We understand that winter bills can be a bit of a nightmare, and sometimes confusing. I’ve put together an FAQ here with answers to common problems. Please comment and further questions you have, and we’ll help answer them!
Are my payments going to be increased?
Hopefully your Direct Debit amount shouldn’t need to be increased, though you may notice your bill amounts are higher. We calculate your Direct Debits based on total consumption across the year, divided by twelve. So while you may only be using, let’s say around £30 of energy in the summer months, if your Direct Debit is £70, you’ll be building up a credit balance to offset winter costs. This means that when it gets colder, you're Direct Debit can stay at £70, and the extra cash you’ve built up will cover any higher bills. Don’t forget we’re paying at least 3% interest on this extra credit too!
For more help on Direct Debits in general, take a look at Tim’s handy topic here:
I haven’t given a reading for a while, what should I do?
Tempting though it may be to ignore this and bury your head in the proverbial sand (or snow!), it’s best to give one as soon as possible and get your bills on track. We can help work out your up to date balance, and calculate a suitable Direct Debit amount to continue covering you going forward. This way, you’ll avoid any unwanted high bills further down the line if you give a reading later in winter after usage has been consistently higher.You can set up meter reading reminders on your online account to keep it up to date.
I don’t feel like I’m using that much more than usual, why are my bills going up loads?
Though it may feel like you’re spending the same amount of time at home, and generally doing the same things, there are numerous tiny changes that will make a difference. You’ll be turning lights on as soon as you get up, and as soon as you get in from work. Even if the heating is only on for a few hours, heating up water from 5 degrees to 30, 40 or 50 for a load of washing or a shower takes more energy than heating it up from 10 or 12 degrees in the summer. Boiling a full kettle takes about 1KWh of energy - that’s 12 or 13p. How many cups of tea do you have in a day?
I’m struggling to keep up with payments, who can I talk to?
There are plenty of places you can go for help with you bills. Our Care team are always happy to talk through ways of saving energy and keeping your bills on track. You can reach them on 0800 5999 440. There’s also the Centre for Sustainable Energy, who offer impartial advice about saving energy, renewable energy and how to apply for grants and financial support. Call them on 0800 408 6601. If you need to reduce your payments or you feel you’re getting behind, our Collections team are here to help. They’re a really friendly bunch who can help you work out a manageable payment plan if you feel you’re struggling. You can reach them on 0800 0699 831.
Hope this helps!