1/12/22British Gas to pay customers to use less electricity
Britain’s largest energy supplier will become the latest to pay its customers to reduce the amount of electricity that they use during peak hours in order to help take pressure off the grid.
British Gas said that it hoped 100,000 customers would sign up as it launches the demand flexibility service for the households that it supplies.
The supplier becomes the latest – and the largest – to sign up to the scheme – which is run by National Grid.
The announcement comes after the head of Centrica, which owns British Gas, told ITV News there are new signs of customers struggling to pay their energy bills.
However, its ambitions for participation are lower than Octopus Energy, which has so far signed up more than 400,000 customers to its version of the scheme.
Customers with smart meters will be sent emails asking them if they want to take part, British Gas said.
Edit 15.49 - Now suspended
A scheme that will see households rewarded for not using power-intensive products at peak times could be used for the first time on Tuesday, it has been revealed.
National Grid's system operator said it may activate its Demand Flexibility Service (DFS), which is designed to avoid blackouts, on Tuesday evening to reduce strain on the electricity grid.
The scheme sees households, which are signed up for the initiative, paid to not use things like electric ovens, dishwashers and tumble driers between certain hours.
It is the first line of defence in the event that peak evening demand exceeds supply over the coming winter.
The DFS has been tested twice.More information
Energy regulator Ofgem has today (Thursday 24 November 2022) announced its quarterly update to the energy price cap for the period 1 January – 31 March 2023.
The price cap is set to rise to an annual level of £4,279 in January 2023, but bill-payers remain protected under the government’s Energy Price Guarantee (EPG). ofgem.gov.uk/pub…gem
Help for energy bills will be extended, but it will be less generous, Hunt confirms.
This means millions of households will see their energy bills go up by hundreds of pounds a year from April.
A household using a typical amount of gas and electricity will pay £3,000 annually, up from £2,500, as the Energy Price Guarantee rises. The scheme will run for 12 months from April.
Without the government’s support, experts have said the figure could have hit £3,700.
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04/11/2022The Demand Flexibility Service is now live
The ESO, together with electricity suppliers and aggregators, has launched a new Demand Flexibility Service (DFS) for this winter, which will incentivise consumers and businesses to reduce their power consumption at certain times.
If needed, this new service will help the ESO avoid using its emergency responses if electricity supplies are impacted.
To ensure that there is a benefit for consumers if supplies are unaffected this winter, the ESO will run a maximum of 12 demonstration tests with each electricity supplier and aggregator between November and March 2023.
These demonstration tests will have a guaranteed minimum price of £3KWh, meaning that a typical household could save approximately £100 across the maximum 12 demonstration tests. See the full information here
EDF, OVO & Octopus announce energy saving sessions, you could get £100Get credited for using less energy this winter with E.on Next.Ovo Power Move - We’re launching Power Move – helping our customers reduce demand on the energy grid and save up to £100 each this winterOctopus Saving Sessions - - 1 November to 31 March 2023. Get up to £100
29/10/2022Octopus has announced that it will acquire Bulb
. This means that, subject to the deal receiving final approvals, and after a migration period, Bulb members will become part of Octopus. Read more on our blog:bulb.co.uk/blo…ers
Bulb members don’t need to take any action. Bulb will operate as usual until all customer accounts are transferred. There’s no change to your supply, and your credit balance is protected. If you pay for your energy by top-up, your top-ups are working as normal.
A company that supplies electricity to more than 300,000 British households is seeking tens of millions of pounds of additional funding amid continued industry turmoil.
So Energy has appointed advisers from Interpath to raise more than £50m to fund itself through next year.
The search for new capital comes a year after the Irish energy group ESB took a controlling stake in the business.
Founded in 2015 by Simon Oscroft and Charlie Davies, former energy traders at the Australian bank Macquarie, So Energy is one of a large number of mid-sized utilities which have been squeezed by market turmoil over the past 18 months.Source
Households will now be paid £3 per kilowatt hour instead of 52p if they avoid high-power activities - such as cooking and using the washing machine - when demand is high during peak hours.
The value of energy discounts given to households that cut their peak time electricity used will be raised, the National Grid ESO has said, in a bid to turn homes into "individual power plants".
Households will now be paid £3 per kilowatt hour instead of 52p if they avoid high-power activities - such as cooking and using the washing machine - when demand is high during peak hours.
The scheme is aimed at easing pressure on the UK power grids this winter, amid a potential energy shortage.
Writing in The Guardian, Fintan Slye, the director of the National Grid's electricity system operation, said: "Businesses and homes can become virtual power plants and, crucially, get paid like one too.
"For a consumer that could mean a typical household could save approximately £100, and industrial and commercial businesses with larger energy usage could save multiples of this.Read more here
Jeremy Hunt says a Treasury-led review will take place into how people are helped with energy bills from April next year.
The objective is to design a new approach to save taxpayers money while targeting support to those most in need, he says. Business support will also go to those most affected and will incentivise energy efficiency.
Ofgem will launch a new campaign to help people understand how they can reduce their energy use and slash bills this winter, the regulator’s boss has revealed.
Jonathan Brearley said his organisation was working with energy companies to help them assist customers through what will prove to be a tough winter.
“Ofgem is working with the energy sector and interested groups to help consumers navigate this information and we will shortly be launching a campaign to explain the support available, how to reduce energy consumption, and what customers should expect from their providers.”
Update 07/10/2022Households are being encouraged to sign up to the “Demand Flexibility Service” to help avoid blackouts this winter
Basically households are encouraged to use high energy use devices when there is less demand, example washing machines, later at night.When is the 'Demand Flexibility Service' due to start?
The "Demand Flexibility Service" will run from November to March and households can sign up through their energy supplier.
Some have already opened, example Ovo. So check with your supplier.
IF it happens, make sure you're signed up, otherwise you won't be paid.How will I know when I can use energy if I'm taking part in the scheme?
The newly launched service will work as an opt-in system - and you'd need a smart meter to take part.
Households would receive a text message asking them to only use electricity when there is less demand - typically after 7pmWhat if i'm a vunerable customer?
Network operators will be tasked with ensuring those customers are protected.
How that would happen has not been fully spelt out. The same goes for care homes and other vital infrastructure.
If/when i do get these power cuts, and they last longer than 3 hours, will i get compensation?
NO news on that yet, but will update as/when
Update 03/10/22The energy regulator has warned the UK is facing a "significant risk" of gas shortages this winter
The information, which was revealed in a letter sent from Ofgem last week and first revealed by The Times, spoke of the possibility of "gas supply emergency" measures.
A gas supply emergency can be declared when suppliers are unable to safely get gas to homes and businesses.
It could mean that some customers, starting with the largest industrial consumers, will be asked to stop using gas for a temporary period.
The aim would be to keep supplies stable for households for as long as possible.
Some suppliers have annouced how they will be paying but this could be different for each household. If you're unsure/not heard from your supplier it could be worth checking with them.British Gas, EDF Energy, Ovo Energy and Scottish Power
will credit the discount to customer bank accounts for those paying their bills by direct debit.Bulb, E.ON and E.ON Next, Shell Energy, Octopus Energy, So Energy, Utilita and Utility Warehouse
will not pay the discount into customer bank accounts.British Gas
Those who pay by direct debit - which is the vast majority of British Gas' customers - will be expected to pay their bills as normal each month.
They will then receive the £400 discount as direct payments into their bank account, spread over a six month period.
Those with bills of less than the monthly refund will get the money refunded and the remaining amount added to their account.
The firm said: "If your direct debit is less than £67 a month, say £50 for example, £50 will be refunded to your bank account and the remaining £17 will be applied to your energy account."EDF
Like British Gas, EDF has also confirmed that its 5.2million customers who pay by monthly direct debit will pay their bill as normal.
They will then receive the discount in cash directly into their bank account after a successful bill payment is made.
Non-direct debit payers will see the energy rebate automatically credited to their energy account in the first week of each month.
Those on smart prepayment meters will receive the discount automatically through a credit on their device.Scottish Power
Scottish Power customers will be expected to pay their bills as normal and then receive the cash discount back as a payment into their bank account.
And customers will also be contacted by the firm between now and September 19 to find out how the new energy price cap affects them.
Ovo Energy (and SSE) customers will see the £400 discount instalments credited to their bank account after a successful direct debit payment has gone through.
Those on smart prepayment meters will see the discount instalments credited to their electricity meter.
Customers on smart prepayment meters will receive the discount remotely through a credit on their device.
We've contacted Octopus Energy, Ovo and Scottish Power to ask how they'll ensure their customers will get the £400 energy bill discount.Which energy firms are NOT paying the rebate directly into bank accounts?Bulb
Bulb customers will receive the discount automatically and their direct debits will be adjusted accordingly.
Those on smart prepayment meters will have the amount credited to their electricity account.E.ON and E.ON Next
E.ON has confirmed how its 3.8million customers will get their hands on the £400 energy bill discount.
Those who pay by direct debit that are on a fixed energy tariff will see the rebate amount deducted from their monthly payment amounts.
If a customer’s payments are less than £66/67, the firm will reduce payments to £0 and add the extra as an account credit.
Customers on the standard variable tariff that pay by direct debit will see the rebate added as a credit on to their account each month.
Any excess credit will be carried over to the following month.
Those on smart prepayment meters will also receive the payment as a split credit to their gas and electricity meters.
Shell Energy's 1million customers will see the six discounts deducted from their bills before their direct debit is taken.
Non-direct debit payers will see the discount appear on their bill as an extra payment, so they’ll also owe less than they normally would.
Smart prepayment meter customers will receive the monthly payment direct to their meters as a credit.Octopus Energy
Octopus Energy customers will get an automatic monthly credit of £66 in October and November and then £67 between December and March.
The credit should automatically reduce customer monthly payments.
If a customer’s direct debit payment is less than £67, the firm will look to apply a payment holiday (reducing certain direct debits to £0) and credit their account with the remaining amount.
For smart prepayment customers, the discount will be added directly onto their meter as a credit.So Energy
Fixed direct debit customers will get the monthly discount as credit on their So Energy account, typically in the first week of the month.
The firm will also include the discount when they review your monthly direct debit payments. This discount will then be used to set your monthly Direct Debit £66/£67 lower than it otherwise would be.
Those paying by variable direct debit or on receipt of bills will have the discount applied as a credit on to their So Energy account.
Smart prepayment meter customers will see the discount applied to their So Energy account, typically in the first week of the month. This credit will then reduce the amount customers will need to top-up.Utilita
The six payments worth £66-67 will be automatically added as a credit to your account. That means the cash will reduce your overall bill.
Those on smart prepayment meters will be credited automatically.
Those on traditional prepayment meters will get the discount in voucher form.Utility Warehouse
Like Shell Energy, Utility Warehouse customers on fixed energy tariffs and the standard variable tariff will see the discount come off their bill.
Customer direct debits will be adjusted before each monthly bill to reflect that the customer has received the discount.
Customers on smart prepayment meters will receive the discount remotely through a credit on their device.Source
Reminder : The government will give every household £400 off their electricity bill. This is called the Energy Bills Support Scheme.
You don’t need to do anything to get the money and you won’t have to pay it back.
You’ll get the £400
in 6 instalments starting from October 2022. You’ll get:
£66 in October and November then £67 in December, January, February and March
You’ll get the discount monthly, even if you pay for your energy quarterly or use a payment card.
How you get the discount will depend on how you pay for energy.
If you pay by direct debit
Your supplier will either:
Reduce your direct debit amount
Refund the money to your bank account each month
Contact your supplier if you can’t see the deduction on your bill or statement, or the refund in your bank account.What if i have a pre-payment meter?
The payment will be added directly to your smart meter in the first week of each month.If you have a traditional prepayment meter
You’ll get a voucher from your supplier by text message, email or post in the first week of each month. Your supplier will confirm how you’ll get the voucher nearer the time. You’ll only be able to use your voucher for your own energy account.You’ll need to take the voucher to your usual top-up point to use it.
If you pay by standard credit or payment cardYour supplier will add the discount as a credit to your account in the first week of each month. The credit will appear on your account in the same way as if you had made a payment.
'Typical Households' will pay no more than £2,500 per year for two years from 1 October. This will include the previously-announced £400 of help from the Johnson regime.
(*You may pay more than £2500 if households use more energy, it's just that unit rates are capped. So the figure is based on average consumption for a 3 bed house - Thanks to member jonwillis)On a fixed Energy Tariff?
Those on fixes, can either stay on them, or can leave and switch to the new state subsidised tariffs with no exit penalties. (When to move to a fixed energy deal
) - Please check this carefully! Price guarantee agreed with energy retailers
Liz Truss says that the price guarantee superseeds the Ofgem price cap and has been agreed with energy retailers. It will be delivered by securing the wholesale price for energy.Fund for those using heating oil, living in park homes or those on heat networks
The Government will set up a fund for those using heating oil, living in park homes or those on heat networks so that all UK consumers can benefit from “equivalent support”, Liz Truss saidSupport for businesses struggling with bills for six months
Prime Minister Liz Truss promised support for businesses struggling with bills for six months, with targeted support for vulnerable firms beyond that.Chancellor to set out emergency budget this month
Emergency legislation will be brought forward to deliver the new policy, Truss said, with the expected costs to be set out by the Chancellor in a fiscal statement later this month.SourceSource
Expect an annoucement regarding support for energy bills, rumours are they'll be capped but will update ASAP.
More bad news
The typical household energy bill will hit £3,549 a year from 1 October, regulator Ofgem announces.
The cap is currently £1,971 for the average household and limits how much providers can charge customers in England, Scotland and Wales. The record 80% October increase, announced by the regulator Ofgem, will see a typical default tariff customer paying an extra £1,578,
Meanwhile, 4.5 million pre-payment meter customers will see an even greater increase, with their average annual bill set to go up to £3,608.
In all, around 24 million households will be hit by the price spike
Ofgem's price cap applies to households in Scotland, England and Wales - energy bills in Northern Ireland are regulated by a separate entity
Analysts have issued dire forecasts warning the amount could increase again from January, as Ofgem begins adjusting the price cap every three months instead of twice a year.Source
Ofgem has confirmed that the energy price cap will be updated quarterly, rather than every six months, also warning that households face a "very challenging winter".Source
£400 October energy discount guide includes payment dates for all account types
All households with a domestic electricity connection in Great Britain are eligible for the £400 discount.
Households will see a discount of £66 applied to their energy bills in October and November, rising to £67 each month from December through to March 2023
There is no need to contact energy suppliers concerning this.The £400 discount will be administered by suppliers and paid to consumers over 6 months with payments starting from October 2022, to ensure households receive financial support over the winter monthshouseholds will see a discount of £66 applied to their energy bills in October and November, rising to £67 each month from December through to March 2023
The discount will be provided on a monthly basis regardless of whether consumers pay monthly, quarterly or have an associated payment cardhouseholds will never be asked for their bank details, and those with a domestic electricity connection will not need to applythere is no need to contact your supplier as all domestic electricity customers will be automatically eligible.
Electricity bill payers should enquire with their supplier if they have not received their first instalment by the end of October.
Breakdown of the delivery process for each payment method:
Direct debit customers will receive the discount automatically as a reduction to the monthly direct debit amount collected, or as a refund to the customer’s bank account following direct debit collection during each month of delivery
standard credit customers and payment card customers will see the discount automatically applied as a credit to standard credit customers’ accounts in the first week of each month of delivery, with the credit appearing as it would if the customer had made a payment
smart prepayment meter customers will see the discount credited directly to their smart prepayment meters in the first week of each month of delivery
Traditional prepayment meter customers will be provided with redeemable vouchers or Special Action Messages (SAMs) from the first week of each month, issued via SMS text, email or post. Customers will need to take action to redeem these at their usual top-up pointI’m on a traditional prepayment meter.
Will I receive the discount?
Traditional prepayment meter customers will be provided with redeemable vouchers from the first week of each month, issued via SMS text, email or postcustomers will need to take action to redeem these at their usual top-up pointtFull information here
The energy price cap is now expected to double in January, hitting £3,850 per year, according to experts.
BFY Group, a utilities consultancy, said households could see energy bills of £500 for the month of January alone.
The cap is forecast to rise to £3,420 in October - a much higher sum than the £2,800 predicted in May by Ofgem, the energy regulator.
The boss of the UK's energy regulator has warned that the energy price cap is expected to rise to around £2,800 in October.
Jonathan Brearley told MPs that the price cap, now at £1,971, would increase by nearly £1,000
, due to continued volatility in the gas market.
Cornwall Insight, another energy research specialist, had an even more stark prediction of £3,500 in October, with bills expected to stay above that level well into 2024Source
SourceWhat is the energy price cap?
The energy regulator Ofgem sets the energy price cap
in a bid to limit the price a supplier can charge you per unit of electricity and gas.
Info that may help:What can you do if you can't pay?
Talk to your supplier as soon as possible. They may be able to offer you a full payment plan review, affordable debt repayment plans, payment breaks, payment reductions, more time to pay or access to hardship funds
Check out if you're eligible for a hardship fund. You will usually need to provide plenty of details and proof of your earnings
Check if you're eligible for extra help. For example, households on certain means-tested benefits will get £650 this year. Pensioners will also get a £600 winter fuel payment, and the Warm Home Discount is available to millions too
See if you can join the Priority Services Register. This is a free support service operated by energy suppliers and network operators
The Cold Weather Payment scheme will give £25 to older people and those on certain benefits if temperatures hit zero degrees or below in their area for seven days in a row
Contact your council. The Household Support Fund gives councils access to a pool of £1bn to help those in need
Try charities for energy and debt advice. These include Home Energy Scotland, National Energy Action, NI Energy Advice, Citzens Advice, StepChange, MoneyHelper and National Debt Line
Check if you can get free insulation or boiler grants under the Energy Company Obligation scheme
Many energy companies offer help for those struggling to pay their bills.
Grants to help pay off your energy debts
If you’re in debt to your energy supplier, you might
be able to get a grant to help pay it off.
The following energy suppliers offer grants to their customers:
If you can’t get a grant from your supplier, you might be able to get a grant from the British Gas Energy Trust. These grants are available to anyone - you don’t have to be a British Gas customer. You’ll need to get debt advice before applying - get help from a debt adviser
.Local energy grantsCheck if you can get a local energy grant on the Simple Energy Advice website
You might also be able to find grants or schemes run by your local council. Find your local council on GOV.UK
.If you can't afford to top up your prepayment meter
You might be able to get a fuel voucher. This is a code given to you in a letter or in a text message or email. You can use it to add credit to your gas card or electricity key. If you don't have one of these, contact your supplier to get one.
Your local council might be able to help you get a fuel voucher - find your local council on GOV.UK
.Note most of these grants, have some kind of criteria so make sure you read through everything first.
For those that use heating oil
Where do i look for the best prices? Boilerjuice
for UK prices, cheapest oil for NI specifically
Prices typically (hopefully) drop in summer as demand drops with better weather, so it’s always best to top up on a lower rate when you can to better avoid the winter hikes. Also oil boiler servicing is a must, as the sludge they build up can result in it being inefficient/using more oil to get up to temp.
Boilers take a bit of oil to get going, so maybe more sustainable to lower the boiler temp and run it for longer periods, bleeding radiators, turning off radiators in rooms you don’t use etc.
Tips on how to save energy / keep the costs down as much as possible:
- Do full laundry loads, much more energy efficient
- Use Eco settings where possible example dishwashers, boilers etc.
- Try to avoid putting items, like TV's, into stand-by mode, switch off at the wall
- Full the Kettle to what you need, many still boil a whole kettle for just 1 or two cups
- IF you can afford it, look to upgrade your boiler, newer versions are much more energy efficient
- Take showers, instead of baths, and time them
- Insulate your home, if possible.
- Shutdown those consoles and computers, rather than leaving running
- When colder, turn down the thermostat a degree or two.
- Wash clothes at a lower temp (uses less energy)
- If you can afford it, look to invest in double glazing
- Fit free water saving devices like shower heads, see here
If you have any hints/tips, please let me know in the comments and i'll review/update.
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