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General Energy Advice

General energy efficiency advice

The links below contains some information about making sure that your home is energy efficient and general tips of how to save energy and reduce bills.

Priority Services Register

The Priority Services Register is a free service provided by energy suppliers and network operators. (The network operator for the Teignbridge area is Western Power Distribution.)

Each energy supplier and network operator maintains its own register. Some energy companies share information on their priority services register with the network operator, but as this cannot be guaranteed it is advisable to register with both Western Power and your energy company.

South West Water also maintain a Priority Services Register.

You will need to contact your energy supplier directly to register for priority services with them. Instructions for how to do this vary between energy suppliers.

More information on what additional support is provided if you are on this register can be found on:

Switching energy suppliers

You can use an Ofgem approved switching site to compare prices offered by different energy suppliers without any commitment to switch suppliers.

You will need figures for your annual consumption – these can be found on your energy bill.

Your energy bill also includes a Tariff Information Label (TIL) which states the tariff you are currently on and a personalised Cheapest Tariff Message, which states whether there is a cheaper tariff offered by your current energy supplier and, if so, includes an estimate of how much you would save if you moved to this tariff.

https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/energy/energy-supply/get-a-better-energy-deal/switching-energy-supplier/

Before switching your energy to a new supplier, check the following:

Exit fees
If you are on a fixed length contract and your supplier charges an exit fee, then you can leave without paying this at any time during the last 49 days of the contract period. However, in some cases the savings you make by switching to a new supplier will be larger than these exit fees and some suppliers will pay your exit fees for you if you switch to them.
Performance rankings
Check out the Customer service rankings produced by Citizens Advice and Supplier performance on complaints from Ofgem to see how well your existing supplier performs against the one you are considering switching to
Switching incentives
Some suppliers operate “refer a friend” schemes where both an existing customer and someone who switches to them will both receive a rewards when a switch is successfully completed. If you’ve found a company that you would like to switch to and they have a “refer a friend” scheme, ask your relatives and friends to see if anyone is already with the company that you want to switch to as both of you could then end up benefiting from the switch. Warning – don’t just switch to a supply who offers a “refer a friend” scheme without checking prices from other companies first – you may find cheaper quotes with savings that are more than the refer a friend bonus.
Warm Home Discount
Not all energy suppliers offer the Warm Home Discount to customers.
  • If you automatically qualify for the Warm Home Discount as part of the core group, check to see if the new supplier also offers this before switching.
  • If you are eligible for the Warm Home Discount as part of the broader group, read the advice in the section below before you switch.

Warm Home Discount

The Warm Home Discount is a government scheme that gives eligible households £140 off their energy bills each winter. (The government announced in December 2020 that this scheme has been extended to run until 2026 and whilst it was proposed that future discounts would be increased to £150 each year, following a consultation in February 2021 it was decided to leave the amount at £140 for winter 2021/22.)

Core group

The Warm Home Discount is offered to a “Core group“, which covered anyone who receives the Guaranteed Credit element of Pension Credit.

The Department for Work and Pensions works with participating suppliers to identify those who receive Pension Credit among their customers. Most eligible Core Group customers are identified in this way and automatically receive their rebate.

Please note that you will only qualify for this discount via the core group if you meet the criteria on a specific date (known as the qualifying date), which is usually in July. If you may a successful application for the Guaranteed Credit element of Pension Credit and it is awarded after this qualifying date then you will need to apply for Warm Home Discount under the Broader group (see below).

If you receive the Guaranteed Credit element of Pension Credit and you buy your energy from an energy supplier participating in the Warm Home Discount scheme you should receive this payment by 31 March.

Broader group

Some energy suppliers also make this discount to available to what they refer to as a “broader group”. Criteria for this broader group and the application process varies between suppliers and links to participating suppliers can be found on https://www.gov.uk/the-warm-home-discount-scheme/energy-suppliers

The number of discounts available to households applying in the “broader group” is limited, so apply as soon as possible. Applications typically open from July/August but from March onwards some suppliers invite their customers to “register their interest” for the following winter. By registering your interest, you should then automatically receive updates from your supplier including notification when their scheme is open.

Households on both credit meters and pre-payment meters are eligible to receive this discount. If you are on a pre-payment meter your energy supplier can tell you how you’ll get the discount if you’re eligible, for example they may supply a voucher you can use to top up your meter.

If a Warm Home Discount application is successful, the discount will be applied to your bill by 31 March.

Switching suppliers

If you apply for the Warm Home Discount under the broader group, then you must not switch suppliers until payment is received. If you do, you won’t receive the discount. A new supplier may also offer this discount to the broader group, but you may not qualify under the eligibility criteria used by the new supplier and as you can’t apply until the switch is complete they may have closed the scheme to new applicants by the time you are able to apply.

(Note: this does not apply to households who are eligible for the Warm Home Discount as part of the core group, who are able to switch at any time and will still receive the payment.)

Further advice and support on all issues discussed on this page, including switching suppliers for customers who have already applied for Warm Home Discount under the broader group criteria is available by contacting the energy adviser at Citizens Advice Teignbridge either directly or via the main Citizens Advice service.