HOME ADVICE Alter the balance of power
Switching energy suppliers is easy, can save you cash and lower prices for all by breaking the dominance of the Big Six
oo many people are spending too much on gas and electricity. But it only takes a few minutes to secure a better deal. There are lots of great deals around – and, according to Which?, a switch from high-cost providers to a best buy could save around £300.
That’s cash that would buy a lot! It’s the same power whether you pay top prices or go for best buy deals. It’s a huge saving for a little online work or a phone call.
The biggest savings come if you are on Npower’s dual fuel standard tariff and you switch to newcomer Green Network Energy, typically about £326.
Not everyone does that well, but if you are on a standard tariff with any of the Big Six companies, British Gas, Npower, SSE, Eon, EDF Energy, and Scottish Power you could save an average of £183.
Most consumers are still with these firms. According to energy regulator Ofgem, 85 per cent got electricity from a big provider in December 2016. In 2004, it was almost everyone so it’s slow progress.
Many of the best deals come from companies you have probably never heard of. Besides Green Network Energy, Which? found good rates from Tonik Energy, Avro Energy and Bristol Energy.
In all, there are now more than 50 energy suppliers to choose from – and there could be another 24 if all the firms currently granted or applying for a licence enter the market. It adds up to hundreds of tariffs.
One newcomer, Igloo Energy, pitches at the smartphone user who has a “connected home” promising greater efficiency.
The Big Six are fighting back with greater innovation. Npower’s Cleaner Energy Fix promises all your electricity and 15 per cent of your gas comes from renewable sources. It will cost typical users £1,077 a year – £110 less than its standard tariff but about £210 a rules introduced on October 1, 2014 the new wife will receive the personal chattels and the first £250,000 of his estate. The remainder will be split between the new wife and the children, who will receive the other half of the balance. Normally if assets are held jointly as joint tenants then these are not included for the above purposes and will pass absolutely to the survivor and not form part year dearer than similar deals from Tonik and Bulb.
And there could be good news for those less able to pay. Ofgem recently announced it was thinking of a ‘safeguard tariff’ to stop vulnerable consumers overpaying, effectively extending existing protection for those on pre-payment meters.
Millions of hard pressed customers are overpaying for energy and suffering due to a lack of competition in the market. More help for the most vulnerable is welcome but people will question whether Ofgem interventions are enough to deliver a market suitable for all. of his estate. If the children were still financially dependent upon their father a claim could be made against the estate but it could be that the children end up with nothing as you suggest. I would advise checking with your solicitor about any claim your children could possibly make.
MY house insurers ask if there are any trees over three metres high within 30-35 metres of my property. The answer is that there are, but they are in my neighbour’s garden. Can we seek reimbursement from them of the higher premium we have to pay as a result?
NO. Your neighbour(s) Ofgem is considering a new ‘safeguard tariff’ to protect customers on pre-paid meters, pictured below must take reasonable care to avoid acts or omissions which they could reasonably foresee would be likely to cause you injury or loss. However allowing a tree to grow in their garden would not be considered unreasonable and so you would have no grounds on which to seek to recover the increase in your insurance premium from them. Contacting your neighbour about the growth of their trees before any issues arise will hopefully avoid future disputes.
OUR annual ground rent demand usually arrives in November, but last year we didn’t receive the bill. The firm of solicitors that normally deals with it
1. The best deals go to those who switch – suppliers won’t offer savings on a plate. 2. Based on last year, summer and early autumn are the best times to move supplier. 3. If you are on a standard
have told us to wait, but we are getting worried because we want to put the house up for sale soon. Should we send a cheque for the amount we owe?
PURSUANT to section 166 of the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002 you are not liable to pay ground rent unless you receive a demand for it in a prescribed form. The landlord cannot begin any legal action unless he has previously served the demand in the correct format, given the correct period of notice, and the leaseholder has failed to respond. You may have to make an allowance for the ground rent owing when you come to sell your house and you should raise this with the solicitor who deals with your conveyancing. Power is the same no matter who is providing it, yet most of us still stay with big name providers tariff, then look elsewhere. 4. Fixed price deals are generally good value. Some have exit penalties although not all so you can change your mind – perhaps if you move home. 5. You’ll generally save money if you go for paperless billing and a regular direct debit. 6. The Which? Switch website will help you navigate your way. You can also phone 0800 410 1149 or 01259 220235. It’s easy - and could save you big money. (Figures calculated on July 2, 2017 – subject to change)
I HAVE recently removed the hedge between my property and that of my neighbour with a view to replacing it with a fence. My neighbour thinks that the hedge determined the position of the boundary, while I think it should be determined by the plot size as shown on the deeds and by the application of these measurements. Who is correct?
THE plans contained in most title deeds aren’t usually very specific. If yours provide measurements down to the last centimetre then they will more than likely determine the boundary since the title deeds are conclusive, but generally speaking the title plan prepared by the Land Registry is for information purposes only. I recommend that you obtain the services of a surveyor to determine the boundaries. This would give you certainty should either you or your neighbour wish to sell your properties in the future. Call Bromleys Solicitors LLP on 0161 330 6821 or visit www. bromleys.co.uk If you have any legal questions, write to Property Law, MEN Media, Mitchell Henry House, Hollinwood Avenue, Chadderton OL9 8EF, or email mail@lawQs.co.uk