Frequently Asked Questions

Change of Direct Debit Account

Who are The Midcounties Co-operative?aaaaa

Co-operative Energy belongs to The Midcounties Co-operative, the largest independent co- operative in the UK. The Midcounties Co-operative operate in a number of industries, including Food, Childcare, Funeral, Flexible Benefits, Healthcare, Travel and of course Energy.

Who are First Capital Cashflow?aaaaa

First Capital Cashflow are an approved payment processing service that managed your Direct Debit payment for GB Energy Supply. This change will now mean The Midcounties Co- operative will collect your payments direct.

I thought Co-op Energy already took my Direct Debit payments?aaaaa

Co-op Energy have been responsible for collecting your Direct Debit payments since November 2016 but have not been collecting your payments direct.

What change will I see?aaaaa

The only change you will see is the name on your Bank or Building Society statement will change from ‘CO-OPERATIVE ENERG’ to ‘CO-OP ENERGY’, followed by your customer reference number. You may also see a comment on your Bank statement advising you of the final payment under the old name, and the first payment under the new name.

Will I still be protected by the Direct Debit Guarantee?aaaaa

Yes, you will still receive the Direct Debit Guarantee. You can find out more about this here.

What do I need to do?aaaaa

You do not need to do anything. Please be assured this change will not affect the service you receive in any way.

Making a Complaint

How do I make a complaint?aaaaa

If you feel that you need to make a complaint, simply follow the instructions below and we will work to resolve your complaint as quickly as possible.

1. Contact our Customer Services team by calling 0800 6444 451. If an advisor is not able to resolve your query, you can ask for it to be escalated to a specialist or team leader.

2. If they are not able to resolve your complaint, it will be passed to a manager who will aim to resolve your complaint in a maximum of 10 working days

3. If your complaint is still not resolved, it will be passed to our Complaints Team who will carry out an independent review and aim to come to a resolution within a maximum of 25 working days

If you are unable to contact us by telephone, you can email [email protected] Please ensure you include your address and account number on any emails you send to us.

What happens if my complaint is not resolved?aaaaa

If after 8 weeks your complaint remains unresolved, you can contact the Ombudsman Service: Energy on 0330 440 1624 or http://www.os-energy.org. This is a free and independent service whose decisions we must abide by.

The Ombudsman's service is impartial and free of charge; however, the Ombudsman can only accept your case if:

• It is regarding gas and electricity bills.
• The problems which arise are a result of switching energy supplier.
• There is an issue with the way an energy product or service has been sold to you (including door step sales).
• The case relates to the supply of energy to your home (e.g. when you experience a power cut).
• The case relates to micro generation and Feed-In Tariffs (FITs).

Ombudsman Services will investigate your case thoroughly and propose a way to resolve the situation. If you accept the proposal – which might be for GB Energy Supply to apologise, take remedial action or pay compensation – we are bound by this decision.

What is your complaints performance?aaaaa

To see how we are doing on responding to customer complaints please visit our Complaints Performance page

Energy price increase – 1st June

Why have you increased your energy prices?aaaaa

Over the last 12 months, we have faced increasing costs on wholesale prices, network charges and energy industry obligations. Indeed, the energy regulator Ofgem has stated only recently that costs are 15% higher today than a year ago*.

It is now necessary for us to increase our charges by 8.6%** to ensure we are operating at a sustainable level and continue to provide you with the service that you deserve. Despite this increase, we still remain competitively priced in the market.

How much are you increasing your gas and electricity prices by?aaaaa

Our Premium Energy Saver gas and electricity prices have increased by an average of 8.6%**. The increase for gas is 6%** and 11.1%** for electric.

When will the price increase come into effect?aaaaa

The price increase will come into effect on 1 June 2017. We are informing customers of the change well in advance of this so you have time to review the charges and make any changes you feel necessary before the price increase takes effect. We will also inform you of the price you could be paying on our cheapest relevant tariff (our cheapest tariff with the same T&Cs) and our cheapest alternative tariff (our cheapest overall tariff which may have different T&Cs to your current tariff).

What is the annual average price of Premium Energy Saver tariff now?aaaaa

On average, GB Energy dual fuel customers on the Premium Energy Saver tariff will increase from £1,060 to £1,151 per annum. The average cost is calculated using the Ofgem average consumption figures of electric 3,100 kWh and gas 12,500 kWh per annum.

Are all Premium Energy Saver customers affected by the price increase?aaaaa

Yes, all customers on our Premium Energy Saver tariff, regardless of single or dual fuel supply, standard or Eco7 meter or payment type, will incur a price increase.

What are the increases that you have faced?aaaaa

Over the last 12 months, we have faced increasing costs on wholesale prices, network charges and energy social obligations.

Increased social obligations include:
• Feed in Tariffs
• Energy Company Obligations (ECO)
• Capacity Market Changes
• Smart metering programme

When are you telling customers about the price rise?aaaaa

We will begin informing customers from 23 February 2017. Your price increase communication will clearly highlight your new personal projection on your current tariff with the new prices. By visiting https://www.gbenergysupply.co.uk/account/switch you will also be able to find details of the price you could be paying on our cheapest relevant tariff (our cheapest tariff with the same T&Cs) and our cheapest alternative tariff (our cheapest overall tariff which may have different T&Cs to your current tariff).

What options do I now have?aaaaa

You will have three options:

1. Do nothing and remain on our Premium Energy Saver tariff. Your increased prices will come into effect on 1 June 2017.

2. Select one of our latest fixed-term contracts. You can do this now by visiting https://www.gbenergysupply.co.uk/account/switch or by calling 0800 6444 451.

3. Switch to another supplier. All we ask is that you settle any outstanding bills with us before you leave.

How do I switch to another GB Energy tariff?aaaaa

To switch to one of our online tariffs, visit https://www.gbenergysupply.co.uk/account/switch to see our full list of tariffs, terms and conditions and to conduct a comparison to see if you could save on another of our products. We offer a range of competitive fixed tariffs to suit all needs. Our online tariffs offer cheaper rates by passing on the saving of an online only tariff to you.

Will the terms and conditions of the tariff be affected by the price increase?aaaaa

No, the terms and conditions of our Premium Energy Saver tariff will remain the same.

Where can I go for free, impartial advice about my energy?aaaaa

For impartial advice on switching tariff or supplier, visit: http://www.citizensadvice.org.uk or call the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on: 03454 04 05 06.

Ways to pay

How do I make a payment?aaaaa

If you need to make a payment, please use one of the following options:

To pay using online banking or in your local branch, please use the following details:


• Account name - The Co-operative Energy (GBES)
• Account number - 13019845
• Sort code - 20 53 22

If paying by cheque, please make all cheques payable to The Co-operative Energy (GBES) and send to GB Energy Supply, First Floor, 523-527 Garstang Road, Preston PR3 5DL.


Please ensure you include your account number as a reference on any payments or on the reverse of any cheques.

Personal account

I can't log into My Account. How do I access it?aaaaa

If you are a registered customer of GB Energy Supply you will have an online account with us. If you are unable to log into your account due to a password problem, you should request a new one.

This link will direct you to reset your password: https://www.gbenergysupply.co.uk/account/forgotten-password

You should receive your forgotten password soon after completing these steps. A new password will be sent to the email account you registered with. If you fail to receive a new password, make sure you have used the correct email account. If the problem should continue please contact customer services.

Where can I find my customer number?aaaaa

Your customer number can be found top right of any of the letters we have emailed to you. Or, in your GB Energy Supply online account under 'My Account'.

How often will I receive a statement?aaaaa

If you pay by direct debit, we'll collect your payments monthly and send you an annual statement.

Where can I get independent consumer advice on energy?aaaaa

You can get free independent advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on how to: Visit www.citizensadvice.org.uk/energy or call 03454 04 05 06.

How can I manage my account?aaaaa

You can update your account details & provide meter readings in the 'My Account' section. Simply register to manage your account online, using the account details shown in your welcome email.

When can I contact you?aaaaa

Our customer service department is open Monday to Friday 8:00am – 8:00pm (closed on public holidays) and Saturday 9:00am – 4:00pm.

I'm having difficulty viewing my billaaaaa

If you're experiencing problems when trying to view your bill, we often find that this is due to one of the following reasons:

1. You might need to change your browser settings, which allows you to view PDFs online. The following link will explain how to do this: Display PDF in browser

2. You may need to upgrade the PDF reader you are using. You can do this here: Adobe Acrobat Reader DC

3. There could be another issue with the software you're using; you can find out how to fix these issues here: Solutions to common issues viewing PDFs from a website. If you're still experiencing problems, you can get in touch through our contact page.

Meter readings

How do I submit my meter reading?aaaaa

The easiest way to provide us with a meter reading is to log onto your online account, where you can update your meter reading details.

Login

If you’d like to speak to us about your meter readings, you can contact us on 0800 6444 451. Lines are open Monday to Friday 8:00am – 8:00pm (closed on public holidays) and Saturday 9:00am – 4:00pm.

Smart Meters

Are your Smart Meters available in my area?aaaaa

We'll contact you to let you know when we're installing in your area. If you've not heard from us yet, unfortunately we're not yet ready to install where you live.

What is a Smart Meter?aaaaa

A Smart Meter is a new type of meter which gives you more information on the energy you use in your home and will let you know the cost of the energy you use. A Smart Meter will also communicate directly with your supplier, which means there are no more meter readings to provide and bills which are based on the amount of energy you use, rather than estimates.

How do I arrange for a Smart Meter to be fitted?aaaaa

We'll contact you to let you know when we're installing in your area. Once we've contacted you, simply follow the instructions we provide to arrange an installation date that's suitable to you.

Will I get new smart meters for both gas and electricity?aaaaa

Yes. You'll only need one smart energy monitor though, as it'll show both your gas and electricity use and give you an idea of how much they're costing you.

Do I have to pay for my smart meters?aaaaa

No, all Smart Meter installations are free of charge.

Will I be on a different tariff when I get my smart meters?aaaaa

No, you don't need to change your tariff.

Where will the meter be fitted?aaaaa

In most cases it will be in the same place as your current meter. Where this isn't possible your installer will discuss the options available to you.

Do I need to do anything before my installation?aaaaa

No, but it's helpful if you can ensure your meters are easily accessible, and if there's anything you think we should be aware of that might make the installation difficult, such as an unusual meter location, please let us know. It's also a good idea to switch off your electrical appliances before we arrive, especially items such as computers.

Will my Smart Meter still work if I leave GB Energy?aaaaa

Yes, your meter will still work regardless of energy provider, however, if the provider you've moved to does not offer a Smart Meter service you may not be able to use some of the features of your meter.

Bills & Payments

How can I pay?aaaaa

All new customers pay by Direct Debit, however, if you need to make a payment outside of your regular monthly Direct Debit, please use one of the following options:

The easiest way to make a payment is by credit or debit card through your online account. To make a payment, simply log into your account, go to the ‘My Payments’ section, click on the ‘Make a payment’ button and follow the on-screen instructions.

Login

To pay using online banking or in your local branch, please use the following details:

hello
  • Account name - The Co-operative Energy (GBES)
  • Account number - 13019845
  • Sort code - 20 53 22

If paying by cheque, please make all cheques payable to The Co-operative Energy (GBES) and send to GB Energy Supply, First Floor, 523-527 Garstang Road, Preston PR3 5DL.

Please ensure you include your account number as a reference on any payments or on the reverse of any cheques.

Can I change the date of my Direct Debit?aaaaa

Your initial direct debit payment has to be taken a week before your supply start date. However, for all subsequent direct debits the date on which it is taken can be changed.

To change the date of your direct debit call: 0800 6444 451.

How often will you bill me?aaaaa

If you pay by direct debit, we'll collect your payments monthly and send you an annual statement. You can also check your statements on My GB Energy Supply. Alternatively, if you prefer to pay on receipt of a bill. We'll take into account any meter readings provided.

When will you reassess my direct debit payments?aaaaa

We'll look at your meter readings, together with industry data on an ongoing basis, and automatically reassess your direct debit payments. You'll see details of any changes in your six-monthly statement.

How do I change my bank details?aaaaa

Please call our customer services team on 0800 6444 451.

How can I keep my Direct Debit payments in line with my energy use?aaaaa

We take into account your meter readings, industry data and seasonal variations to assess your direct debit amount. Should you feel that it does need amending please contact our support team via our enquiry form at https://www.gbenergysupply.co.uk/contact

What is your refund policy?aaaaa

From time to time, you may find that your account is in credit; this may be due to changes in your actual usage, especially through the warmer months. If your credit amount is equal to, or less than two month’s Direct Debit payments, we recommend keeping this credit on your account to pay for future usage and to avoid the possibility of creating a debit balance later on in the year.

If you would like a refund on credit which has built up on your account, simply contact our team on 0800 6444 451 and we’ll arrange a refund for you. Typically, refunds take around a week to process.

Please note, when you contact us, we’ll take an up to date meter reading, which may affect the value of the credit on your account.

What are standing charges for?aaaaa

Standing charges cover costs like meter reading, maintenance and the cost of keeping you connected to the network, and in the case of gas, the emergency gas service.

What is a Tariff?aaaaa

A tariff is the pricing structure that GB Energy Supply charges for its gas and electricity. It is divided into two parts: the 'fixed charge' for supply of energy to your premises and the 'variable charge' for the amount of energy you use. For more information about GB Energy Supply's tariffs please visit our Tariff page.

When will I get my final bill?aaaaa

If you are leaving GB Energy (part of Cooperative Energy) the industry process is for your new supplier to ask for your opening read. These readings will then be sent by your new supplier to a company who will validate your readings (there is one company who deals with gas and another one for electricity). This should take 6 weeks or less.

They would then send the validated readings back to your new supplier and also to GB Energy (part of Cooperative Energy). As soon as we get both through (if you are dual fuel) we will produce the final statement or straight away if just Gas or Electricity only customer.

Moving home

What do I need to do when I move home?aaaaa

If you’re moving home, please log onto your online account and visit our ‘Moving Home’ section. Here, you’ll be able to easily provide all the information we need on your home move and arrange your energy supply at your new home.

Login

If you’d like to speak to us about your home move, you can contact us on 0800 6444 490. Lines are open Monday to Friday 8:00am – 8:00pm (closed on public holidays) and Saturday 9:00am – 4:00pm.

In an emergency

I can smell gas – what shall I do?aaaaa

You may have a gas leak, follow the below procedure if you suspect a leak:

• Open all the doors and windows as wide as possible. Leave them open until the leak has been fixed
• Don't light any matches, cigarettes or other naked flames
• Don't use any electrical switches
• Call the National Gas Emergency Line on 0800 111 999
• If there's a fire, call 999
• Make sure somebody will be in the property when the engineer arrives

Who do I need to contact about a power cut?aaaaa

If you experience a power cut please call your electricity distribution company. They look after the cable connecting your home to the national grid.

If your electricity distribution company identifies that there is not a problem with your supply, there could be a fault internally and you will need to call an electrician.

Find your local electricity distribution company in the Emergency Numbers page.

Saving energy

Can you help me save energy?aaaaa

Yes, view our energy-saving tips for ideas on how to reduce your bills further.

Can I monitor how much energy I'm using?aaaaa

Our annual statement provides a breakdown of your energy use. We don't currently offer smart meters, so we recommend using a standalone energy monitoring device to keep track of your day-to-day usage and find ways to reduce it.

Environment

What is renewable energy?aaaaa

Renewable energy comes from sources such as the sun, wind or flowing water that can generate electricity with little or no impact on the environment. Renewable energy sources are either inexhaustible or renew themselves quickly. They are a cleaner alternative to fossil fuels like coal, which are a finite resource and can cause pollution. The most environmentally friendly fossil fuel is natural gas.

What does 'carbon neutral' mean?aaaaa

Burning fossil fuels produces carbon dioxide (CO2). If you offset the amount of CO2 released, for example by capturing and storing an equivalent amount, you become 'carbon neutral'.

GB Energy, Part of Cooperative Energy

What happened to GB Energy Supply?aaaaa

GB Energy Supply Limited entered into administration in November 2016. Customer accounts were transferred to Cooperative Energy through a process set up by Ofgem, called Supplier of Last Resort. As part of this process, Cooperative Energy made the decision to retain the GB Energy Supply brand and to keep all existing GB Energy Supply customers under their existing contracts and terms.

I’ve cancelled my Direct Debit, what should I do?aaaaa

You can reinstate your Direct Debit by logging into your online account and re-entering your bank details. Alternatively, contact us on 0800 6444 910.

I have credit on my account, will this be affected?aaaaa

No, any credit (or debt) on your account will not be affected by these changes.

Who should I contact regarding my account?aaaaa

You should continue to contact GB Energy Supply as usual. Details on how to contact us can be found here.

Extra questions

Can you offer me the Warm Home Discount?aaaaa

The Warm Home Discount scheme is a Government initiative that encourages domestic energy suppliers to provide direct and indirect support for customers that need it the most.

There are 2 elements to this scheme: the Core Group and the Broader Group. They are both designed to help our most vulnerable customers stay warm this winter.

Core Group customers are those who receive the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit – even if you receive the Savings Credit too.

If you receive this benefit the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) will write to you between September and November 2017 to confirm if you're entitled to the discount and what you need to do next. You don't need to contact us to Register for the scheme.

For Broader Group support, you will need to meet certain criteria to be eligible, and then you will need to apply.

You can find more information and apply for our Broader Group scheme here https://www.cooperativeenergy.coop/reduce-your-bills/whd/

Where can I find out about my rights as a customer?aaaaa

You can get free independent advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on your rights as an energy consumer.

Visit www.citizensadvice.org.uk/energy, call 03454 04 05 06 or download their guide to knowing your rights.

*Supplier cost index published 19/01/17
**The price increase/decrease is the average increase/decrease based on Ofgem’s national average energy consumption of 12,500 kWh for gas and 3,100 kWh for electricity.