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

Glossop Advertiser - - Home Advice - TALL STORY GONE TO GROUND HEDGE YOUR BETS

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

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