Energy Deals Doorstep Sellers Warning
Charities warns householders to watch out for doorstep sellers offering energy deals
Citizens Advice charities in Norfolk providing energy advice to vulnerable consumers are warning householders to be aware of doorstep sellers signing up customers to new gas and electricity deals. The charities, that provide free impartial and confidential advice, are very aware that many households are continuing to struggle with the rising cost of essential bills such as energy, as a result of the pandemic, and may be tempted to sign up on the doorstep.
Many consumers will also be worried about price rises, with Ofgem announcing this week that the price cap for default domestic energy deals will go up in October; with the typical gas and electric customer likely to see their bills by £139 to £1,277 a year. The timing of the price rise will hit struggling families hard, who already face losing an extra £20 a week from Universal Credit in October.
The charities have had reports of door-step traders visiting homes in the Thetford area and signing up customers to new energy supply contract. It is perfectly legal for door-step traders to sell energy tariffs; as long as their information is accurate. These traders usually only representing one energy company and therefore are not guaranteed to offer the best deal in the energy market.
Caroline Mackinson, Energy Project Coordinator, Citizens Advice Diss, Thetford and District, said “These door step sellers are working on commission and as they are usually just representing one energy company, their prices are not always the lowest.
“We would urge people to shop around for the best deals before signing up to a new energy tariff and also consider customer service performance of the companies alongside price before switching.”
Citizens Advice offer the following tips on energy switching:
· Do your homework, use an Ofgem accredited comparison services, as these compare the whole market and are accessible online, some services also offer a comparison via telephone https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/information-consumers/energy-advice-households/switching-energy-tariff-or-supplier
· Check your latest bills from your current supplier to find your current tariff, and annual usage.
· If you don’t want to move supplier, contact your current energy company to find out if you are on their best tariff.
· Not all energy companies offer extra help through the Warm Home Discount, so even if you are eligible, you could miss out if you switch to a company that is not part of the scheme.
· Customer service is also important. You can compare both prices as well as Citizens Advice’s customer service star rating at: https://energycompare.citizensadvice.org.uk/
· If you change your mind, you have 14 days to cancel from when you agreed the contract.
· Citizens Advice work closely with Trading Standards, and would urge anyone who is concerned about doorstep selling practices, to report these via the Citizens Advice consumer service: 0808 223 1133.
If you’d like more help with energy bills and free impartial advice on switching suppliers, contact Norfolk Warm and Wise team at Citizens Advice, via the Norfolk Adviceline 0800 144 8848 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information contact: Caroline Mackinson, Project Coordinator, Norfolk Warm and Wise
Telephone: 01379 658200
Note to editors
Energy Price cap
The price cap, set twice a year by the regulator Ofgem, affects 15 million households in England, Wales and Scotland who have never switched suppliers or whose discounted deals have expired. Northern Ireland sets its own cap. https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/publications/record-gas-prices-drive-price-cap-ps139-customers-encouraged-contact-supplier-support-and-switch-better-deal-if-possible