The Warm Home Discount scheme is back for the winter of 2018/19

We are pleased to announce that, along with our supply partner Robin Hood Energy, we will be participating in the Warm Home Discount (WHD) scheme this winter and will be able to offer the WHD credit to customers that are in the scheme’s ‘Core Group’. These are customers who receive the Guaranteed Credit element of Pension Credit. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will provide us with the details of those of our customers who are registered for the Guaranteed Credit element of Pension Credit and we will process that information as soon as we receive it.

Core Group credit customers will have the payment automatically applied to their account and it will be shown as credit on their bill or statement.

Core Group SMART Pay as You Go metered customers will have their meter credited automatically.

Core Group traditional Pay As You Go metered customers will receive a top up voucher which can be redeemed for a Pay As You Go Meter credit at the local Post Office.

Ebico CEO, Phil Levermore, said, “We’re delighted to be participating in the Warm Home Discount Scheme this year. Ebico was set-up 20 years ago to tackle fuel poverty in Britain, and the WHD payments will provide much-needed help to many financially vulnerable homes this winter.”

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Ebico Zero energy plan price increase

Over the years we’ve worked hard to keep the price of Ebico Zero (formerly EquiGas & EquiPower) as stable as possible. Indeed, since 2013 we have had no price increases, reduced our prices twice and provided two price guarantees. However, over the past few months the wholesale cost of both gas and electricity have been rising and we are now being forced to increase the price of the Ebico Zero energy plan.

Despite the rising cost of wholesale energy, we have insulated our customers from these increases through the winter, and the new prices will not take effect until the 1st March 2018.

Whilst we know that this increase is disappointing, Ebico Zero does remain amongst the simplest energy price plans available to British households with a zero standing charge, no tiered rates and no tie-ins or exit fees and, as an Ebico customer, you join us in the fight against fuel poverty in Britain.

Customers on the other Ebico energy plans are not affected by this change.

All customers applying since 15th January will have had their quotation based on the new prices.

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Ebico is Ethical Consumer Magazine’s Best Buy

Ebico has been awarded Ethical Consumer’s ‘Best Buy’ label after achieving top-marks in the ethical magazine’s annual rating. Ebico received its Best Buy accreditation for being a socially ethical electricity & gas company and as a result of our non-profit status and fair pricing structure.
We are very proud of becoming a Best Buy Label holder as it demonstrates that our efforts to provide affordable energy and to provide help to those in fuel poverty are recognised.

The Mark, below, alongside the Social Enterprise Mark, provides our customers with reassurance that they are purchasing their energy from an ethical energy company.

By joining Ebico, all our customers join with us in the fight against fuel poverty in Britain. You can find out more about the great work that Ebico Trust-supported projects do here.

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We have launched our new smart energy plan featuring free overnight electricity

With a 0 p/kWh off-peak (i.e. overnight) electricity rate, Ebico’s new Night Owl smart energy plan offers a great deal to households who use Economy 7 off-peak power to charge their night storage heaters.

Ebico CEO, Phil Levermore, explained:
“For households without a mains gas supply, night storage heaters can be a convenient way of heating the home. In practice, however, winter fuel bills with this form of heating can come as a nasty shock – particularly if it turns-out to be a very cold winter. As a result, electrically-heated homes are 70% more likely to be in fuel poverty, and that fuel poverty to be 70% deeper, than homes heated with mains gas1. Night Owl offers winter peace of mind to households using E7 heaters. With an overnight electricity rate of zero pence per kilowatt-hour, night storage units can be charged as much as necessary at no marginal cost.”

He continued:
“Nineteen years ago, as Britain’s first not-for-profit energy provider dedicated to tackling fuel poverty, we were the first company to charge our prepayment-metered customers the same as our credit customers – and so helped bring an end to higher charges for prepay customers, nationally. We launched the first energy plan with a zero standing-charge, so our customers only had to pay for the electricity and gas they used. Continuing our commitment to affordable warmth and utilising the flexibility that smart metering now gives us, we’re launching Night Owl, the first smart energy plan to offer a zero-priced night-time electricity rate to homes with Economy 7 heating.”

Click here to find out more about the Ebico Night Owl energy plan.

 

 

1 Annual Fuel Poverty Statistics Report, 2017. Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy

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Closure of EquiGas and EquiPower

In March this year we wrote to all our customers announcing that our, then, supply partner, SSE Plc, had informed us that they could no longer guarantee the future of the EquiGas & EquiPower and that, as a consequence, we had brought our partnership with SSE to an end and were launching a new, and cheaper, zero standing charge energy plan, ‘Ebico Zero’ with our new supply partner, Robin Hood Energy.

We understand that SSE has now written to those customers who remained supplied under the EquiGas/EquiPower arrangements advising them that the tariff will cease on the 24th of August and that, after that date, they will be transferred onto SSE’s standard variable tariff (SVT) – which does have a standing charge.

If you have any questions about this letter, or its contents, you should contact SSE Customer Services by calling 0345 071 9710 or emailing headofcustomerserviceteam@sse.com.

If you are supplied through a credit meter, and wish to remain supplied under a zero standing charge energy plan1 – and with a lower energy rate than that currently being charged by SSE, click here for a quick quote, or call us on 0300 004 03 08.

1. Please note that the Warm Homes Discount (WHD) is not currently available through Ebico energy plans, provided via our supply partnership with Robin Hood Energy.

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Project Nexus

All gas customers who register to switch gas supplier between the 3rd May 2017 and the 28th May 2017, including those switching to Ebico Zero or Ebico PrePay, will experience a slight delay in their switch, as against normal transfer times. However, all customers will be brought on supply within 6 weeks of their registration date. Dual fuel customers who switch during this time will experience slightly different supply start dates for their electric and gas supplies.

Supplies for customers will remain uninterrupted during this period, including those in the process of switching between suppliers, and all emergency metering services and engineer visits will continue as per normal.

For further information please see the information provided on the OFGEM website:

https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/gas/retail-market/market-review-and-reform/project-nexus

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Another letter from SSE to Ebico customers – A personal response by Phil Levermore, MD, Ebico Ltd.

I know that Ebico’s former supply partner, SSE, has recently written to EquiGas & EquiPower customers about their ‘SSE Zero Electric’ and ‘SSE Zero Gas’ tariffs. I wanted to clear up any confusion this might have caused as soon as possible.

For many years, Ebico partnered with SSE to supply our EquiGas and EquiPower energy tariffs. Unfortunately, towards the end of last year it became clear that SSE’s priorities and strategy, particularly in respect of prices, were no longer aligned with ours. In January, we therefore established a new not-for-profit energy partnership with Robin Hood Energy, the UK’s first council owned energy company.

Our two new tariffs, Ebico PrePay and Ebico Zero offer customers more affordable, flexible deals with no exit fees or tie ins – both with a price guarantee until December 2017.

I feel, now, that it is important that customers are given the information that SSE neglected to include in its recent marketing correspondence.

Ebico Zero is already at least 4.5% cheaper than EquiGas & EquiPower
SSE will, on the 28th April, be increasing its electricity price by around 14%
SSE, unlike Ebico, has not offered a price guarantee until December 2017

Quite apart from the omission of this key information, I am surprised at the apparent lack of imagination in SSE HQ, renaming EquiGas & EquiPower as ‘SSE Zero’ – which sounds remarkably similar to our ‘Ebico Zero’ offer.

The letter informs the reader that Ebico can’t transfer EquiGas/EquiPower customers to the Ebico Zero tariff unless the customer actively asks for it, which I accept.  Yet it seems to me irresponsible for SSE, in its correspondence, to encourage customers to do nothing – ensuring that they remain on the same tariff – whilst neglecting to mention SSE’s upcoming price increase on the 28th of April.

SSE’s letter concludes with, in my view, a thinly-veiled warning for those with the temerity to escape the clutches of a Big-6 company and switch to an independent supplier. I would like to reassure customers that Robin Hood Energy is a robust, responsible, and not-for-profit licenced energy supplier. We are delighted that together we can continue our fight against rising fuel poverty in the UK, providing energy contracts that function fairly for all consumers, for many years to come.

So, to be clear, customers who have not yet let us know that they would like to switch to Ebico Zero, and do not tell us soon that they would like to do so, will remain supplied by SSE at the more expensive energy rates of the EquiGas/EquiPower tariff (to be renamed ‘SSE Zero’) and will be subject to SSE’s increase in the electricity price on the 28th of April. Customers who have already let us know that they want to move with us to Ebico Zero, and those that decide to opt-in within the next few weeks, will benefit from the tariff’s lower energy prices, the December 2017 price guarantee, and will avoid SSE’s April price increase.  This is why we have made every effort to be as proactive and transparent as possible in our communications with you.

Phil Levermore

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Letter Confusion – So, Are We Reducing or Increasing Prices?

We have been sending letters to our customers telling them about our new, cheaper, energy plans, Ebico Zero and Ebico PrePay, available through our new supply partner Robin Hood Energy. We’ve now discovered that our former supply partner, SSE, is also writing to our customers, under our Ebico brand, to tell them that prices are rising. We know this is confusing, so we hope the following makes things clearer.

If you have already told us:

  • by phone,
  • by visiting choice.ebico.org.uk, or
  • by returning the tear-off slip attached to our letter announcing our new partnership

that you would like to move with us to Robin Hood Energy and benefit from the lower price of Ebico Zero, then you can disregard the letter entitled ‘Your Electricity Price is Increasing’, which was sent by our former supply partner, SSE, with our branding. Your account will be transferred to Ebico Zero, powered by Robin Hood Energy, over the next few weeks, and you will benefit from our lower prices.

If you have not already told us that you would like to move with us to Robin Hood Energy and Ebico Zero, then the ‘Your Electricity Price is Rising’ letter does apply to you. To avoid this increase, take a look at the recent email and letter we sent to you announcing our new partnership with RHE and, using the code number we provided, either click here to let us know if you would like to switch, or complete the tear-off strip and post it to us in the envelope provided.

We had hoped to make switching to our cheaper tariffs as simple as possible for our EquiGas/EquiPower customers. However, unfortunately our former supply partner, SSE, has been unable to support the transfer of customers to our new supply partner. So, we must now ask our EquiGas/EquiPower customers to confirm to us that they want to make the move to Ebico Zero. Customers who have not yet let us know that they would like to switch to Ebico Zero, and do not tell us that they would like to do so, will remain supplied by SSE on the EquiGas/EquiPower tariff and will be subject to the increase in the electricity price.

Please note, that the Warm Homes Discount (WHD) is not currently available with Ebico Zero, so if you expect to receive the WHD this winter, we recommend that you remain with SSE.

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Beat the price rises and move with us to cheaper energy deals under our new partnership with Robin Hood Energy

The good news for EquiGas and EquiPower credit customers is that, following the recent price increase announcement by SSE, Ebico Zero remains at least 4.5% cheaper than EquiGas and is now at least 19% cheaper than EquiPower – and price-guaranteed until at least December 2017. Customers can save even more if they opt to pay by Direct Debit.1

For pay-as-you-go customers, our new Ebico PrePay energy plan, with a standing charge of 25p per day per fuel, is 8.5% cheaper than EquiGas / EquiPower for a customer with an average2 level of household energy use, and is also price-guaranteed until December 2017.

So, switch to Ebico Zero or Ebico PrePay – with both price-guaranteed until at least December 2017.

1 5.5% cheaper for those paying by Direct Debit
2 Average savings in comparison to Dual Fuel customers on Equigas and EquiPower, and based on ofgem’s Typical Domestic Consumption Values (TDCVs) for medium user of 3,100 kWh for electricity and 12,500 kWh for gas.

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New, cheaper, energy deals under the new partnership with Robin Hood Energy

SSE has now closed EquiGas/EquiPower to new sales and tariff will be coming to an end. Consequently, our partnership with SSE has ended. However, we are delighted to announce the launch of Ebico Zero with our new supply partner, Robin Hood Energy. With Ebico Zero, the zero standing charge aspect of EquiGas/EquiPower will continue, which we know is so important to very many of our customers.

The great news for our customers is that, in addition to keeping the zero standing charge, Ebico Zero is at least 4.5% cheaper than EquiGas / EquiPower tariff and price-guaranteed until at least December 2017.

Customers can save even more if they opt to pay by Direct Debit.1

Ebico Zero, available to our credit customers, is offered alongside our new Ebico PrePay energy plan. Ebico PrePay, with a standing charge of 25p per day per fuel, is 8.5% cheaper than EquiGas / EquiPower for a customer with an average2 level of household energy use, is also price-guaranteed until December 2017, and is exclusive to pay-as-you-go customers.

We are confident that our new energy supply partnership with Robin Hood Energy gives us a strong base from which to advance our campaign to tackle fuel poverty.

1 5.5% cheaper for those paying by Direct Debit
2 Average savings in comparison to Dual Fuel customers on Equigas and EquiPower, and based on ofgem’s Typical Domestic Consumption Values (TDCVs) for medium user of 3,100 kWh for electricity and 12,500 kWh for gas.

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