Utilities & Services
all you need for relocation to scotland: edinburgh
Gas & Electricity
When you move into a new property you need to tell the energy company you are going to use for that property (your gas/electricity supplier) who currently supplies gas and/or electricity to that address. Then, your supplier will arrange for connecting gas/electricity to the property.
Not really an easy thing to do if you're new to the country. To make it easier (not), there are 6 main energy companies in Scotland and the price for gas and electricity varies according to each supplier and where you live. Don't worry though, here's what to do:
1. Find an energy supplier
2. Compare energy suppliers and find the best deal for you
3. Find the current provider of gas/electricity
4. Get gas/electricity connected to the property
1. Find an Energy Supplier
We have listed below the 6 main companies that you are most likely to use if you live in Scotland. So the good news is that all the info below apply to Scotland at large, not just Edinburgh.
In addition to providing gas & electricity, British Gas offers a professional assistance to service kitchen appliances, home electrics, plumbing and drains.
Telephone from abroad: (0044) (0)113 298 0900. (Monday to Friday: 8.00 – 20.00, Saturday: 8.00 – 18.00).
EDF (Electricité de France)
Dear French readers, you’ve read it right, EDF is indeed implanted in the UK and it is a major energy company that produces around 1/5 of the UK's electricity.
Telephone from abroad: (0044) (0)191 522 1201.
Definitely one of the UK's "Big 6" energy suppliers, E.ON also offers a range of home energy services, including boiler and central heating installation, maintenance and insurance.
Telephone from abroad: (0044) (0)115 843 4147.
This is another leading company that supplies energy to nearly 7 million British homes. In 2001, in partnership with Greenpeace, npower launched Juice, a new electricity product generated from renewable sources.
Telephone from abroad: (0044) (0)845 070 4851. (Monday to Friday: 8.00 – 20.00, Saturday 8.00 – 18.00).
The “Energy People” is a major player in the energy world and one which offers some of the best tariffs. In addition to generating electricity, Scottish Power operates and maintains large power delivery networks and provides a full range of energy supply services, including metering, billing and call centre support.
Telephone from abroad: (0044) (0)800 408 1644.
Formerly known as Scottish Southern Energy, SSE is THE big player. The company supplies electricity, gas and other services to over 10 million customers.
Telephone from abroad (General inquiries): (0044) (0)173 845 6000.
Telephone for Scottish Hydro: (0044) (0)845 300 2141.
2. Compare Energy Suppliers for Edinburgh (and Scotland)
The best and easiest way to compare the energy plans and tariffs provided by gas and electricity companies is to use price comparison websites.
I would definitely recommend to use websites such as comparethemarket.com or gocompare.com as they will find in seconds what would take us days if we were to compare the tariffs, packages, products and deals offered by energy suppliers.
I have listed other comparison websites which focus on gas and electricity:
• energyhelpline.com – also compare telecoms tariffs and packages
• Which? – French equivalent of “60 Millions de Consommateurs”
Did you know? If you'd like to pay by direct debit, some energy companies could give you up to £100 annual discount.
3. Finding the Current Provider of Gas/Electricity
1. Ask the property agent, landlord, seller, neighbours of the property you're moving into if they know who the current gas/electricity supplier is (it can be 2 separate companies).
2. If they don’t, do the following:
• Gas. Phone the M Number enquiry line service for gas consumers on 0870 608 1524 to establish what the M Number (the unique identifier) is for your gas supply point and also the identity of the current registered gas supplier at your premises (e.g. British Gas, Scottish Power, etc).
If you need to identify the gas network to which you are connected contact the Gas Network Identity Line on 0870 1600229.
• Electricity. This is the tricky one, mainly because of the large number of suppliers that exist. You need to call the electricity distributor for your area (who may not necessarily be your current supplier) and ask for the Mpan (Metering Point Administration) number. They will also tell you who currently supplies electricity for the house you're moving into.
Here's how to find your Regional electricity distributors and contact details:
Northern Scotland: 0845 026 2554
Southern Scotland: 0845 270 9101
4. Getting a Connection for Gas/Electricity
1. Phone the energy company of your choice, tell them that you are about to move, or have just moved, into a property and that you want them to supply gas and/or electricity for that address.
2. Give them the postcode of the property you are moving into (e.g. EH1 1AA if it is Edinburgh, G1 1AA if it is Glasgow, etc)
3. Give them the name of the current energy supplier(s) for the property you are moving into and for each fuel (see section 2 above "Finding the current provider of gas/electricity")
4. Closing meter readings for each fuel for the property that you’re moving into. Ask the landlord, estate agent or the current energy suppliers - if you cannot provide the actual meter reading, your new bills will have to be estimated
5. Your moving in date
Try to contact your energy supplier 7 working days before you move in to your new home so it can make sure your electricity or gas supply is connected.
To help reduce the cost of your energy bills, try the following:
If your property is supplied by both gas and electricity, make your life easier and choose the same supplier for both as very often the best deals are for dual fuels
Pay monthly by Direct Debit
Check with the supplier what is the best product for you
Do give your gas and meter readings when asked. You will pay for your actual use rather than an estimate
Have your property insulated, use low energy bulbs, switch the lights off when you leave a room
Prepayment lets you pay for your electricity and/or gas as you use it (similar to pay as you go mobile phones), instead of running up monthly or quarterly bills. Put differently, you pay for your gas and electricity before you use it. You will need to have a prepayment meter for gas and/or electricity fitted in your property to use this service.
This is available from most energy suppliers (they will fit the prepayment meter for a fee).
The energy company will provide you with a smartcard or a key or a token for your electricity and gas meters. To get energy in your home you top up the key or card with credit at Post Offices and PayPoint outlets. Some suppliers such as Scottish Power have an 'In Home' Pay As You Go service which allows you top up with credit online from your home.
What's the benefit?
There are 2 reasons why somebody would want to have such meters fitted in their home:
1. The most frequent reason is to help people who are in energy debt with their supplier. Some customers may be paying less than is necessary and be oblivious to a build-up of energy debt on their account. By using a prepayment meter they will be able to have a tighter control on their budget and therefore debts.
2. The other use is made by some landlords who to try to cut the risk of their tenants running into debt. With a prepayment meter the equation is very simple: if you don’t top up the meter you don’t have any gas/electricity.
For more information on prepayment meters you can read the article in moneysupermarket.com.
Emergency Gas Phone Number (24/24): 0800 111 999
Scottish Hydro Electric: 0800 300 999
Scottish Power: 0845 272 7999
Each energy company will also have its own emergency number - see your invoice.
Did you know? In April 2010 the UK Government introduced a Feed In Tariff to pay households for every unit of electricity generated by a Solar System. The Feed In Tariff is tax free and return on investment can be as high as 5% per year in real terms. By comparison, the best savings accounts pay only 3-4% interest per annum.
If you are interested, visting the eco experts website is a good place to start.
What makes up a gas and electricity bill in the UK?
52% wholesale energy costs
20% delivery costs
20% operating costs
3% social & environmental costs
51% wholesale energy costs
19% delivery costs
19% operating costs
6% social & environmental costs
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