COVID-19 Energy Advice Blog
Last updated – 6th January 2021
The COVID-19 Pandemic continues to cause a lot of disruption to our normal lives, it’s affecting the way we shop, work and entertain ourselves as we find ourselves heading into another lockdown as announced by the Scottish Government on 4th January 2021.
We’re going to be continuously updating this blog with advice related to managing your energy use during this time.
On the 19th March 2020, The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy announced measures agreed to by all UK energy suppliers to prevent vulnerable customers from being disconnected. These measures should ensure no one is left to go off-supply.
Cosy Kingdom is still here to help. We are not currently able to offer home energy advice visits, however, you can speak to one of our energy advisors by telephone. Give us a call on 01592 807930 or request a call back online.
If you need to self-isolate, a concern for many will be ensuring they can keep on-supply and how they will continue to top up.
If possible, you should top up more than your usual amount.
If you have a smart meter you should top up online, or using the supplier’s app.
If you are self-isolating and asking someone to top up for you it would be a good idea to:
- Disinfect your top-up keys/cards and leave them on the doorstep for them to pick up
- Leave your gas meter box open (if outside) for them to access, if safe to do so
- Keep a list of trusted friends, family and neighbours who may be able to help.
If you’re unable to top up your meter. Your first port of call should be to get in touch with your energy supplier – you can find a list of contact details below.
Suppliers must tell you:
- What customer support is available, particularly if you are vulnerable
- How you can be supported if you are unable to top up
Your supplier may help by:
- Allowing you to nominate a 3rd party to top up on your behalf
- Adding discretionary funds to your meter (You’ll need to pay this back at a later date)
- Accepting payment over the phone and sending you a pre-loaded top-up key or card
- Reassessing or temporarily suspending any debt repayment
- Switching your prepayment smart meter into credit mode (You’ll still need to pay for any energy used at a later date)
If you’re not sure where to top up, or if your usual location is closed you can find other locations at the following sites:
Paypoint – https://consumer.paypoint.com/
Payzone – https://www.payzone.co.uk/consumers/
Post Office – https://www.postoffice.co.uk/bill-payments
Unable to top-up?
Are you struggling to pay for your energy during this difficult period?
If you have a prepayment meter and are at risk of disconnection and aren’t able to get support from your energy supplier, Cosy Kingdom can help by providing a top-up to keep you on supply. Get in touch to speak to one of our energy advisors for more information.
Credit meter customers
This information is applicable to those who pay for their energy through a direct debit, on receipt or bill or those that have a payment plan in place.
If you are in financial distress you should speak to your energy supplier and update them on the situation.
There is a range of support your energy supplier could offer you including:
- Adjusting your payment amounts
- Payment breaks
- Reassessing or temporarily suspending debt repayment
- Not disconnecting anyone from supply
- Access to hardship funds
Your supplier must take into account how much you can afford to pay and current circumstances. As of the 15th of December 2020 your supplier must now take into account your ability to pay when considering repayment plans, find more about this here.
If you have a power cut you should call 105
If you have a gas emergency you should call 0800 111 999
If you have a faulty meter call your energy supplier
Priority Services Register
You may be eligible for your energy supplier Priority Services Register if someone in your home is:
- Of pensionable age
- A child under 5 years old
- Has a long-term health condition or a disability
The Register is a free service provided by energy suppliers and network operators to ensure vulnerable customers are prioritised in event of a power cut or receive suitable support when dealing with the representatives of the company.
If you live in Fife you can sign up here – https://www.spenergynetworks.co.uk/pages/priority_services_registration_form.aspx
Alternatively, contact your supplier.
Housing repairs and gas safety checks
Most housing providers will likely only be carrying out emergency repairs at this time. Routine upgrades such as heating, kitchens and bathrooms are likely to be suspended.
It is currently still a legal requirement for you to have an up to date gas safety certificate. Your landlord should still carry out your annual gas safety check. If you are self-isolating or have Coronavirus symptoms you should let them know so they can rearrange this.
If you are concerned about not having enough credit in your meter for the check to be carried out, contact your energy supplier for assistance. You can also get in touch with Cosy Kingdom for further advice.
Council Tax and Rent
To find out if you can get help with your Council Tax payments visit www.fife.gov.uk/counciltax
If you are struggling to keep up with you rent payments you should speak to your landlord to see if any help is available. If you rent from Fife Council or one of the local housing associations you can find their contact details below.
|Fife Council||03451 55 00 44||www.fife.gov.uk/housing|
|Fife Housing Group||0800 027 4007||www.fifehg.org.uk|
|Kingdom Housing||01592 630 922||www.kingdomhousing.org.uk|
|Ore Valley Housing||01592 721 917||www.orevalleyha.org.uk|
|Glen Housing||01592 621 188||www.glenhousing.co.uk|
Has your income been affected?
If your income has been affected due to Coronavirus you may be made a furloughed worker or entitled to Statutory Sick pay (SSP) or benefits such as Universal Credit.
Visit Citizen’s Advice Scotland for more information: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/scotland/work/coronavirus-if-your-employer-has-told-you-not-to-work/
You can still make an application for Universal Credit online: https://www.gov.uk/apply-universal-credit
Adjustments to Universal Credit
If you are currently claiming Universal Credit your requirements to attend the job centre have been suspended for 3 months. You will continue to receive your benefits as normal.
If you think you’ll have difficulty completing your job searching requirements you should contact your work coach via your online journal.
Some Universal Credit allowances are also increasing in April.
For more information visit: https://www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk/coronavirus/
Reducing your energy use at home
If you are self-isolating or ill with COVID-19 you are likely to use more energy than you usually would.
- If an appliance is not in use you should turn it off at the plug rather than leaving it on standby
- Only fill the kettle with just enough water for your needs
- Consider cooking with a slow cooker instead of using an oven. It’s cheaper and less work!
It’s important to keep warm, especially if you feel unwell.
- Your central heating thermostat should usually be set to no more than 21° If possible, reducing this by just 1c can save around £85 a year on your energy costs.
- You can use your Thermostatic Radiator Valves (TRV’s) to regulate the temperature in each room. If you set it to 3(III) the radiator will stop the flow of water when the room reaches around 20°c
- If you’re going to be home for an extended period of time it may be worthwhile setting your programmer to come on and off when needed
- Close doors between rooms to keep the heat where it’s needed
- Close curtains at dusk to keep the heat in
Dealing with dampness
As you’re likely to be at home more, uou should try to keep fresh air flowing through your home this will help prevent condensation and it’s good for your health too.
The average family can produce moisture equivalent to 16 pints per day. If you don’t allow this to escape it can cause problems leading to condensation and dampness.
- Leave your extractor fans running, especially after cooking and showering/bathing
- Keep trickle vents on windows open – open your windows for at least 5 minutes per day if possible
- Keep lids on pans when cooking
Energy Supplier Contact Details
We’ve compiled a list of energy supplier contact numbers and website addresses. If you need help getting in touch with your energy supplier our energy advisors are happy to help. Please get in touch.
If non-urgent you should contact your supplier via live chat/email as they may be struggling with staffing levels.
|Avro Energy||0330 058 2005||https://www.avroenergy.co.uk/|
|Boost||0330 102 7517||https://www.boostpower.co.uk/|
|Bristol Energy||0808 189 4072||https://www.bristol-energy.co.uk/|
|British Gas / Scottish Gas||0333 202 9802||https://www.britishgas.co.uk/|
|Bulb||0300 303 0635||https://bulb.co.uk/|
|Co-Operative||0808 164 1088||https://octopus.energy/co-op/|
|E||0333 103 9575||https://www.e.org/|
|Ebico||0800 028 6699||https://ebico.org.uk/|
|Ecotricity||0345 555 7100||https://www.ecotricity.co.uk/|
|EDF||0800 096 9000||https://www.edfenergy.com/|
|EON||0345 052 0000||https://www.eonenergy.com/|
|Good Energy||0800 254 0000||https://www.goodenergy.co.uk/|
|Green Network Energy||0800 520 0202||https://greennetworkenergy.co.uk/|
|Green Star||0800 012 4510||https://www.mygreenstarenergy.com/|
|Igloo||0333 405 5555||https://igloo.energy/|
|Marks & Spencer’s Energy||0808 169 7822||https://www.mandsenergy.com/|
|Nabuh||0300 041 4902||https://www.nabuhenergy.co.uk/|
|Npower||0800 073 3000||https://www.npower.com/|
|Octopus Energy||0808 164 1088||https://octopus.energy/|
|Omni Energy||0113 457 3219||https://omni-energy.co.uk/|
|Outfox the Market||0800 103 2702||https://www.outfoxthemarket.co.uk/|
|Ovo||0330 303 5063||https://www.ovoenergy.com/|
|PFP energy||01772 395 777||https://pfpenergy.co.uk/|
|Powershop UK||0800 009 3719||https://www.powershop.co.uk/|
|Pure Planet||Online only||https://purepla.net/|
|Robin Hood Energy||0800 030 4567||https://robinhoodenergy.co.uk/|
|Sainsbury’s Energy||0800 088 4127||https://www.sainsburysenergy.com/|
|Scottish Power||0800 027 0072||https://www.scottishpower.co.uk/|
|Shell Energy||0330 094 5800||https://www.shellenergy.co.uk/|
|Spark Energy||0345 034 7474||https://sparkenergy.co.uk/|
|SSE/ Scottish Hydro||0345 026 2658||https://sse.co.uk/home|
|Together Energy||0333 150 1699||https://togetherenergy.co.uk/|
|Utilita||0345 027 2000||https://utilita.co.uk/|
|Utility Warehouse||0333 003 5648||https://www.utilitywarehouse.co.uk/|
Understanding Universal Credit – https://www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk/Coronavirus/
Government – Update on emergency measures – https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-agrees-measures-with-energy-industry-to-support-vulnerable-people-through-covid-19
Ofgem – COVID-19 information – https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-covid-19-and-your-energy-supply
Energy Action Scotland – https://www.eas.org.uk/en/coronavirus_56247/
CAB – Energy supplier good practice in relation to COVID-19 – https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/about-us/policy/policy-research-topics/energy-policy-research-and-consultation-responses/energy-policy-research/risks-to-consider-and-examples-of-good-practice-for-energy-suppliers-to-support-consumers-affected-by-covid-19/
Citizen’s Advice & Right’s Fife have lots of useful information on their website. If you can’t find what you need give them a call on 0345 1400 095.
Please note that Citizen’s Advice & Right’s Fife aren’t currently offering face-to-face advice.
Need a hand?
Cosy Kingdom is here to help! Our energy advisors aren’t currently offering home visits at the moment – read our COVID-19 Statement.
Instead, we’re able to offer advice over the telephone or through our usual social media channels.
To request to speak to an advisor:
Call us on 01592 807930
Text COSY and your name to 88440
Use our website booking form
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