All Posts (157)

Information on Smart Meters

Following on from the presentation and discussion on the introduction of smart meters at the recent BESN Workshops, we'd like to signpost you to a DECC leaflet explaining how data from smart meters is expected to transform the market for energy services.

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Recent research from Ofgem has shown that the gap between average variable tariffs and the cheapest fixed tariffs is so wide most consumers would be better off on a fixed deal. Despite the recent cuts to variable prices, the potential saving of up to £250 means that most consumers would be better off moving to a fixed deal.

Ofgem’s research also found that some of the cheapest fixed tariffs were with independent suppliers with some fixed deals at around £915 per year, compared to £1,1651 for the average variable tariff with one of the larger suppliers. Around half of customers switching supplier now move to independent suppliers.

Read more and have a look at Ofgem's infographic here.

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The revised code requires accredited sites to meet tighter standards on how tariffs are displayed. This is so consumers can be confident that deals aren’t hidden from view. Sites will also have to list prominently which energy companies they have commission arrangements with, and make it clear that they earn commission on certain tariffs. Read more on Ofgem's website here.

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Ecotricity to reduce the price of gas

Ecotricity, an independent energy supplier, has reduced the price of gas for all its customers by 6.1%, providing the biggest recent cut in the industry. The company, which specialises in building windfarms and supplying low-carbon power, will make the reduction on 1 May 2015 in a move designed to cut about £42 a year from typical domestic bills.

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ScottishPower to cut gas prices by 4.8%

ScottishPower has become the third major gas supplier to announce a price cut, with the news it is to reduce prices by 4.8% from 20 February 2015. Customers on the standard tariff will make an average saving of £33 on their annual gas bills as a result.

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British Gas reduces its prices

British Gas has become the second of the Big Six energy suppliers to cut household gas prices, reducing its prices by 5 per cent. The UK's biggest domestic energy supplier, part of the Centrica group, said the cut would reduce the typical household's annual energy bill by £37.

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Fuel Poverty Forums

NEA holds regular Fuel Poverty Forums throughout England and Wales - these events are designed to bring together key partners and stakeholders to discuss issues and practical solutions to tackle fuel poverty.

To check when the next Forum is taking place and to book your free place, see here.

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BESN Case Study templates

As part of your grant, each Champion is required to collect a minimum of two case studies per project. To aid this process, we have produced the following two templates to help gather the necessary information from consumers helped and/or frontline workers trained through your BESN project. The exact content and detail that you include in these templates will of course vary on a case by case basis.

Please submit your completed case studies to the BESN mailbox by 20 March 2015.

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Switching energy supplier could save many people around £300 – and some could save more – off their bills, and it’s now quicker to do than ever before.

In October 2013 Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Ed Davey challenged industry to cut switching times dramatically. New processes are now in place to get households switching in half the time, so people can benefit from increased competition and trimmer bills sooner this New Year.

Energy companies have cut the time it takes to switch between suppliers to 17 days, down from 5 weeks last year. Together with savings of around £300 for many – or more for a first-time switcher – and new competitive tariffs on the market at under £1000 a year, now’s the time to shop around for a good deal.

Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Ed Davey said:

"We’ve introduced more competition in the energy market and made it much quicker for people to switch energy supplier.

“Industry is delivering on my challenge so now my challenge is for more consumers to take advantage. There’s never been a better time to shop around, switch and save money faster than ever before.

“The job is not done for energy suppliers. They must offer 24 hour switching for consumers as quickly as possible.”

Throughout 2014, 3.1 million people shopped around and switched for a better deal on their gas bills, according to Energy UK statistics.

Industry body Energy UK is responding to Ed Davey’s challenge – 9 of Energy UK’s suppliers are now offering switching in 17 days. Lawrence Slade, chief executive of Energy UK, said:

"This is fantastic news and yet another example of energy companies making it easier for customers to engage with their supplier.

“There are now twenty six suppliers in the market and recently we saw data showing the price of the average tariff is falling. With quicker switching we urge customers to take full advantage of the great deals on offer." 

But it doesn’t stop there. Smaller independent suppliers have confirmed that they are on track to introduce faster switching in 2015 as well. The new changes mean that suppliers don’t have to wait for the 14 day cooling off period before they begin the switching process. Instead the process begins on day one when a customer decides to switch, while statutory rights are protected so switchers can still cancel at any time within those 14 days.

Energy regulator Ofgem worked closely with suppliers to approve the new system. Ofgem Chief Executive Dermot Nolan said:

“Ofgem reforms have made it much easier to pick out cheaper deals. And now that switching times have been halved, there has never been a better time to shop around using the independent advice available at

“We’ll continue to work with Government and industry to make next-day switching a reality and ensure that the full benefits of the smarter market are realised.”

This is one step closer towards Energy Secretary Ed Davey’s vision for 24 hour switching, which is supported by the roll-out of smart meters. The programme is set to bring a net benefit of £6.2 billion to the UK economy through energy savings and by cutting back on delivery costs, such as the need for home meter readings.

Please also see a Faster Switching Q&A document here.

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BESN Workshops - thanks for coming!

The Birmingham and London BESN Networking and Information Sharing Workshops have taken place this week with an excellent number of Champions and Volunteers in attendance! The final workshop is still to take place in Manchester on the 20th January.

Presentations and details from the workshops will be available soon.

Thanks to everyone who came and shared their feedback and experiences of BESN delivery!


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