Who are Better Energy?
We are an independent energy company – Better Energy Supply Ltd – licensed by Ofgem, the national energy regulator, to supply gas to domestic and business customers throughout Great Britain. Energy company licences can be found on the Ofgem website.
How long have you been supplying gas?
Better Energy was incorporated in March 2010 and, after obtaining its gas licences later that year, began supplying gas customers in January 2011.
How can you be cheaper than larger suppliers?
We have access to the same wholesale gas markets as other suppliers and our overheads are lower. We encourage you to compare prices before signing up with any supplier – our current tariffs can be found on the get a quote page.
What do you mean by “making services simple and transparent”?
Our customers tell us that they find gas bills, and the gas industry as a whole, hard to understand. Our tariffs are simple and straightforward, with no more than a daily standing charge and a single unit price for each kWh (kilowatt-hour) used. Our bills and other communications are designed to help you to see exactly what you’re paying and why – the physical arrangements to get your gas to you are quite complex enough without the paperwork making it worse.
Do you own your own pipelines?
No – the pipelines through which gas is delivered to customers are owned by five regional companies (the Public Gas Transporters) and a number of Independent Gas Transporters. All suppliers use the services of these transporters to bring you your gas.
What if there is a leak?
The local gas transporter is responsible for the pipes in each area up to the point where the gas is taken from the meter (after which they are the customer’s responsibility). There are combined emergency arrangements across the country – if you smell gas or think that you may have a gas leak, do not use a naked flame or mobile phone and do not operate electrical switches. Turn off the gas supply at the meter, open doors and windows to allow the gas to escape and call the national gas emergency number 0800 111 999 at once.
Is there more risk in buying gas from Better Energy compared to larger suppliers?
All suppliers are regulated by Ofgem and have to participate in the energy industry governance arrangements. If any supplier falls short of the required standards there are clearly-established procedures to eject them from these arrangements and to transfer their customers to other suppliers.
How long will it take to transfer my supply to Better Energy?
Your supply will usually start three weeks after we receive your instructions to switch (including your direct debit mandate if you have chosen a tariff with this payment method). The switching process can be delayed if the industry’s central database has incomplete or incorrect information about your supply, or if there are reasons to think that it does. Your outgoing supplier can also delay the process by objecting to the transfer, but they are only allowed to do this:
- if you ask them to,
- if they are owed money, or
- if you are a business customer and have a fixed term contract that will still be current at the transfer date.
What if I’m in a fixed term contract with my current supplier?
If you are a domestic customer you are always allowed to change supplier, although some fixed term tariffs have exit charges if you leave within the term. We suggest that you compare the savings from switching your supply with any exit charges so that you can decide whether to move your supply now or wait for your fixed term to end.
If you are a business customer your existing supplier can prevent you from transferring your supply unless you have given the required notice to end your existing contract. Some contracts allow notice (usually 28 days) to be given at any time, but most fixed price business contracts are for a fixed term and cannot be ended early except if there is a genuine change of customer at the premises being supplied. If you have a fixed term contract your supplier should send you a renewal letter, usually between two and four months before the end of the term, to tell you what tariff will apply after the term ends. There are two major pitfalls in this situation. If you don’t give give notice within the period specified in the letter you will be tied into the new tariff which will often involve a new fixed term at a much higher price. If you do give notice but don’t do anything else you won’t be tied in to a new term but the “out of contract” tariff you will then be on until you make arrangements for a new contract will often be even more expensive. Taking prompt action when your renewal letter arrives is the single biggest opportunity you are likely to have to make savings on your energy costs.
How is my meter read and when do I need to provide my own meter readings?
We encourage all customers to take regular meter readings. Shortly before your bill is due we will usually either contact you to ask you to send us a reading or read the meter ourselves. You can supply a meter reading at any time by emailing us or calling a member of the team. We will read your meter ourselves, and inspect it to make sure it is safe, at least every two years.
Do you supply electricity as well as gas?
We are licensed to supply electricity but still have some work to complete before we can start supplying customers. We hope to be ready within the next year. When we are, we will let all of our gas customers know so that those who prefer to buy their gas and electricity from the same supplier will have that option.
How often do you review your prices?
There are many variables that affect the price of gas. We try not to change our variable price tariffs to customers more than is absolutely necessary, and usually not more than once a year. When we do notify you of a change to your tariff, if you then tell us that you will be changing supplier we will defer the change to allow reasonable time for this to happen, so that by acting promptly you can avoid the effect of the change.
The prices of our fixed price tariffs are set based on current market conditions when they are launched and then remain fixed for the life of the tariff.
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