Codes of Practice are met, although it does not prosecute firms itself but refers the case to the Health and Safety Executive.

If you wish to complain about a gas installer, or want details of a gas installer registered on the Gas Safe Register, contact the Gas Safe Register on: 0800 408 5500. Their website is: www.gassaferegister.co.uk.

cheaper bills , better value and lower priced utilties

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12
Nov

Complaining to your Gas Supplier

If you have a complaint about your gas supplier, you should take this up first with your gas supplier.

However, the complaints process is different for customers who have been disconnected or are threatened with disconnection, or who are considered to be vulnerable. You should try to sort the problem out with your gas supplier first but, if you get into difficulties, you should take your complaint to Consumer Direct.

Complaining to your supplier

Your supplier must have a procedure for dealing with complaints. You should be able to get a copy of this procedure from your supplier’s website. The procedure should include names and contact details of all available sources of independent help, advice and information.

If you need help or advice about making a complaint or dealing with your gas supplier, you can contact Consumer Direct or look on the back of your energy bill. However, Consumer Direct will not be able to handle your complaint for you.

You can make a complaint about any of the services or products provided by your gas supplier. If you aren’t happy with the way they have dealt with your complaint, you can also complain about this.

You can complain by phone, in person or in writing – including by email.

Once you have complained, your supplier must tell you the steps they will take to sort out your complaint how long those steps are likely to take. If you aren’t happy with the way your supplier is handling your complaint, you can ask for an internal review.

If your supplier is unable to sort your complaint out to your satisfaction, they must tell you this in writing. This is called a letter of deadlock. Once you have been sent a letter of deadlock, if you want to take the complaint further, you can contact the Energy Ombudsman. If you have not been sent a letter of deadlock, you must wait at least eight weeks (twelve if your supplier is one of the smaller energy companies) before you can contact the Energy Ombudsman.

Complaining if you’re vulnerable

Some gas consumers are considered to be vulnerable. This might apply to you if it would be unreasonable to expect you to make a complaint on your own because:

  • you are mentally or physically disabled
  • you lack basic language or reading skills in English. It won’t apply if you have access to interpreting facilities
  • you have particularly difficult personal circumstances. For example, you may have been recently bereaved
  • there is a particularly urgent need to sort out your problem and you are unable to do this in time
  • your problem is especially complicated.

If you are vulnerable and you haven’t been able to sort out your problem directly with your gas supplier, you should contact Consumer Direct for contact details or look on the back of your gas bill.

Where appropriate, Consumer Direct will refer your case to the consumer watchdog Consumer Focus, who will take up your complaint with the gas supplier.

You should get a response from your supplier within ten working days after your case was referred to Consumer Focus. The vast majority of complaints should be resolved within 35 working days.

If you’re not satisfied with the way Consumer Focus has dealt with your complaint, you can complain to the Energy Ombudsman – see below.

Complaining to the Energy Ombudsman

You can complain to the Energy Ombudsman if you have been sent a letter of deadlock by your gas supplier. If you have not been sent a letter of deadlock, you can make a complaint if your complaint to the gas supplier has been going on for at least eight weeks and your supplier is one of the following companies:

  • E.ON
  • British Gas
  • EDF
  • Npower
  • Scottish Power
  • Scottish and Southern.

If your gas supplier is not one of these companies, you must normally wait twelve weeks before you can complain to the Energy Ombudsman.

The Energy Ombudsman can investigate complaints brought by domestic customers and small business customers. A small business customer is one with either:

  • annual usage up to 200,000 kilowatt hours of gas, or
  • up to ten employees and with an annual turnover of up to two million euros.

You must make your complaint to the Ombudsman within six months of the date of the letter of deadlock from your gas supplier, if you got one. If you didn’t get a deadlock letter, you can make a complaint to the Ombudsman at any time between eight weeks and nine months after the date you complained to your supplier, if your supplier is one of the companies mentioned earlier. If your supplier is not one of these companies and only joined the Energy Ombudsman Scheme after October 2008, you have between 12 weeks and nine months to complain.

You can complain to the Energy Ombudsman by letter, fax, telephone or online.

The Energy Ombudsman will be able to arrange one of the following:

  • for you to get an apology
  • for you to get an explanation
  • for your problem to be sorted out
  • in certain circumstances, for you to get financial compensation.

cheaper bills , better value and lower priced utilties

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