Standing Charges

Let’s talk about Standing Charges…

Q. What is a standing charge?

A. Your energy bills and statements are just like telephone bills and statements. As with phone bills, you are billed for the line rental and specific calls on top. With energy, it is essentially the same with standing charges being the cost of having a gas and/or electricity supply – then usage on top.

This means the standing charge is the fee you pay to have us supply and maintain your energy.

Q. Why would I pay a standing charge if I don't have to?

A. Without a standing charge, you would end up paying more than you must for each unit of energy you use. This means, if you have a high standing charge, you may pay less for usages and vice versa.

It's important to remember to continue topping up over the summer and keep an eye on your balance, even if you aren't using as much energy. The standing charges will continue to be taken from your account.

Q. Do switching sites help me find the cheapest tariff?

A. We always advise our customers and others to be careful and to check details carefully when using comparison sites. You may find that many only ask for your monthly usage and receive a quote based on you using this amount every month and the estimate you receive in comparison to your actual costs may differ.

We always recommend checking and comparing your standing charge and usage charge. Also, check the companies (like us) that aren’t available through switching sites, you’ll often find many amazing and possibly better deals.

Q. Why are standing charges always within the small print and sometimes hidden?

A. We never hide our standing charges, nor do we try to hide them. We always stay within the regulated limitation and will only recommend our tariffs if they are beneficial to you. We are happy to discuss all our tariffs with you.

Please contact customerservice@nabuhenergy.co.uk for any further information you may need.

Smart meter top 6

We’ve narrowed down the top 6 most frequently asked questions regarding Smart Meters to help you make your upgrading decision easier!

Question 1: IS IT TRUE CAN’T SWITCH PROVIDER ONCE YOU HAVE A SMART METER INSTALLED?

You may have heard about the newest generation of Smart meters, SMETS2, which are cross-compatible.  This means if you have switched over from a different supplier, you won’t lose any Smart meter functionality.

We will let you know when we are installing our Smart meters into homes.  To make sure that you have your name on the list, let us know you’re interested here.

Question 2: CAN YOUR SMART METER REALLY SPY ON YOU?

This is a statement that has circulated around the internet since the release of Smart Meters, please rest assured that this is not true!

Smart meters work in a similar way to traditional meters and only track your energy consumption, so no, there’s no special ‘spying’ feature on them.

Question 3: DO SMART METERS ALLOW FOR YOUR ENERGY SUPPLY TO BE EASILY SWITCHED OFF?

No, OFGEM regulates the protection of all energy customers.

You’re protected by strict regulations against being switched off or disconnected by any energy supplier. This protection remains just as much with smart meters as it does with traditional meters.

Question 4: I'VE HEARD THAT  SMART METERS CAN BE HACKED – IS IT TRUE?

The systems behind Smart meters are very secure and specifically designed to prevent hacking. Security is at the heart of the whole smart meter roll-out programme.  Smart meters don’t use the internet and have their own closed, dedicated communications system.  Not only that, but they have been designed by top cyber security experts to ensure that the security best practice has been implemented in each stage of development.

Question 5: DO SMART METERS CAUSE DAMAGE TO YOUR HEALTH?

There has been no evidence to suggest that exposure to smart meters and the radio transmitters they have, posing a risk to health. The exposure you have with smart meters is below international guidelines and is less than mobile phones or Wi-Fi, so there is no need to worry about any health risks.

Question 6: SMART METERS ONLY BENEFIT THE ENERGY SUPPLIER SO WHY SHOULD I GET ONE?

As with any business, there will be a benefit, however, most of the benefits are for the customer themselves.  For example,

  • Smart meters provide customers with near-real-time energy usage information which can help you see exactly how much you’re spending and how to take control of it.
  • Say goodbye to estimated bills, so you only pay for the amount you use.
  • No more manual meter reads, your smart meter will send them directly to us!
  • Smart meters also provide power outage detection and notification, so if you ever suffer a power shortage it will be reported and restored without you doing a thing

Winter Warmers

Be prepared before the cold weather hits hard.

We’re set to be hit with the coldest weather of the year and it’s bringing strong winds, rain and snow along with it! How prepared are you if the weather does bring along chaos?

We’ve been warned by The Met Office that we should be prepared for freezing temperatures (-2 and lower!) and that things will be becoming more unsettled, meaning we need to prepare for the freezing temperatures now.

One of the most important steps is having your boiler serviced.

It’s usually better to do this in the summer so you’re not so interrupted, however, we still recommend if you haven’t done this yet.  You probably should do it now.  Also, keeping the boiler pressure between 1-1.5 is a must.

Insulation is key

Almost of a quarter of your home’s heating escapes through the room so it’s worth investing in insulation for your roof.  When/if doing this, make sure to check for any cracked or lost tiles in the roof as heating will be freely leaving via things like this.

Protect your pipes

The best way to prevent your pipes from freezing is to insulate them using insulation tubing.  It’s also worth fixing any leaking taps and this could become a real issue in the winter.

Check windows and doors

Make sure you check your windows and doors to make sure they’re draft free. You want to keep the heat in and the cold out! It’s also worth checking outside for any low hanging trees and paths covered in snow/ice can be a big risk. Investing in rock salt, a snow shovel and by keeping branches away from the home as best as possible are all things that’ll keep you safe.

Check smoke alarms

Winter means more heaters on, which increases the likelihood of a fire. Make sure you’re safe and check your fire alarms work and that any vents are not trapped by snow.

 

For Emergencies, please click here

Economy 7 cost cutting tips

You’ve made the decision that Economy 7 is for you and you’re certain that you’re on the best Economy 7 deal. So here are nine tips to push your savings to the max.

Double-check your off-peak times

Always check exactly when your off-peak period begins and ends. ( we’ve made a great blog that lets you know when your off-peak times are – check it out here 

But, it’s worth mentioning that off-peak might start at slightly different times each day. For example, one night it might start at 12.05am, but another night it may begin at 12.15am. It should only vary by a few minutes though.

This can sometimes happen because companies try to avoid all customers turning on their appliances at the same time as it could overload the network, so it’s often safer to change the times.

If you want to know exactly when we will be changing times, you can send an email to our Customer Service team here and they will gladly let you know all the information you need.

Max your night-time usage

In order to use Economy 7 successfully, it means you need to make sure you stick to turning on appliances through the night. Here are some tricks:

  • Grab cheap timers – Why not install timers on your washing machine (if they’re not already built in). You can get them from around £5 from various hardware stores, they're easy to install and will save you a few pounds in the long term.
  • Charge gadgets at night – This is something that many of us are already doing, but worth mentioning all the same. Charge as many gadgets as possible during the cheaper night hours, from phones to laptops and rechargeable batteries/charger packs which should keep you profiting all day.
  • Use energy-efficient appliances - Economy 7 is known for its pricer daytime rates, so by make sure the appliances you use during peak hours don't rack up your bill. Try using energy-efficient light bulbs for a start.
  • Warning! Set tumble dryers to come on just before you wake- For health and safety reasons, we never recommend setting tumble dryers on whilst you are asleep, plus the fire brigades highly advise not too. Combat this by setting it to come on around 10 minutes before you wake up.

Be careful when the clocks change

It’s important to note that many Economy 7 meters are set to Greenwich Mean Time. With some using clocks which STAY on GMT, even when the clocks go forward at the end of March.

As a culture that is increasingly reliant on computers to automatically set our timers, it can cause problems because you could end up using electrical appliances during what you think is off-peak, when in fact you're paying the pricey peak rate. For example, if you set the dishwasher or washing machine to come on just after midnight during British Summer Time, the Economy 7 meter might still be on GMT.

This means the meter still thinks it's just after 11pm – a peak period – so you might be shocked when you discover this has all been charged at the expensive rate. Sometimes the cheap rate period moves from something like 1am to 8am during GMT, to between 2am and 9am.

Find out EXACTLY what your cheap hours are during BST. Some people may have a sticker on their meter which tells them – if not, get in touch to find out exactly when your peak hours are during BST.

Ensure your meter's clock isn't on its way out.

Older mechanical clocks have been known to age and go out of sync.  Make sure to check yours to make sure it hasn't thrown your off-peak hours completely out of sync.

If the daytime reading on your Economy 7 meter is ticking over at night, or vice versa, call us ASAP to get it fixed.

Maximise the energy efficiency of your storage heaters

There are usually three types of storage heaters. The first is a manual one with really basic controls – an input/output dial.

Another has a thermostat. This one releases heat depending on the temperature of the room it's in.

The third type is a combination of the previous two. It has a convector heater to use as a booster during peak hours.

If you've got a manual storage heater, with just the input/output dial, make sure the output is set to low before it comes on in the night. The output dial normally goes from 1-6, so make sure it's set at 1.

This will ensure the storage heater charges up through the night without releasing heat – and wasting your electricity.

Call us if your day usage soars

If you start to use electricity far more during the day while on Economy 7, check the meter or get in touch with us to find out how much you're using – and how much it's costing you.

Don't leave it let it get the better of you, we have a big heart and are here to help!

Do the energy-saving basics

There's no point switching to Economy 7 if you wander round the house in your underwear with the radiators on full and windows wide open.

Making sensible changes will save you.  Using draught excluders, setting washing machines to 30°C to low-energy light bulbs and notching down the thermostat.

Do a meter reading every time you get a new statement

The best way to ensure that you are only paying for what you use is to provide accurate and up to date meter readings.  We don’t need them every month, however, by providing them regularly, you will be able to keep track on your usage and also ensure that you are paying the correct amount.

If you pay by direct debit and you feel you are paying way too much, get in touch and we will evaluate your account and ensure the payments are affordable.

You can provide meter readings quickly and efficiently online here

Check if you can get a smart meter

Smart meters are great appliances for recording how much energy you use.  Usually every half an hour the meter will send us a meter reading meaning you don’t have to and you know that you are only paying for your actual usage.

Smart meters come with a display monitor (IHD) which show you, at that moment, exactly how much energy you're using and the cost. You’re able to see if you're using too much during expensive daytime hours.

The Government has set that every UK customer will be offered a smart meter, free, by 2020.  We hope to start supplying our customers with them asap.  Keep an eye on our website and your email inbox for more information as to when they will become available.

Cut Your Energy Costs Day

Learn about Cut your Energy Costs Day

 

Winter is here and you’re probably thinking about your energy usage and how expensive this time of year is.  Cut your Energy Costs Day is your opportunity to look at the energy usage in your home, office etc. Finding ways to reduce how much energy you use will help you all year round, not just for the winter months.

Heating costs have been an issue with customers for a long time (energy bills are one of the most expensive costs that we pay for our home throughout the year).  With Cut your Energy Costs Day, we advise to take the plunge to assess your home and consider things that may be costing you (those appliances you left on standby) and that may have been forgotten about.

Ways to save on this day and going forwards are thinking about appliances that may help you in the long term, things like a programmable thermostat which makes it easy to not only turn on your heating but also just as easy to turn it off if you have had to leave in a rush, or gone to bed and left the heating on.  Items like this will also enable you to set the time and days that the temperature should be adjusted, leaving you with the perfect temperature without wasting any money.  Many thermostats already have this option, but many are not aware – look at yours today and see if you are able to programme your week.

The next thing to do is have an overview of your appliances.  Old and inefficient appliances are not energy efficient and could be costing you more than they are worth.  Look at any of the appliances that have been in your home for a long time and access if it would be cost efficient to purchases a newer, more energy efficient version.  Appliances now usually have an energy efficiency chart on them at the time of purchase, if you are unsure, make sure you ask the seller.  The higher the rating (A+ being the best) the more energy efficient your appliance is.

Cut your Energy Costs Day is all about reviewing and accessing your current situation and finding out what could benefit yourself regarding lowering energy usage.  For more information on any energy usage and how to lower your energy consumption, please contact us on 0330 0414 902 or customerservice@nabuhenergy.co.uk