Big Energy Saving Network Training for Frontline Workers

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1 Big Energy Saving Network Training for Frontline Workers

2 Session objectives payment and tariff options how to switch payment method and/ or tariff further assistance available help with paying fuel bills, fuel debt advice or improving energy efficiency

3 Big Energy Saving Network CAfS are part of a national network of around 170 specially trained Champions. Champions will co-ordinate the training of community volunteers so that they can proactively provide energy saving advice through events and outreach programmes in local communities to help households reduce their energy costs and consumption. Copyright Big Energy Saving Network

4 Where are the Champions? Copyright Big Energy Saving Network

5 True or False? Switch supplier and they ll dig up the road to lay new pipes. If you switch you can only pay for your fuel using Direct Debit. You can switch if you use a prepayment meter and are in debt up to 500. You cannot find the best energy deals unless you have a computer. Changing supplier should take five weeks.

6 Why consider Switching? Get the best possible deal why pay more than is necessary? Consumers who have never changed payment method or supplier could be paying more than they need to Fuel prices are rising Highest spend is next few months Householders need to be able to heat their home for comfort and health Ofgem s reforms fewer and simpler tariff options good time to switch

7 Yearly savings Copyright Big Energy Saving Network 2014

8 Payment options Check with existing supplier to see if there is a cheaper way of paying. Cash/ cheque quarterly/ monthly Direct Debit fixed/ variable quarterly/ monthly Standing Order Online account Budget scheme/ Cash Plan Prepayment meter Third Party Deduction Fuel Direct

9 Tariff options Consider choosing a cheaper tariff with the existing supplier or another company. Tariff types: Standard variable single rate with a standing charge Time of Use (e.g. Economy 7, White Meter) Prepayment Fixed term Green Suppliers can offer two cash discounts: Dual fuel Online But note that dual fuel is not always cheapest!

10 Three scenarios Mrs C has an open fire and storage heaters. She has never switched her supplier in the 40 years she has lived in her house The B Family have four children and Mrs B is currently on maternity leave. Mr B is receiving unemployment benefit but it is a struggle to make ends meet each month. They live in a house with storage heaters Mr A lives on his own and has a steady job in IT that keeps him out of the house for most of the day. His flat has gas central heating Payment and tariff options? Likely to be worth switching?

11 Switching myth busting I ll be disconnected I rent my home, pay my own gas and electricity bills, but cannot switch I ll need new meters The pipes and wires will have to be changed It s all very complicated and takes ages They ll dig up my garden I cannot switch because I owe my supplier money They ll need to come into the house

12 Which? Customer rating of electricity suppliers 1. Ecotricity 84% 2. Good Energy 82% 3. Ebico 81% 4. Ovo Energy 80% 5. Utility Warehouse 76% 6. Flow Energy 73% 7. The Co-operative Energy 61% 8. M&S Energy 57% based on September, October 2014 survey - asked more than 9,400 energy customers to rate their energy suppliers on their customer service, the way they deal with complaints, value for money, accuracy and clarity of bills and whether they feel the energy company helps them to save money. 9. Sainsbury's Energy 57% 10. First Utility 54% 11. Extra Energy 52% 12. SSE 50% 13. Eon 50% 14. Spark Energy 50% The Big 6! 15. British Gas 49% 16. EDF Energy 49% 17. Scottish Power 41% 18. Npower 35%

13 Switching impartial and accurate advice Use an accredited switching site such as CAfS switching service or USwitch Ofgem Code of Confidence The information can be provided online or by telephone. To ensure the consumer gets accurate information they will need : the name of their current tariff their payment method how much energy they used over the last year property postcode

14 How to switch Switch using a telephone or internet comparison site or contact the supplier. New supplier contacted directly or via comparison site Contract agreed over telephone, online or signed face-to-face Cooling-off period New supplier contacts current supplier New supplier confirms start date and requests meter reading Consumer receives bill from current supplier and pays Switch should take 3 calendar days after a 14 day cooling-off period when contract can be cancelled.

15 Further assistance Warm Home Discount a 140 rebate off electricity bill this winter for qualifying households Energy Company Obligation (ECO) offers free heating (e.g. boiler replacement and repair) and insulation (cavity wall and loft insulation) measures to qualifying households people who own their own home or rent from a private landlord Priority Service Register a range of free services provided by fuel suppliers for qualifying customers. Contact Electricity North West Frontline worker resources are available on the CAfS website

16 Warm Home Discount 140 rebate off electricity bill this winter for qualifying households qualification day 12 July 2015 for this winter s payment. Paid anytime up till end of March Caution electricity switching supplier until payment has been received Eligible automatically if: getting the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit (even if you get Savings Credit as well) But if not qualifying automatically can apply directly to electricity supplier if: on a low income receive certain means-tested benefits

17 Warm Home Discount Only the large energy companies offer the it, they are: Atlantic British Gas Co-operative energy EDF Energy E.ON Equipower (Ebico) Equigas (Ebico) First Utility Manweb - see ScottishPower M&S Energy npower OVO Sainsbury s Energy - see British Gas Scottish Gas - see British Gas Scottish Hydro ScottishPower Southern Electric SSE SWALEC Utilita Utility Warehouse (PDF, 213KB) Companies have a limited fund and when it s all been applied for it has gone. Eon seems to run out first.

18 Priority Service Register Priority Service Register a range of free services provided by fuel suppliers for qualifying customers. Contact Electricity North West directly on Or online at Home visits -. Welfare packs - welfare packs are made up of items which can help you cope without power, such as blankets, hot flasks, analogue telephones, glow in the dark torches and more. Regular communication -. Nominated contact - nominate a friend or family member to receive updates on your behalf or in addition to you. Generation - If you rely on electricity for medical equipment, we will (where available) be able to provide back up generation for you. Oxygen backup - have a partnership with Air Liquide UK, who provide back up cylinders for anyone that is oxygen dependant. British Red Cross - partnership in place with the British Red Cross who can help with welfare service provision including hot drinks or just a friendly voice on the phone.

19 Winter Warmth Fund Be over 60 Cumbrian resident and receive State pension and/or Pension Credit Or struggle to maintain a basic acceptable standard of living during the winter due to the cost of heating your home and the restrictions of cold weather How much? The normal grant is 125 or 250 in exceptional circumstances Apply via Age UK. More info by tel Web Copyright Big Energy Saving Network 2014

20 Advice providers Citizens Advice consumer service and consumer helpline The Home Heat Helpline provides advice on managing energy costs Telephone: Energy Saving Trust (EST) and Energy Saving Advice Service Telephone:

21 How else can CAfS help?

22 How might you help the people you meet? Give advice? Reassure? Provide tariff comparisons? Help them to switch?

23 Resources to help you Frontline worker resources are available on the CAfS website Copyright Big Energy Saving Network 2014

24 CAfS Energy Advice Drop-ins Date Start End Location Wednesday 20th January :00 16:00 Whitehaven Tuesday 26th January :30 13:30 Ewanrigg, Maryport Thursday 4th Feb :00 12:00 Crosscanonby, Maryport Many more across Cumbria check CAfS website for details

25 Session objectives payment and tariff options how to switch payment method and/ or tariff further assistance available help with paying fuel bills, fuel debt advice or improving energy efficiency

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