Tis the season to go dual-fuel?
Christmas means winter, winter means heating, and heating means big fuel bills – so can you save yourself a load of dosh by doubling up?
Winter is here, and although you may be currently kept warm via the medium of Christmassy food and drink (or possibly a festive jumper), it’s also likely that you’ll be beginning to lean heavily on the thermostat. And so your heating bills will be going up.
It’s at times like these that a bill payer’s thoughts turn to saving money. And one of the ways of saving money on your bill – so any number of energy providers may tell you – is to get your gas and electricity all bundled up into a single package.
The reason this is useful is most obviously because having one contact point and one bill to pay saves you time and effort. It just also happens to make your energy supplier more money, as they get income from your gas bill AND your electricity bill. And because of this, they’ll often offer discounts and incentives for those who choose to sign up to a dual fuel tariff.
Of course, it may well be that you can find a cheaper total bill by rummaging through comparison websites and paying separately. So the question as to whether or not you choose to go for dual fuel most likely boil (if you’ll forgive the pun) down to how you like to balance convenience versus money saving…
If you want to read more about your dual fuel options, then energy provider OVO has quite a useful guide: https://www.ovoenergy.com/guides/energy-guides/dual-fuel.html
Complaining to your energy supplier
The most important thing to remember when you want to complain about an energy supplier is that you must first follow the company’s own complaints procedures before you consider taking your issue to the energy ombudsman.
Most energy suppliers offer a fairly comprehensive breakdown of their own complaints procedures on their websites, but our site Resolver.co.uk will ensure you say the right thing at the right time - and to the right person!
Helpful hints when making a complaint about an energy supplier
• Get your complaint in writing - this is the easiest way of making sure it gets recorded properly
• If you do need to make a phone call, Resolver can record it and store it for you in your online case file.
• Record as many details as possible - Who you speak to, their job titles, the dates and times of your calls with them. Resolver can do this for you, but it’s worth making the effort to record details yourself, too.
• Be polite. You might well be really frustrated and irritated about the service you’ve received, but it’s important to keep calm, especially if you’re complaining to the ombudsman - effectively a third party that has had nothing to do with your complaint other than an intent to solve it.
If you’ve had a problem with the service of an energy company, you can take your complaint to the ombudsman.
How do I take my complaint to the energy ombudsman?
Before you can make a complaint to the ombudsman, you first need to raise your issue with the energy company you have a problem with. You then need to wait eight weeks before taking your complaint to the energy ombudsman.
What guarantees do I have about the behaviour of a company in the energy sector?
There is a guaranteed service standard for all companies that operate within the energy sector. This is known as the Quality of Service Guaranteed Standard.
It is regulated by Ofgem, and covers areas of service including power supply, connection maintenance and voltage quality.
What can the industry regulator do to help?
Ofgem, (the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets) is charged with looking after the interests of the consumer. It’s Ofgem’s responsibility to help control pricing, and ensure a clear billing structure is in place for customers.
However, although Ofgem’s help means most energy companies offer a clear complaints procedure (often published on the company’s own website), it is not responsible for handling complaints.
What can the energy ombudsman do for a consumer with a complaint?
If you make an energy ombudsman complaint, and it is upheld, then the ombudsman can force the supplier to resolve your issue, apologise or even offer financial compensation if appropriate.