Energy saving advice
Keep your home warm and save money at the same time!
Energy Activators is an Inverclyde-based service offering a full range of energy advice and resource efficiency programmes to residents of three of Inverclyde's main housing associations - Larkfield, Cloch and Oak Tree.
It provides a free home energy audit and bespoke support to help your household reduce your energy use and costs. As part of the project, Energy Activators also offers workshops and upskilling support with recycling and reuse of unwanted household items to reduce energy use.
The project is operated by the Wise Group on our behalf and is funded by the Scottish Government's Climate Challenge Fund.
What services can Energy Activators offer you?
- Energy advice: advice can be given tailored to your household to help reduce your energy costs.
- Fuel debt: help to set up manageable repayment plans, and on some occasions get some of the debt cleared.
- Warm Home Discount: help to apply for the Warm Home Discount of £140 (if you are eligible).
- Recycling workshop: upcycling workshops to show you how to use recyclable items to make draft excluders etc. to make your home warmer.
Arrange a visit from our Energy Activator
If you would like a visit from our Energy Activator please call us on 01475 630 930 and we will arrange a convenient time for a visit.
Fuel Bill rises and changing supplier – don’t suffer alone
We know that fuel bills have risen everywhere and at the same time, through no fault of their own, some people are faced with a new supplier. This is confusing and can lead for some people, to the distress of unaffordable or unpaid bills, as well as trying to sort out new suppliers and new deals.
We can help
We have a partnership with the Wise Group (energy advice specialists). This means that we have a team of Energy Activators working for Larkfield, Cloch and Oak Tree Housing Association tenants to provide practical, hands-on advice and support to those in fuel debt, fuel poverty, and those who are simply confused by what is happening.
What is happening to fuel suppliers and prices?
Fuel prices have risen by up to 250% to the suppliers over the last 12 months. And due to fuel deals and the UK Government’s price capping, this has meant that some small suppliers are taking in less money from customers than they have to pay out to the fuel companies. This is why they then go bust.
At the same time, where they can, fuel suppliers are passing on the increased cost, leaving customers who are on standard tariffs with bills that have risen way beyond inflation and wage increases.
And on 1st October 2021, the Government cap on fuel prices is being raised by 12% and this will mean those on a standard tariff will be paying an average of £139 more per year. Prepayment meter users could see an increase on average of £153 per year.
What can you do and how can we help?
If your supplier has gone under then OFGEM, the UK Energy Regulator, has standard practices in place. This means you are automatically moved to another supplier and any credit you have with the old supplier is moved with your account. Sounds simple, but you need to take practical steps to ensure this transfer is as smooth as possible.
- Take regular screenshots or print your balance from your online account when any of the smaller suppliers “go bust” one of the first things they will do is shut down their website/app, so to keep up-to-date proof of balance could be useful if the companies cease trading.
- Don’t panic, your supply will not be disrupted. We all get our gas and electricity from the national grid not our chosen companies they only bill us for energy used.
- Continue to top up prepayment or smart prepayment meters with the usual key/cards these will continue to work and add credit to your meters in the usual way.
- A new supplier will be appointed automatically by OFGEM. They will be in contact within a week normally to advise they are taking over. You can then ask them for best tariff and chose a payment method. The new supplier will be taking over hundreds of thousands of accounts at once, so they will take time to have all your details. Phoning them before they contact you will not speed up the process. They will contact you as soon as they are ready to finalise setting up your account.
- Continue to set aside money every week or month to ensure you can pay your bill to your new supplier when you are asked. Remember prices are going up for everyone, so you will need to set aside what you have been paying and allow for around 10% more, as a minimum.
- Struggling to understand or pay your bills, contact your housing association, and ask for the Energy Activators. They can give you help, advice and even talk to your supplier on your behalf. See further contact details below.
- If you are on a low income and/or on certain means-tested benefits you may be eligible to apply for the Warm Home Discount you can get £140 off energy bills. If you are on guaranteed Pension Credit, this should be applied automatically. In addition, Winter Fuel Payments and Cold Weather Payments will help ensure those most vulnerable are better able to heat their homes over the colder months. Need help accessing grants? Contact our Energy Activators.
- Housing status does not affect your eligibility for energy industry initiatives. This help is there to help all of the most vulnerable to achieve a level of comfort at a cost they can afford. All tenants of any housing association or homeowners and private tenants can apply for any assistance if they are eligible. The Energy Activators or I-Heat both energy advice services operated by the Wise Group provide a free, individually tailored, and impartial service for every household in Inverclyde.
Contacts and Websites:
- How you’re protected when energy firms collapse
- UK gas supply explainer - GOV.UK
- What happens if your energy supplier goes bust
- What happens if the energy supplier to your business goes bust
- Check if the energy price cap affects you
- Warm Home Discount Scheme - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Cold Weather Payment - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Get help with energy bills - mygov.scot
Or phone, Advice Direct Scotland on 0808 8009060
Some more detail on the Warm Home Discount
On certain benefits? You may qualify, but you must apply!
If you’re on a low income and on certain means-tested benefits you may be eligible to apply for the Warm Home Discount (all firms with more than 250,000 customers will offer it), but in this scenario, it won’t be paid automatically and you’ll need to apply to your energy provider. You will need to act fast, as once the money set aside is gone, the scheme will close.
The full eligibility criteria are as follows:
If you have an annual household income of £16,190 or less and you get child tax credit, or you receive income support or income-based jobseeker’s allowance, or you receive income-related employment and support allowance, you’re eligible if you have any of the following:
– A disability premium
– A pensioner premium
– A disabled child premium
– Child tax credit that includes a ‘disability’ or ‘severe disability’ element
– Parental responsibility of a child aged under five living with you
If you get universal credit and have earned £1,349 or less in at least one month since October 2020, you’re eligible if you have any of the following:
– The ‘limited capability for work’ element (with or without a ‘work-related activity’ element)
– The ‘disabled child’ element
– Parental responsibility of a child aged under five living with you
If you are not in the ‘core group’, you should apply now as schemes will be oversubscribed and close quickly.
To contact Larkfield’s Energy Advisor, contact 01389 783637
For homeowners, contact I-Heat on 0800 092 9002