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Advice

Energy Costs
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Our advisors are available to help you with whatever issue or question you have, between 9:30-5pm, Mon-Thu & 9:30 - 4:30pm, Fri.

Worried about the rising cost of energy and how it may affect you?

There has been some confusion around the Government’s Energy Price Guarantee. The price guarantee sets a limit on the maximum amount suppliers can charge for each unit of gas and electricity you use (the unit price). There is also a cap on the maximum daily standing charge, which is the daily rate you pay for your home to be connected to the grid. The daily standing charge will remain fixed and cannot increase until the next price cap review.

While the unit price is fixed, there isn’t an upper limit to how much you will pay.

If you use more energy, you’ll pay more. If you use less, you’ll pay less

Energy Bills Support Scheme

The Government announced that each household can expect a £400 grant this autumn to help with rising energy bills. The £400 rebate will be made in six instalments, starting in October, and will go directly to the bill payer.

Private rented properties - bills included

If bills are included within your rent, then the £400 rebate will go to your landlord, who is the bill payer. Landlords should use this payment to offset the rising costs of utility bills they are paying on your behalf.

Can my landlord increase my rent mid-contract due to the rise in energy bills?

Although unusual, your landlord may have reserved the right in your contract to charge a supplement if energy prices rise. If the clause is fair (within the meaning of the Consumer Rights Act 2015) then landlords will be able to pass on the price rises to their tenants.

Additionally, landlords may have reserved the right in the contract to put students on to a bills-excluded basis. Again, if the clause is fair, the landlord can use it.

Most all-inclusive contracts will have an energy usage cap or a fair usage policy. Put simply, this means that your agreement is only ‘all inclusive’ up to the point where you exceed the fair usage policy. The amount may be capped by units of energy used, or the proportion of rent allocated for bills, for example £15 per person per week. A landlord/agent can then legally charge you additional rent for your utilities.

For further information about Fair Usage Policy please access the following:

https://www.unipol.org.uk/news/is-your-tenancy-agreement-all-bills-inclusive

Private rented properties - bills NOT included

A discount of £66 will be applied to your energy bill in October and November, rising to £67 each month from December to March 2023. The discount is automatic. If you get a message telling you that you need to apply, or asking for your bank or credit card details, this could be a scam.