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  • FIRST POST
    • Littlepip88
    • By Littlepip88 20th Jan 17, 10:00 AM
    • 5Posts
    • 0Thanks
    Littlepip88
    ENER-G Switch 2 - Massive rip off, help needed!
    • #1
    • 20th Jan 17, 10:00 AM
    ENER-G Switch 2 - Massive rip off, help needed! 20th Jan 17 at 10:00 AM
    Hi all,

    I live in a block flats which is one of 3 in Manchester supplied by a community energy scheme which is managed by ENER-G Switch2.

    I’m posting firstly to warn people off Switch2, and secondly to get some advice about where I can take my complaint.

    I have lived in the 2 bed 10th floor flat for 6 months with 1 other flatmate. We both work 9-5 and she has been on holiday a lot, additionally I am away out of the flat 2-3 weekends out of 4 in the month. Our bill for water and electricity averages £100 per month. I have never put the heating on as I am too wary of the cost it will incur. We are charged £34 per month standing and standard charges (inc VAT) for the property each month by Switch2 which they say covers account admin – this is before we incur any charges for usage. I am unsure who actually supplies the energy as Switch2 are a 3rd party company, and although I have asked they did not reply.

    Switch2 own the boiler, metres and wiring in the buildings, therefore if we wanted to change energy supplier we would have to have these removed and all new wiring put in – effectively it is not possible to change energy supplier. We are charged separately for Electricity (£0.10044 per unit, 5% VAT), cold water (£1.70500 per unit), cold water sewerage (£1.10500 per unit), hot water (4.48532 per unit, 5% VAT) and hot water sewerage (1.10500 per unit). I was advised on my last phone call with Switch2 that our usage of 443kWh for the month was not shockingly high, as I tried to work out how our bill was so much. Water usage was down as 4ml3 for the month for each hot/cold element.

    I would like to ask if anyone knowledgeable in this area knows if this is ridiculously high per unit that they are charging. Also what can I do about this as I would like to take this further, everyone I have spoken to in the building agrees their bills are shockingly high and people move out because of it. Apparently there has been attempts at a residents protest but nothing ever came of it.

    Any help on this matter would be greatly appreciated as I’m really drawing blanks on my internet searches apart from a few other people complaining on forums!
Page 1
    • Hengus
    • By Hengus 20th Jan 17, 10:23 AM
    • 4,202 Posts
    • 2,448 Thanks
    Hengus
    • #2
    • 20th Jan 17, 10:23 AM
    • #2
    • 20th Jan 17, 10:23 AM
    Hi all,

    I live in a block flats which is one of 3 in Manchester supplied by a community energy scheme which is managed by ENER-G Switch2.

    I’m posting firstly to warn people off Switch2, and secondly to get some advice about where I can take my complaint.

    I have lived in the 2 bed 10th floor flat for 6 months with 1 other flatmate. We both work 9-5 and she has been on holiday a lot, additionally I am away out of the flat 2-3 weekends out of 4 in the month. Our bill for water and electricity averages £100 per month. I have never put the heating on as I am too wary of the cost it will incur. We are charged £34 per month standing and standard charges (inc VAT) for the property each month by Switch2 which they say covers account admin – this is before we incur any charges for usage. I am unsure who actually supplies the energy as Switch2 are a 3rd party company, and although I have asked they did not reply.

    Switch2 own the boiler, metres and wiring in the buildings, therefore if we wanted to change energy supplier we would have to have these removed and all new wiring put in – effectively it is not possible to change energy supplier. We are charged separately for Electricity (£0.10044 per unit, 5% VAT), cold water (£1.70500 per unit), cold water sewerage (£1.10500 per unit), hot water (4.48532 per unit, 5% VAT) and hot water sewerage (1.10500 per unit). I was advised on my last phone call with Switch2 that our usage of 443kWh for the month was not shockingly high, as I tried to work out how our bill was so much. Water usage was down as 4ml3 for the month for each hot/cold element.

    I would like to ask if anyone knowledgeable in this area knows if this is ridiculously high per unit that they are charging. Also what can I do about this as I would like to take this further, everyone I have spoken to in the building agrees their bills are shockingly high and people move out because of it. Apparently there has been attempts at a residents protest but nothing ever came of it.

    Any help on this matter would be greatly appreciated as I’m really drawing blanks on my internet searches apart from a few other people complaining on forums!
    Originally posted by Littlepip88

    Hi -welcome to the forum. You really need expert advice. AFAIK, community/district heating schemes are unregulated.

    http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/analysis/2402251/should-the-district-heating-industry-be-regulated

    You also need to bear in mind that a fair chunk of your annual bill covers the capital cost of the heating scheme, ongoing maintenance and replacement costs. It follows that you cannot compare costs that you see on comparison sites with the price that you have to pay. In addition to paying suppliers, I also have to pay to have my boiler serviced and replaced when necessary.
    Last edited by Hengus; 20-01-2017 at 12:29 PM.
    • Littlepip88
    • By Littlepip88 20th Jan 17, 11:55 AM
    • 5 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Littlepip88
    • #3
    • 20th Jan 17, 11:55 AM
    • #3
    • 20th Jan 17, 11:55 AM
    Thanks for your reply! The article was good to read, it does seem my sentiments are echoed by other community energy users across the country. I think it's a shame as it's a good idea however I feel 3rd party account management companies like Switch2are negating the cost saving passed on by it being an economical solution. I hope that a decision is made to regulate community or district heating soon as I don't feel the price being charged is justified! For now it seems sit and wait is the only option.
    • molerat
    • By molerat 20th Jan 17, 12:52 PM
    • 17,013 Posts
    • 11,190 Thanks
    molerat
    • #4
    • 20th Jan 17, 12:52 PM
    • #4
    • 20th Jan 17, 12:52 PM
    I very much doubt it is an "economical solution" but is a "green solution" being pushed by government. When house hunting a district heating system would be a tick box on my negatives list
    www.helpforheroes.org.uk/donations.html
    • Littlepip88
    • By Littlepip88 20th Jan 17, 1:31 PM
    • 5 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Littlepip88
    • #5
    • 20th Jan 17, 1:31 PM
    • #5
    • 20th Jan 17, 1:31 PM
    As I say I think the £34 a month before you even use any energy at all is charged by the account management company, and this pushes the bill really high. It's a shame because a greener option is always a better option but I don't think it's acceptable to be charged so much and left with no option to complain or change.
    • Littlepip88
    • By Littlepip88 20th Jan 17, 1:32 PM
    • 5 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Littlepip88
    • #6
    • 20th Jan 17, 1:32 PM
    • #6
    • 20th Jan 17, 1:32 PM
    Additionally this leaves us in a position where we can never have the heating on as already the bill is £100 a month. We may as well not have it as we can't put it on for fear of the charge :-( I don't think people looking for a new property would like to know they either face not using the heating or paying an extortionate amount.
    • Hengus
    • By Hengus 20th Jan 17, 2:17 PM
    • 4,202 Posts
    • 2,448 Thanks
    Hengus
    • #7
    • 20th Jan 17, 2:17 PM
    • #7
    • 20th Jan 17, 2:17 PM
    Which? is on the case but it seems to be going unheeded.

    http://www.staticwhich.co.uk/documents/pdf/turning-up-the-heat-getting-a-fair-deal-for-district-heating-users---which-report-399546.pdf
    • D_M_E
    • By D_M_E 20th Jan 17, 4:43 PM
    • 1,270 Posts
    • 62,732 Thanks
    D_M_E
    • #8
    • 20th Jan 17, 4:43 PM
    • #8
    • 20th Jan 17, 4:43 PM
    It's not clear from your post whether the 433Kwh refers to units of electricity used, or units of heat supplied.

    If it's for electricity then that's about 14Kwh a day and from your description that is far too much for the usage you describe.

    Are you sure you are being charged for the correct meter - have you checked this?

    The unit cost at about 10p per Kwh is not that bad, but you need to check if it actually relates to your meter.

    I would also query the water charges as again there must be something preventing 3rd parties standing between you and the water/sewerage company.

    The only thing I would think that the 3rd party can deal with is the heating system, other things I would think you could deal direct with the various suppliers for those services, such as water, electricity, gas (if you have any)

    I was under the impression that for electricity supplies 3rd parties have to tell you who the actual supplier is and you can then refuse to pay the 3rd party for that element and deal direct with the actual energy supplier.
    • Switch2Energy
    • By Switch2Energy 21st Jan 17, 9:32 AM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Switch2Energy
    • #9
    • 21st Jan 17, 9:32 AM
    Switch2 Energy reply
    • #9
    • 21st Jan 17, 9:32 AM
    Hi Littlepip88

    Sorry you are unhappy - it is obvious you have been in touch with us already and haven't had a full explanation. Please contact us directly at customerservice@switch2.co.uk or on 0333 321 2010.

    In general the site you refer to has one bill which covers all usage and standing charges for electricity plus heating, hot water, cold water and sewage.

    From 1st January 2017 your tariff has been reduced along with your standing charge.

    We would be happy to discuss your individual usage and charges so please do contact us directly.

    Kind regards
    Switch2 Energy
    • Hengus
    • By Hengus 21st Jan 17, 9:46 AM
    • 4,202 Posts
    • 2,448 Thanks
    Hengus
    Hi Littlepip88

    Sorry you are unhappy - it is obvious you have been in touch with us already and haven't had a full explanation. Please contact us directly at customerservice@switch2.co.uk or on 0333 321 2010.

    In general the site you refer to has one bill which covers all usage and standing charges for electricity plus heating, hot water, cold water and sewage.

    From 1st January 2017 your tariff has been reduced along with your standing charge.

    We would be happy to discuss your individual usage and charges so please do contact us directly.

    Kind regards
    Switch2 Energy
    Originally posted by Switch2Energy
    Switch2 - you need to read forum rules. All suppliers have to be approved by MSE before they are allowed to post.
    • Littlepip88
    • By Littlepip88 24th Jan 17, 5:22 PM
    • 5 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Littlepip88
    Thanks for your reply on this! Electricity units just states kWh and no further info. As you can see Switch2 have replied here but I have also received an email just now with lots of information and a breakdown of everything which is extremely helpful although I have just scanned it at this point.


    I imagine it will be very informative about all the costs and charges, but obviously won't ease the disgruntlement amongst the residents as the bottom line is - the price is high. I am glad I've asked those questions, as how often do we find ourselves paying for something and not really understanding what it is we're paying for!


    Thanks for all your responses guys :-)
    • syrupsponge
    • By syrupsponge 11th Jul 17, 8:46 AM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    syrupsponge
    Can't find new post thread but my query carries on this theme:

    My son is in a communal system and has been paying £81 per month, he has come back from 3 weeks spent with us to a bill of £180, how can that be so?

    Surely you still only pay for what you use in these schemes, someone could be running a hot tub on the roof!!
    • molerat
    • By molerat 11th Jul 17, 9:17 AM
    • 17,013 Posts
    • 11,190 Thanks
    molerat
    Can't find new post thread but my query carries on this theme:

    My son is in a communal system and has been paying £81 per month, he has come back from 3 weeks spent with us to a bill of £180, how can that be so?

    Surely you still only pay for what you use in these schemes, someone could be running a hot tub on the roof!!
    Originally posted by syrupsponge
    You need to read the bill to see what is being charged. Everything that is not on a pay as you use rate is charged communally and whilst away will be charged the same as someone in all day with the heating on full blast. That is the way the system works and, as I posted previously, a central system would be a big red flag when house hunting.
    www.helpforheroes.org.uk/donations.html
    • Hengus
    • By Hengus 11th Jul 17, 9:26 AM
    • 4,202 Posts
    • 2,448 Thanks
    Hengus
    Can't find new post thread but my query carries on this theme:

    My son is in a communal system and has been paying £81 per month, he has come back from 3 weeks spent with us to a bill of £180, how can that be so?

    Surely you still only pay for what you use in these schemes, someone could be running a hot tub on the roof!!
    Originally posted by syrupsponge
    Have a read of this link and download the PDF:

    http://content.switch2.co.uk/heat-network-regulations-2014?__hstc=222151495.3ae44aa7487c18bddabb0301a1d5 18aa.1499761443664.1499761443664.1499761443664.1&_ _hssc=222151495.2.1499761443664&__hsfp=531231730
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