One of the best things you can do to reduce your energy bills is to check with your energy supplier that you are on the best tariff they offer. To get a better deal you should also consider changing your supplier.
Finding the best deal
There are lots of ways to find out about the best energy deals available, but the easiest is to go online and use a comparison website.
Typing “energy bills comparison” into a search engine should bring up useful sites. It is a good idea to check at least two comparison websites before switching and make sure the comparison site is approved by the ‘Consumer Focus Code of Confidence’.
You can also contact energy suppliers directly but remember that most suppliers will only tell you about deals they can offer you, not how they compare to other companies!
The West End, East End, Outer West, Gosforth, Cruddas Park and Walker libraries offer Customer Service Centres to support residents wanting to find their ‘Energy Best Deal’ and switch energy supplier.
Staff at these libraries are trained to help so you can drop in to get assistance if you have not got internet access at home or are unsure how to switch energy supplier.
Alternatively you can find your 'Energy Best Deal’ at the City Library at the following times:
•Monday –Friday: 11.30am –12.30pm
•Saturday: 10.00am –11.00am
•Sunday: 11.30am –12.30pm
If you owe a large amount to your utility supplier you may not be able to switch.
You should also make sure that your energy bills are based on actual meter readings rather than estimated usage. You should contact your energy supplier to provide updated readings.
If you are struggling to pay your energy bills you can contact the Energy Service at Newcastle City Council for help. They offer a free advice and support service to Newcastle residents. For more information contact the Energy Service directly by phoning 0191 278 3427 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org or you can talk to a YHN Advice and Support worker by calling your nearest YHN Housing Services Office.
You may also be eligible for the Warm Home Discount, which is taken off your electricity bill. To see if you qualify contact your supplier or go to: www.newcastle.gov.uk/ environment/energy/warmhome-discount
YHN’s Financial Inclusion Team also work with new tenants giving advice on energy providers, switching suppliers, insulation, water meter applications and changing from prepaid to credit meters.
To find out more call YHN on 0191 278 8600 and ask to speak to the Financial Inclusion Team.
The information you’ll need to switch energy supplier
If you are thinking about changing your energy tariff or supplier you will need to tell the supplier about your existing account.
These are the steps you will need to go through:
i. You will need to know who your existing supplier is and what tariff you are on – you will find this on your bill. It will also be useful to have details on how much you have energy you used in the last year. The best way to work this out is by using bills based on actual meter readings not estimates.
You will also be asked for your postcode and details of how you pay your bills at the moment. You should get a discount if you pay by Direct Debit. Online tariffs are normally the cheapest.
ii. When you have found an energy supplier that meets your needs contact them and they will agree a contract with you. They will contact you again to make sure you still want to go ahead with the change.
iii. Once you have signed up, they will let you know what to do if you change your mind and how you can cancel the contract. The transfer can take about six weeks. Your new supplier should keep you informed about how things are progressing and advise you when the switch is complete. Your energy supply will not be disrupted during this time.
iv. You will need to give your old supplier 28 days’ notice that you intend to switch. Your new supplier will usually do this for you.
Remember that your existing supplier will want you to pay any outstanding bills before any switch can take place.
v. It is important to take a meter reading on the day the energy supplier changes. You can use this to check that your final bill has been calculated correctly.
Home Environmental Visit
You can arrange a visit to your home by a trained officer to give you more in depth advice about how to save energy, as well as advice on other environmental topics like water saving. During this visit we will be able to assess your home for other ways we can help you make your home feel warmer, and save energy and water.
To arrange a home visit contact Investment Delivery on 0191 278 3842.
•All information has been sourced from the EnergySaving Trust unless otherwise stated.
To download a copy of our Green Guide click here