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Common questions

Frequently Asked Questions

This page deals with some of the most common questions our expert advisers are asked.  Find the answers to a wide-ranging list of questions including, who to contact in the event of an emergency, how to save energy and what to do if you’re moving home.

•    Who should I contact in case of an emergency?

•    Can I get gas and electricity from the same supplier?

•    Do I have to change supplier if I want to save money?

•    What is Economy 7?

•    What is Economy 10?

•    I have a prepayment meter - can I still switch?

•    What is a social tariff and can I still switch?

•    I'm supplied by an independent gas transporter - can I still switch?

•    What is the Winter Fuel Payment and how can I claim it?

•    What is the Warm Home Discount scheme?

•    What is Heatwise?

•    What is a white meter?

•    I’m moving house - how do I find my cheapest energy supplier?

Who should I contact in case of an emergency?

If you need to contact your gas or electricity provider in a hurry and do not have the company’s phone number. the following details should help you get started.

For gas customers, one number is all you need to remember.
Gas Emergency Contact Number: 0800 111 999


  • North Scotland - SSE Power Distribution - 0800 300 999
  • South Scotland - SP Power Systems - 0845 272 7999
  • North East England - CE Electric (NEDL) - 0800 668 877
  • North West England - North West Ltd - 0800 195 4141
  • Yorkshire - CE Electric (YEDL) - 0800 375 675
  • East Midlands - Central Networks - 0800 056 8090
  • West Midlands - Central Networks - 0800 328 1111
  • Eastern England - UK Power Networks - 0800 783 8838
  • South Wales - Western Power Distribution - 0800 052 0400
  • Southern England - SSE Power Distribution - 0800 072 7282
  • London - UK Power Networks - 0800 028 0247
  • South East England - UK Power Networks - 0800 783 8866
  • South West England - Western Power Distribution - 0800 365 900
  • North Wales, Merseyside and Cheshire - SP Manweb - 0845 272 2424

Can I get gas and electricity from the same supplier?

Yes, absolutely. Most suppliers now provide both gas and electricity to their customers. Often referred to as dual fuel tariffs, these combined plans can include reduced prices and special discounts.

Do I have to change supplier to save money?

Of course not. Comparing tariffs does not oblige you to complete the switch, and it could be that your current supplier offers a better deal. However, you could miss out on cutting your gas and electricity bills and possibly saving hundreds of pounds a year by doing nothing.

What is Economy 7?

Economy 7 is a tariff offered by UK electricity companies.  With Economy 7, you pay a different amount for your energy according to the time of day.  Economy 7 customers pay a cheaper rate during the off-peak night time, which is often a 7 hour period, hence the name of the tariff.  The discount hours are usually 12pm to 7am during winter, and 1am to 8am in summer. However, this can vary slightly by region and supplier, so we always advise to double check with your supplier.

Due to the two different rates, Economy 7 homes have two dials on their electricity meter: one for on-peak and one for off-peak.
Economy 7 is for electricity only, and is generally used where households have no easy access to gas, normally having electric storage heaters. On-peak rates are more expensive than on the equivalent flat-rate (one rate) tariff, so to save the most money, households need to make the most of the off-peak hours by charging the storage heaters and using the washing machine and dishwasher overnight. 

What is Economy 10?

Economy 10 is an electricity-only tariff with two meter readings (on-peak/normal and off-peak/low) the same as Economy 7. However, Economy 10 is different in that it also offers 3 hours of off-peak electricity in the afternoon in addition to the 7 hours in the evening/overnight. Exact hours vary by supplier. Southern Electric is one of the few suppliers to offer an Economy 10 tariff. According to its website, its off-peak hours are generally 12am-5am, 1pm-4pm and 8pm-10pm. Your meter should be on a timeswitch whereby it switches between the different rates automatically.

Unfortunately we are unable to compare households on Economy 10 meters because very few suppliers offer them. There are currently only three main suppliers who cater for Economy 10 nationally: EDF, E.ON and Southern Electric. As exact details can vary by supplier and region, if you are on Economy 10 and have a query about your tariff, we would advise you to contact your supplier:-

EDF Energy - 0800 096 9696

E.ON - 0845 0599 905
Southern Electric - 0845 7444 555

I have a prepayment meter - can I still switch?

Yes. Just select ‘prepayment meter’ as your payment method in the price calculator tool and available options will be displayed in the results table. There are great savings to be had on all methods of paying your energy bills with didyouhear.co.uk.

What is a social tariff and can I still switch?

Social tariffs are available for people receiving a pension, on a low income or means-tested benefits, and are designed to protect vulnerable customers from high energy bills. These are provided on a voluntary basis by the majority of suppliers, although they will soon be compulsory under the Warm Home Discount scheme. In fact, most of the suppliers have already closed their social tariff schemes to new customers and are in the process of moving them onto the Warm Home Discount scheme. Of the Big Six suppliers, only EDF and E.ON still offer social tariffs to new customers. According to its website, EDF's Energy Assist offers £75 per year off Direct Debit prices to customers on pension credits or income support, or those defined as in fuel poverty. E.ON's WarmAssist offers up to 15% discount off its standard prices for those on pension credits or income support, or those with a high energy consumption due to a medical condition (at its discretion).

If you are already on a social tariff, you can switch but unfortunately we can't carry out the comparison for you. However, you are free to call other suppliers directly to ask them about their social tariff or Warm Home Discount. If you are not already on a social tariff or the Warm Home Discount but feel you may qualify, you should contact your current energy supplier to ask.

I'm supplied by an independent gas transporter - can I still switch?

Up to one in 20 properties now have their gas supplied by independent gas transporters (IGTs) rather than via the Transco (National Grid) network.  Typically, this is the case for many new properties, as builders find they are offered more competitive prices from IGTs for the connection work.

However, homeowners supplied via IGTs will probably face higher bills, as gas suppliers must pay both Transco and the IGT to deliver gas through the pipes into these homes.  Typically, suppliers charged around £42 a year more for IGT customers.

You can tell if your home is supplied via an IGT if your gas meter (the MPRN number on your gas bill) is 10 digits long and begins with 74, 75 or 76.

IGT customers can still compare and switch their gas supply using our website, and substantial savings can be made.  While all the “Big 6” suppliers will accept IGT customers, many of the smaller ones won’t. 

Listed below are the IGT charges from the main suppliers:

Supplier IGT Charge
British Gas
No charge
EDF Energy
No Charge
E.ON No Charge
npower £10.50 per annum
SSE No charge (except for certain fixed price tariffs)
Scottish Power
No charge

What is the Winter Fuel Allowance and how can I claim it?

Winter Fuel Allowance is a one-off annual payment, designed to help elderly people with their winter fuel bills. The amount payable can be up to the £300 depending on an individual’s circumstances. If you are over 60 years old you will automatically be eligible for £200 a year towards your winter fuel bills. If you are over 80, the figure rises to £300.

For more information on making a claim, contact the Pension Service on 0845 9 15 15 15.

What is the Warm Home Discount scheme?

You may qualify for the Warm Home Discount Scheme if you are on a low income. The scheme provides a rebate to pensioners on low incomes and some other customers on low incomes. The rebate is £140 on your electricity bill for winter 2014-15.

The scheme is run by the energy suppliers, the largest ones are required by law to offer this rebate.

If you were a pensioner as of 12 July 2014 you can qualify for a warm home discount if you receive the Guarantee Credit part of Pension Credit – even if you get the Savings Credit part as well. You or your partners name must be on the electricity bill and your energy supplier must be taking part in the Warm Home Discount scheme. As of November 14, 2014 the suppliers participating are:

British Gas
Co-operative energy
EDF Energy
Equipower (Ebico)
Equigas (Ebico)
M&S Energy
Sainsbury’s Energy
Scottish Gas
Scottish Hydro
Southern Electric
Utility Warehouse

If you are on a low income it is up to your supplier to decide if you can receive the Warm Home Discount. You might be eligible if you’re on a low income and have a disability or long-term illness or children. The criteria varies from supplier to supplier.

If you are on a low income you will need to contact your supplier to find out if you are eligible. If you believe you are eligible then you need to apply directly to your supplier.
For  information on applying to your energy supplier for the Warm Home Discount or ring the Warm Home Discount Scheme helpline on 0845 603 9439, Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 4.30pm.

What is Heatwise?

Heatwise is a specialist tariff offered by E.ON exclusively in the East Midlands region. The concept is similar to Economy 7 or Economy 10. It was designed for electricity-only homes with storage heaters, and consists of an additional cable that sits next to your normal meter to provide 10 hours of cheaper electricity only for storage heaters and hot water. Electricity used for any other purpose is charged at your normal rate, whether you are on a single rate or dual rate (Economy 7 or 10) tariff.

What is a white meter?

A white meter is similar to an Economy 7 meter: it has two rates (on-peak & off-peak). The principal difference is that white meters offer 8 or 8.5 hours off-peak electricity overnight as opposed to 7. They are mainly used in Scotland, offered by ScottishPower and Scottish Hydro.

I’m moving house - what should I do about finding my cheapest energy supplier?

The first thing you need to do is find out which energy company supplies your new home. Your estate agent, or the solicitor handling the sale, should be able to help you.

If they cannot provide you with the relevant information you can call Transco on 0870 608 1524 to find out who supplies your new home with gas, and MPAS on 01284 726 182 for details on your electricity supply.

Once you know who provides energy to your new home you will need to contact them to establish you are the new occupier and create an account with them.

After that you are free to seek a cheaper supplier, either by using didyouhear.co.uk to carry out a price comparison or by calling one of our expert advisers on 08453 888 918  or 07550 084 979.

If you decide to change from the property’s existing gas or electricity supplier the switch process will normally be completed within 6-8 weeks.

Click here to compare energy to return to the Help & Info homepage.

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