Shropshire Council

Frequently asked questions

What is SSE?

SSE is one of the UK’s leading energy companies, with around eight million energy and home services customers in Great Britain and Ireland. SSE provides gas and electricity, phone and broadband, and home services (such as boiler breakdown cover).

What is the partnership between SSE and Shropshire Council?

SSE and Shropshire Council are working together to offer a new energy tariff exclusively to residents or employees from selected Shropshire based organisations*: the Shropshire Community Energy tariff.

You can also find energy efficiency advice from SSE on the Shropshire Council website.

The Shropshire Community Energy Tariff is available to residents, employees of the Council and selected third and public sector organisations based in Shropshire. Call SSE to find out which organisations are eligible.

 

Why should I switch to SSE?

The new Shropshire Community Energy tariff is competitively priced and is exclusively available to Shropshire Council residents and employees from selected Shropshire based public and third sector organisations. It allows you to fix your energy prices for two years at this reduced rate, giving you peace of mind and control of your energy costs for two years.

Contact SSE on 0345 300 2133 to see if you are eligible.

How will this help vulnerable people in Shropshire?

SSE takes its responsibility towards vulnerable customers very seriously. It has dedicated teams on hand to give customers who are having difficulty the help they need.

SSE spends £46m a year helping customers through the Warm Home Discount, and has launched an additional £5m fund to give targeted financial assistance to vulnerable customers. Find out more on the SSE website.

SSE staff are trained to support customers with a range of needs, such as people who use British Sign Language, those for whom English is not their first language, people with dementia and people with mental health conditions.

SSE is working towards achieving the British Standard for Inclusive Service Provision, the gold standard in recognising and catering for vulnerability in all its forms.

Anyone concerned about their bills should contact SSE to find out what help is available.

Don’t energy companies like SSE make excessive profits?

The profit margin in SSE’s Domestic Supply business was 6.2% last year, before it paid tax. This profit has allowed SSE to make vital investments in systems, as well as its customer service operations. About half of the cost you pay goes towards buying energy on the wholesale market, a quarter on getting the energy to your home, and the rest on customer service, government schemes, tax and profit. 

Find out more on the SSE website.

How do I know SSE will give me good customer service?

Citizens Advice has announced that SSE had the best complaints-handling record in the industry between April and June 2016 – 80 times better than the worst-performing supplier. 

When you call SSE you will speak to a member of staff in a UK call centre.

SSE supports vulnerable customers through their Priority Services Register. Customers can contact SSE using British Sign Language through the SignVideo service, or through an interpreter using LanguageLine.

Find out more about the support they offer.

I’ve heard SSE has recently announced a price increase, is this correct?

SSE’s recent announcement only applies to the price of electricity on their standard tariff. By taking the Shropshire Community Energy tariff, you can fix the rate you pay for two years.

What is the new tariff?

The Shropshire Community Energy tariff is a new gas and electricity tariff from SSE. It is exclusively available to residents or employees from selected Shropshire based public and third sector organisations and offers energy at a competitive rate, fixed for two years.

It is available for customers with credit meters (who pay for energy by monthly Direct Debit or quarterly billing); it is not available if you have a prepayment meter.

Contact SSE to see who is eligible.

 

 

I have pre-payment meters, can I access the tariff?

Sorry, the tariff is only available to customers who pay by monthly Direct Debit or quarterly billing.

If you have a prepayment meter, please call SSE on 0330 102 8313 to find out which tariffs they can offer.

Is this SSE's cheapest tariff?

The Shropshire Community Energy tariff is competitively priced and fixes your prices for two years, giving you peace of mind and control of your energy costs for two years. SSE regularly releases new tariffs, so we can’t guarantee that the Shropshire tariff will be the cheapest.

Will I be locked in to this tariff?

This is a fixed tariff that guarantees your energy prices won’t go up for 24 months. If you choose to leave the tariff more than 49 days before the end of the 24 month period, SSE may charge an exit fee of £25 per fuel (gas and electricity).

What happens at the end of the two-year term?

SSE will contact you when the tariff is coming to an end to let you know what options you have, including details of SSE’s cheapest tariff based on your estimated annual energy usage and your payment method.

If you don’t respond, you will automatically switch to SSE’s cheapest standard variable tariff at that time (which may not be SSE’s cheapest tariff).

Is this the cheapest tariff on the market?

There are many different types of energy tariffs and energy prices change regularly. The fixed price tariff being offered to Shropshire is 5% cheaper than the SSE standard variable tariff* and it’s fixed for two years from date of sign up, meaning should energy prices rise, you don’t need to worry.

* The discounted Shropshire Community Energy Tariff is only available when you purchase over the phone on 0345 300 2133. The 5% saving is true for all eligible PES areas. This information is correct as of 20 April 2017. This figure is based on the Ofgem medium Typical Consumption Values (12,500 kWh for gas and 3,100 kWh for electricity) Dual Fuel bill, for domestic energy customers paying monthly by Direct Debit in Great Britain. Inclusive of VAT at 5%.

 

 

Why is Shropshire Council working with an energy company?

We’re always looking for ways to help support our residents in their everyday lives and believe that an exclusive, discounted energy tariff will do just that.

Find out more about why we're working with a private company.

Who is eligible for the new tariff?

The offer is open to all Shropshire residents and Shropshire Council staff. However we've also negotiated the deal so that employees of other public sector and not-for-profit, voluntary and charitable bodies who operate or carry out their business in Shropshire can also take advantage of this tariff. If you’re unsure, call SSE on 0345 300 2133 and they will confirm if you’re eligible.

Residents’ postcodes must be in the Midlands Public Energy Supplier area to qualify.

Employees of SSE-approved organisations with a valid postcode in the Manweb, Midlands and Swalec Public Energy Supplier areas are also eligible.  

Why is this offer only available to Shropshire Council residents and staff?

This tariff is part of a partnership between SSE and Shropshire Council, meaning that Shropshire residents get exclusive access to the deal. However, SSE regularly launches competitive deals on a range of products, so if you don’t qualify but are interested to see what else SSE has on offer, then give them a call on 0330 102 8313.

Isn’t switching energy suppliers a hassle?

Switching your energy supplier is a simple process. Once you’ve told SSE you want to switch to them, they'll contact your existing supplier to arrange the switch for you. You won’t lose gas or electricity supply during the switch. Switching is free, but you may have to pay an exit fee if you’re on a fixed-rate tariff - check with your current supplier. The process normally takes around three weeks, but can sometimes take longer. SSE will confirm the process when you phone.

Is the tariff available to businesses?

No, this tariff is only available to domestic customers.

I’m on a fixed tariff with another supplier - can I still switch to SSE?

You can switch to SSE if you’re on a fixed tariff with another supplier, but you may have to pay exit fees. Please contact your current supplier if you’re unsure.

I’m already with SSE - can I switch to this tariff?

Yes, but if you’re on a fixed tariff with SSE you may have to pay an exit fee. If you’re on SSE’s standard tariff you can switch with no fees. Please contact SSE on 0345 3002133 to find out how you can switch.

I have a smart meter with another supplier - can I switch to this tariff?

Yes, you can switch to SSE if you have a smart meter fitted by another supplier. However, some older smart meters may lose their smart functionality when you switch supplier.

Can I get a smart meter from SSE?

Yes, SSE offers smart meters to energy customers, and you can have a smart meter installed at no extra cost. Please contact SSE to arrange a smart meter installation.

Can I switch to SSE if I don't use both gas and electricity?

Yes - the tariff is available to dual fuel, electricity only, gas only and electricity with heat (Domestic Economy, Economy 7 and Economy 10) customers.

How did the council select SSE to be their energy partner?

SSE were chosen following a six month process which included proposals being invited from suppliers to partner with the council. Following the initial submissions, three companies were invited to present their proposal and explain it further. The assessment panel opted to continue more detailed negotiations with SSE as their submission proposed a discount opportunity to residents, a moderate income stream and opportunities to look at added social value.

This was approved in September 2016 by Cabinet and negotiations continued with SSE Energy Supply Limited to deliver the Community Tariff model.

What information will SSE need from me?

In order to switch, as a minimum SSE would only require that customers can provide the following:

  1. Full name and address

However, if you can provide it, the following information would be useful to provide a more accurate quote:

  1. Current meter reading (in case of any problem during the switch)
  2. Your energy usage (gas, electricity) in KWh – this information should be on your current/latest bill
  3. Energy usage in £ per year

If you have none of the additional information (points 2-4) they will take you through a number of questions to try and establish your situation such as type and size of home you live in, who lives there and some lifestyle questions to come to an approximate usage but it won’t be nearly as accurate as it would be if you know your usage or yearly cost.

How big is the discount on the tariff compared to SSE's standard tariff?

At the time of launch (April 2017), the new tariff is 5% cheaper than SSE’s standard variable tariff.

The discounted Shropshire Community Energy Tariff is only available when you purchase over the phone on 0345 300 2133. 

The 5% saving is true for all eligible PES areas.

This information is correct as of 20 April 2017.

This figure is based on the Ofgem medium Typical Consumption Values (12,500 kWh for gas and 3,100 kWh for electricity) Dual Fuel bill, for domestic energy customers paying monthly by Direct Debit in Great Britain. Inclusive of VAT at 5%.

How will the money raised be spent?

For everyone who switches to the new Shropshire Community Energy tariff, SSE pays Shropshire Council a fee. Now, from 1 October 2017 all money raised will be used to benefit a local good cause – rather than be put towards the cost of running the council’s culture and heritage services as it has been.

At the same time, SSE will also pay Shropshire Council whenever local people sign up to SSE’s new phone and broadband package – this money will also go to towards the same good causes.

A different good cause will benefit every three months. Each cause must meet certain criteria, including benefiting people across the county, and Shropshire Council’s partners will be invited to suggest causes that they feel would be worthy recipients.

Between 1 October and 31 December 2017 money raised will be used to produce online ‘e-learning’ training packages to help teach food bank users how to use a computer and access the internet. This is vital as many central Government services will soon only be accessible online and for those who cannot use a computer, such training may be a lifeline.

The training is an important part of a wider package of support that will see Shropshire Council donate  IT equipment to the foodbanks and other charities.