This Month’s Top Tip

I would hope by now, that most households know the value of looking for a new energy provider. In most cases, switching tariff can save money, especially with one of the new smaller energy providers.

But challenging market conditions have made it tough for these new companies. In the UK, 9 small gas and electricity suppliers went out of business last year, affecting more than 800,000 households.

The good news is that the energy regulator, Ofgem, has a duty to make sure consumers continue to get their gas and electricity. When a provider collapses, they actively search for an alternative provider who will take over all customer accounts.

But there may sometimes be a problem if you have allowed a large credit balance to build up in your account. Personally, I always try to avoid this anyway. You won’t be getting any interest on that money. You are effectively giving the energy company an interest free loan – better to put that money into a savings account.

In some cases with failed energy providers, customers have been left owed hundreds of pounds and had to wait several months to get that money back. And while Ofgem has a duty to find a new energy provider and while they have so far always been able to get new suppliers to honour any outstanding account credit balances, it is not certain that they can always do so.

So, three lessons;

First, DO regularly look for better energy tariff – it can save you money.

Second, DON’T worry if your energy provider fails – Ofgem will make sure you always get your gas and electricity.

Third, DON’T allow your account balance to build up.

Martin Mathers, Project Manager

· Giving you an update on the latest about the Scottish Government’s Renewable Heating Incentive (RHI) and Feed-in Tariff.

· Assist you with reading your energy bill.

Once the home visit is completed I will write up a short report and summarise the advice and recommendations you can implement in your home to help you keep cosy in the winter and keep your energy bills as low as possible at the same time

I will contact you from time to time to find out how you are doing or whether you need further assistance – but that is basically it. A very easy process.

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