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Electricity & Gas FAQ

Energy Supplier

What’s in this guide?

Introduction

If you’re dealing with your energy supplier directly, you might have a lot of questions regarding your power.

Like where does it come from? How can I save money? Who is the best supplier?

This guide will answer these questions and more, so you can make informed decisions about your energy.

Where does my energy come from?

This question has a couple of different answers, depending on what you want to know.

Firstly, your energy could be coming from either fossil fuel or renewable sources.

Oil and gas are fossil fuels which means that at some point they will run out, whereas renewable energy comes from sources such as wind or solar power.

Who is my energy supplier?

To find out who your energy supplier is, the easiest way is to check a utility bill for your home simply.

Either an online bill or a paper one should tell you clearly who your energy supplier is, information about your account and essential information regarding your tariff.

If you don’t have access to a bill for whatever reason, this is how you can find out who provides your electricity or gas:

Simply ring the Meter Point Administration Service on 0870 608 1524 to find out who your gas supplier is.

They should also tell you what your MPAN or Meter Point Administration Number is which may be useful in the future.

To find out who your electricity energy supplier is all you have to do is call your local distribution centre.

See the table below for the 14 different distribution centres, but you can also look in the phone book for the region that serves your property.

Region

Number

Scotland North 0800 048 3516
Scotland South & Central 0845 270 9101
North East England 0800 668 877
North West England 0800 195 4141
Eastern England 0333 202 2021
Central & Southern England 0800 048 3516
South West England 0800 678 3105
South East England 0333 202 2023
London 0800 028 0247
Yorkshire 0800 375 675
Merseyside and North Wales 0330 101 0400
South Wales & Midlands 0800 096 3080

Who is the best energy supplier?

Unfortunately, when it comes to energy suppliers there isn’t a one size fits all.

In other words, your best energy supplier may not be the best energy supplier for someone else.

You have to take into consideration not only the prices you may need to expect but also things such as their customer rating and any extra services they can offer you.

Take a look at one of the EnergySeek guides which will tell you everything you need to know about energy suppliers that might be best for you.

Who is the cheapest for electricity and gas?

According to data, Igloo Energy is the cheapest for electricity and gas right now.

Some big six customers could save around £400 by switching to a smaller energy company like Igloo.

Supplier

Old price

New price

A difference (£)

A difference (%)

Effective from

Igloo Energy £845 £871 £26 3.10% April 2018

Do I have to tell my energy supplier I’m switching?

No! Now there aren’t any awkward or difficult phone calls; your new supplier will take care of your switch.

Is switching complicated?

Years ago, switching may have been complicated and stressful.

However, now laws are protecting you as the customer from this stress, meaning that your new supplier will take care of everything for you.

Is dual fuel cheaper?

Sometimes, dual fuel can be the cheaper option.

This is when you get both your electricity and gas from the same supplier, whereas a ‘single fuel tariff’ means you either get electricity OR gas from that energy company.

Some suppliers offer you discounts if you get both of your energy needs from them.

However, you should always run a price comparison to make sure that you are getting the best deal.

How long does it take to switch?

Energy suppliers have a 14 day cooling off period where you can cancel your switch without a fee, so energy companies do not do anything during that period.

After that, however, it can take around four to six weeks to complete the switching process.

Your energy supplier will keep you updated on your switch.

If you ever have any questions about your switch, you can always contact your energy supplier for an update.

How do I save money on my energy?

Insulation

The best way to save money on your energy is to insulate your property.

Why?

This means that you don’t have to heat your home as much, meaning you could have some real savings on your costs.

Turn your thermostat down

If you turn your thermostat down by even 1 degree could save you up to £100 a year!

Utilise clothing

You could just wear more jumpers, socks and slippers to avoid the temptation of turning on your heating, but this doesn’t mean you should never use your heating though. Otherwise, you risk freezing your pipes.

Turn your shower pressure down

If you have a powerful shower, this can be an amazing luxury. But, it could be costing you and lowering it could save you some money.

Pre-cook meals

As you can’t choose which shelves to heat in your oven, you could utilise all of the energy you’re using with it being on and pre-cook some meals for the week.

Use the right part of your hob

Using the right hob for the size of the meal you’re cooking can save you a lot of money, as using a huge ring for small meals might be costing you in wasted energy.

Heat your home with cooking

Why not open your oven and let the heat from inside heat your kitchen once you have cooked your dinner?

Unplug regularly

Some gadgets and appliances still use energy when they aren’t even turned on, so unplugging these devices could give you great savings.

Get free cavity wall insulation

There are some grants available could mean that you could be getting free cavity insulation.

Compare electricity and gas prices

Did you know that you could be saving £200 a year on your energy bills? Find a top energy switching company to start the process.

What is a smart meter?

A smart meter is a meter that will track your energy usage in real time, which you can view thanks to the in-home display monitor that attaches to one of your walls.

As well as telling you which appliances are costing you the most and when you use your energy, it sends this information to your energy supplier so they can bill you accurately, meaning an end to estimated billing.

✔ Get billed only for the energy you use
✔ Track your energy use, saving you money
✔Be able to budget better, thanks to knowing what you’re paying
✔As smart meters develop, they will make it easier to switch suppliers

Do I have to get a smart meter?

In short, no. Although the government has encouraged energy suppliers to offer all of their customer’s smart meters by 2020, it doesn’t mean you have to have one.

It is entirely up to you, which is why this guide tells you both the pros and cons of smart meters so you can make an educated decision.

Economy 7

What are the Economy 7 times?

The times generally range between the hours of 10:30 pm and 8:30 am for seven hours; however you should ring your supplier or check your meter for the exact period.

Is Economy 7 worth it?

If you don’t have a storage heater or use most of your electricity at night, it may not be the most cost-effective choice for you.

Can you have a smart meter with Economy 7?

In short, yes! You can certainly have a smart meter as well as Economy 7, but you should check with your supplier.

Can I get Economy 7?

If you think that Economy 7 will be right for you, you can check with your supplier and see if you can have an Economy 7 meter installed.

In most cases, this should be free, but it does depend on who you get your energy from.

For more information about which tariffs are available, see the table above in the cheapest Economy 7 deals section.

Remember to compare before you make any decisions.

Do I have an Economy 7 meter?

To have an Economy 7 tariff you’ll need to have a two rate meter that records your day and night energy use separately. Unlike a standard tariff meter, it’ll give you a reading for each.

You can also check your electricity bill – if you are being charged at two different rates (one marked ‘low’ and one marked ‘normal’), you are on Economy 7.

What is renewable energy?

Renewable energy comes from sources such as solar, hydro, wind and biomass energy.

This means that this type of energy will never run out, unlike fossil fuels which will inevitably run out, in an estimated 50 years or less.

How do I read my gas and electricity meters?

Check out this guide to see how you can read your gas and electricity meters.

How are my electricity and gas bills calculated?

Unless you have given your supplier a meter reading, your bill will be based on estimated usage.

Check your bill to see if it has been estimated – you will see the letter “E” or “estimated” with the energy consumption on the first page of your bill.

Energy companies use smart tools to estimate your consumption, they consider how much similar houses near yours use and the consumption of the previous occupiers of your home, if they have it.

However they will never estimate your exact usage, and sometimes they are way off.

If you are giving them your meter reading a couple of times per year, then incorrect estimates won’t matter.

If you overpay on one bill due to a high valuation, then the next bill will be lower when you give them the actual meter reading.

But if your estimated bill is crazy high, then instead of paying it you can call your provider with your actual meter reading, and they will send you a new bill.

If you haven’t read your meter before, you can read how here (electricity) or here (gas).

If your energy usage is still way above average, then take the chance to ask your supplier to check if there is a problem with your meter.

Conclusion

Did you know that you could be saving up to £500 on your energy bills every year?

Take a look at the EnergySeek guides to find out more about your energy, or see reviews of the top 7 energy switching sites to compare gas & electricity.