Ofgem set the upper price limit for our Standard and Energy Assist tariffs (known as a cap) and have also introduced changes to how suppliers can apply Direct Debit discounts*. These discounts will no longer be a fixed fee and will be a unique amount depending on where you live, your meter type and how much energy you use. The changes could affect what you pay. Understandably, you may have questions about this and so below are the answers to the most commonly asked questions.
Frequently asked questions
Why have you changed your prices?
The price cap means that Ofgem are setting an upper limit suppliers can charge for Standard and Energy Assist tariffs. This cap will be reviewed every six months (April and October) to make sure it reflects the costs of supplying energy. This change means that for some of our customers, from the effective date, their price will automatically decrease, and for others their price will rise in line with the new price cap.
With our Direct Debits, we currently apply a £40 per fuel annual discount for customers who pay by Direct Debit*. As this is a fixed amount, it means that it doesn’t currently change depending on usage. Ofgem have changed how this is calculated and these discounts will no longer be a fixed fee and will now be unique based on where you live, your meter type and how much energy you use. This will also be reviewed by Ofgem every six months.
These prices will be in effect from 1 January 2019 for customers on our Standard and Energy Assist tariffs.
I’m an Energy Assist customer – why are my prices changing now?
Ofgem introduced the Energy Assist tariff in 2018 as a temporary measure, to be replaced with the Default Tariff Cap. This is the government's price cap for all customers on Standard and default tariffs. Some customers have seen a price increase because of this change. Your price is the lowest within the price cap, and has been worked out based on the new Direct Debit discount*, even if this is not your payment method.
My price is increasing – what can I do?
There are ways we can help you save money and use less energy:
Review the way you pay – if you don’t already have a Direct Debit set up, then paying this way is an easy way to save and spread the cost of your bills. You will receive a discount*, the value of which is unique based on where you live, your meter type and how much energy you use.
Look at getting a smart meter – smart meters help you see the energy you're using in pounds and pence. So you can make energy saving changes to keep costs under control.
Get energy saving tips and advice – from draught proofing to energy efficient boilers, we've got plenty of ways to save energy and money.
What extra help is available for vulnerable customers?
I have a Direct Debit – what should I do?
We'll review your Direct Debit for you and write to you if we need to make changes to what you're paying. If you don't pay by Direct Debit, you can easily set one up using our online form or by calling us on 0345 071 7800.
I’m an Energy Assist customer – do I get a discount for paying by Direct Debit?
Ofgem have changed your discount in line with the cheaper Default Tariff cap prices, to make sure you’re on the lowest prices within the price cap. These are normally only for Direct Debit customers. So your new rates and standing charges are reflective of those applicable to Direct Debit*, regardless of how you pay.
I'm on a fixed price tariff, do these changes affect me?
If you're on a fixed price energy deal, your prices won't change until the end of your contract. We'll write to you with all your options before your contract ends. For the time being, you don't have to do anything.
What help can I get if I'm having difficulty paying my bills?
If you're struggling to pay your bills, the most important thing is to get in touch as soon as possible so we can help.
I've changed to a fixed price SSE tariff – why did I receive a letter saying my prices are changing?
We wrote to all our customers who were on our Standard tariff to let them know about the price change. So if you’ve switched to a fixed price tariff with us, please ignore the letter as the price change won't affect you.
My home is all electric – what help can you offer me?
Have a look at our electric tariffs and heating advice on how to use your electric heating efficiently.
I'm going to change supplier – what will happen?
If you switch to another supplier, you’ll keep your current rates until you leave us, as long as your new supplier tells us within 20 working days of our price change date that they’ll be taking over your supply. This date is 1 January 2019 for customers on our Standard and Energy Assist tariffs.
If you owe us any money, your switch might be held up until your account is settled. We’ll let you know if there’s a balance to pay, and if you clear it within 30 days, your switch can still go ahead and you can stay on your current rates until you leave us.
I have a Pay As You Go meter – will I be affected by this?
There is a Pay As You Go price cap which is reviewed every six months. So this new price change will not affect Pay As You Go customers.
*If you have a fixed price tariff and pay by Direct Debit or standing order, you’ll get a discount of £40 a year for each fuel, when compared to another way of paying. The discount is applied to your standing charge on a pence per day basis, until your tariff ends. If you have capped prices on a standard variable tariff, your standing charge and unit rates will be reduced for paying by Direct Debit or standing order. Your discount will vary depending on how much energy you use, where you live and your meter type. Discounts do not apply to customers on an Energy Assist tariff or with a Pay As You Go meter.