It may be August, but it’s only 131 days until Christmas. And that means it’s time to start getting your home and energy account ready for the colder winter months.
Remember, your payments will increase over the cooler months to match average usage patterns and to help you avoid building up a large debt – higher winter payments are taken from October to March.
In this blog, we’ll explain how you can check your account is on track, how you can join the Priority Services Register, where you can find help if you're struggling to pay your bill and what to do in an emergency.
Submit a meter reading
It’s important that you send us your meter readings regularly so that we can bill you for the energy you’re using and send accurate monthly statements.
We’ll email you a reminder when it’s time to give us your meter readings each month, and you’ll also see a prompt in the app.
If you’d like to send meter readings more frequently, you can do this in the app. Head to ‘Your tariff, meter and readings’ and scroll down to ‘Send a meter reading’.
Manage your balance
We’ll review your account every six months to check that your Direct Debit matches the amount of energy you’re using. We’ll email you when it’s time to review your account. It’s important you submit your meter readings regularly so that we can align your payments with how much energy you’re using.
If we need to make any changes we’ll let you know – you can accept or query this in the ‘Account review’ section of the app.
You can check your payments are on track any time by requesting an account review. From the app dashboard head to ‘Manage your balance and payments’ and hit ‘Request an account review’.
If you’re paying too much or too little for your energy right now, we’ll adjust your payments. You may also be due a refund to clear your balance, or we may need to set up a temporary payment plan to get you back on track.
Join the Priority Services Register
The Priority Services Register (PSR) is a free service for households that may need a little extra help. It lets us understand how best to support and communicate with you.
It’s especially important for you to join the PSR if anyone in your home is dependent on electricity for medical or quality of life reasons.
Once you’ve joined the Priority Services Register you’ll have the option to book a callback in our app if you need any help from our team – simply head to the Help section. This service is only for households that need extra support; for example if someone in your home is dependent on electricity for medical reasons, or if you have a disability that you'd like us to consider when communicating with you.
When you join the PSR you’ll also be able to add another contact to your account, get more frequent meter reading visits and set up a password for engineers and meter readers to use to prove their identity.
You can sign up to the PSR during the switch process, but if you missed it, or your circumstances change, you can join and amend your details at any time in our app by tapping ‘Register for the PSR’ in the Account section.
Check your contact details are up to date
From time to time we may need to get in touch with you to discuss your account. So it’s important your contact details are kept up to date.
To check and amend your details head to the Account section of your app and then 'View or edit your contact details'.
Get help if you’re struggling financially
If you’re struggling to pay your energy bills it’s important that you let us know so we can help. To get in touch with the team, tap Help in the app then ‘Ask a question’ and let WattBot know you’re struggling to pay your bills. You can find more information on how we support our Members here.
You can get debt advice and other tips from these organisations:
www.citizensadvice.org.uk England: 0800 144 8848 Scotland: 0800 028 1456 Wales: 0800 702 2020 (Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm)
Stepchange Debt Charity
0800 138 1111 (Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm, Saturday 8am to 4pm)
www.nationaldebtline.org 0808 808 4000 (Monday to Friday 9am to 8pm, Saturday 9.30am to 1pm)
You can also find help and advice at: Ofgem, the energy regulator www.ofgem.gov.uk Energy Saving Trust www.energysavingtrust.org.uk Centre for sustainable energy www.cse.org.uk/advice Energy Helpline www.energyhelpline.com
Make sure you know what to do in an emergency
If you smell gas or believe that there’s a gas leak call the National Gas Emergency line immediately on 0800 111 999.
If you have no gas supply but believe your meter is safe, let us know by heading to the Help section of the app and tap ‘I’ve got no electricity or gas’.
If there’s a power cut and you and your neighbours have no electricity supply, call your local distributor on 105. If only your house is affected, first check that a fuse hasn’t tripped. If your neighbour's power is on and your fuse box looks fine, please get in touch with us by tapping ‘I’ve got no electricity or gas’ in the Help section of the app.
Give your boiler some TLC
Boiler engineers are likely to be a bit quieter in the summer months so it’s a good time to get your boiler checked to see if it’s working efficiently ahead of the colder winter.
We’ve partnered with Hometree, the industry-leading boiler, heating and home care cover providers. Hometree will protect your boiler, whatever it’s age or model – and you’ll get 15% off a new one if it can’t be fixed.