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Changes To StayWarm

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Energy
492 replies 155.1K views
MSE_MartinMSE_Martin Money Saving ExpertMoneySaving Expert
8.3K posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Energy
Staywarm is the fixed fee gas and electricity provider for those with someone aged over 60 in their home. The big advantage is the price stays the same regardless of how much gas and electricity you actually use.

What are the Changes

Last year Staywarm announced that it would be kicking high users out of the tariff. There was uproar at this, especially on this site, and I remember many frequent conversations with them. At the time they backtracked and said that they would try a different tack in the future, and that has just been announced.

I have to say I welcome it, considering what was proposed this is much better.

All people who meet the high use criteria, will be offered 12 months worth of support (PowerGen which owns StayWarm is putting up £20 million for this) to decrease their energy usage. This will include a free home visit from an energy specialist and cavity wall and loft insulation, possibly worth up to £350 per household (though that's StayWarms reckoning not my own, so take it with a pinch of salt).

What happens if energy usage isn't reduced within a year?

If after the above, the energy with usage hasn't decreased, unfortunately Staywarm will then increase the price of your package. At this point you to do comparison with other providers to see if it's still worth while.

What about new users?

There are currently usage limits for new customers joining the service but Powergen is currently developing a high user service for customers who wish to join the scheme - so they will pay more than the advertised price.

See Staywarms prices: Staywarm doesn't publish its prices on its website, therefore with its permission (after some wrangling) here is a PDF file (this is currently a huge 1.4Mb file, will take a while to download, will try and shrink it down tomorrow) which contains its prices for all regions.

Is it worth becoming a new user of StayWarm?

Staywarm is an excellent idea but by no means is it always the cheapest.

If you’re eligible, compare its cost using a comparison service (read 'cheapest gas & elec article for details) and, unless Staywarm is over 10% more expensive, use it, as it provides fixed price peace of mind and the knowledge you can turn up the heating without increased cost.)

Below is a copy of the full announcement from StayWarm. Do remember though, this is its analysis and is there to promote its services, so take a bucket of salt with it

Tuesday 12 July 2005

Powergen Staywarm announces £20m support service for high energy users

Powergen has today (TUES 12 July) announced it is to invest up to £20m and spend a year working with the Staywarm customers who use the most energy1 in order to help reduce their energy consumption and safeguard the future of the service.

Staywarm, the unique service that helps the over 60s by offering them a 12 month fixed price for their electricity and gas, has identified some customers who are using extremely large amounts of energy.

Rather than remove those Staywarm customers who have energy consumption above the Ofgem definition of a high energy user, Powergen has made a commitment to work with them, to ensure the future of Staywarm for everyone, by offering a package of energy efficiency support.

The package is worth around £350 per household and includes a free home visit from an energy efficiency specialist, a free Benefits Entitlement Check2, and cavity wall3 and loft insulation4.

Nick Horler, Managing Director of Powergen Retail, said: “The aim of Staywarm has always been to provide valuable peace of mind to its older, more vulnerable customers and it remains our number one priority to do everything we can to ensure the service continues for those who need it most.

“To date, Powergen Staywarm has protected over 195,000 households from fuel poverty and we’ll ensure it continues to help the most vulnerable households and to give the reassurance that comes with fixed price gas and electricity.

“With this in mind, we’ll be working with Staywarm customers who use the most energy for a full year to help them safely and effectively reduce their energy usage.”

If, after 12 months – and despite Powergen’s full support – a customer’s consumption is still extremely high, they will remain on Staywarm but be offered an individually tailored fixed price. This price will remain competitive but will reflect their consumption and therefore be higher than standard Staywarm prices.

However, high energy users on benefits will continue to be offered current Staywarm standard rates to ensure that no customer on benefits need go into fuel poverty as a result of these changes.

Powergen will be contacting affected Staywarm customers at their annual review date, which is unique to each customer, to offer the additional support. These customers will remain on current Staywarm standard rates for a further 12 months while Powergen works with them to improve the energy efficiency of their home.

Powergen is part of E.ON UK, which is part of the E.ON Group – the world’s largest private-sector energy services company.


Notes to editor:

1. Ofgem defines a high user as a household which uses more than:

· 28,000kWh of gas, per year, and/or;

· 4,950kWh of electricity per year on an unrestricted meter, or;

· 9,900kWh of electricity per year on an Economy 7 meter;

All Powergen Staywarm consumption levels have been set higher than this and increase in line with the number of people in the property and the number of bedrooms it has;

2. The average unclaimed benefit identified by Powergen through the Benefit Entitlement Check is over £1,900 per customer a year, based on information provided by customers eligible for benefits to Powergen between January and March 2005;

3. Cavity wall insulation is the most effective way to improve the energy efficiency of a home, as around 33% of heat is lost through un-insulated walls;

4. To qualify, customers must have an empty loft or insulation of less then 25mm thickness;

· Powergen will be writing to all affected customers at the time of their annual renewal, from 25 July 2005. In the meantime, any Powergen Staywarm customer concerned about these changes should call 0800 479 0125;

· Powergen is an industry leader at delivering schemes to assist the most vulnerable groups in society and is the only supplier to offer two products specifically tailored for older customers.

Example of a high energy user

A typical high user in a three-bedroom, two-occupant household in Yorkshire would currently pay £823 a year on Powergen Staywarm prices, but would pay £1,171 for the same amount of energy if they took dual fuel from British Gas.

British Gas bills based on unrestricted monthly Direct Debit customers, with consumptions 6,757 kWh Elec and 38,221 kWh gas a year. Includes VAT and may vary according to meter type and payment method.

Definition of fuel poverty

A household which needs to spend more than 10% of its income on energy for heating, hot water, cooking, lighting and electrical appliances. An adequate standard of warmth is generally defined as 21°c in the living room and 18°c in other occupied rooms.
Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.
Don't miss out on urgent MoneySaving, get my weekly e-mail at
Debt-Free Wannabee Official Nerd Club: (Honorary) Members number 000


  • margaretclaremargaretclare Forumite
    10.8K posts
    Hi Martin

    Thanks for this detailed analysis. Many people have said to me 'but you get Staywarm, don't you, you're in the eligible age-group, what a good idea it is, you can use as much as you like, saves you worrying about big bills coming in...'

    Well, no. We're a pair of pensioners and we periodically sit down and look at all of our outgoings to see if we can save by switching anything. Time and again we've come up with the fact that what we're paying for gas and electricity is the best deal we can get. Atlantic Gas £28 a month for gas, GreenEnergy £20 a month for electricity, both by direct debit from our joint account. So we don't worry about big bills coming in. This is a 2-bedroom bungalow and we cook by electricity. We're already well-insulated and our appliances are all new and efficiency-rated. I don't think we would save by going on to Staywarm.

    Aunty Margaret
    [FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Æ[/FONT]r ic wisdom funde, [FONT=Times New Roman, serif]æ[/FONT]r wear[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]ð[/FONT] ic eald.
    Before I found wisdom, I became old.
  • loon_2loon_2 Forumite
    180 posts
    sorry, but i'm a bit confused. where in martin's post does it say YOU should switch to staywarm?
    Beware the green?
  • Graham1Graham1 Forumite
    445 posts
    Another thing worth mentioning is that when you first sign up to staywarm, if anyone in the household is on low income benefits (pension credit etc.), they should refer your name and address to the home energy efficiency scheme, who will do free additional loft insulation and fit free smoke alarms. This bit isn't funded by Powergen, but make sure you don't miss out if you are eligible. It might cut the first year's energy usage a bit and prevent you falling into the excessive usage category.
  • Graham1Graham1 Forumite
    445 posts
    It is interesting that the ofgem definition of a high user household on all electric (economy 7) at 9,900 Kwh/yr is so much less than a gas heated home high user household (28,000 Kwh/yr). The efficiency of the boiler cannot account for such a big difference. I must presume that they expect only very small houses to be all-electric.
  • topofalltopofall Forumite
    20 posts
    Hi Martin, could I point out, please, that the link to the PDF document doesn't work.

    This is a very interesting post as I have been on Staywarm for three years at this address and 10 months at a previous address. Our bill has gone up yearly whilst with them. It started out at £48 a month and is now, from August, £75.25, a jump of £13 a month since last year. Are we high users? They have never said we were!
  • Graham1Graham1 Forumite
    445 posts
    I don't think the .PDF defines what a high user is. Just gives the prices in different regions.

    Try saving the document onto your disk drive and loading it from there. Then it might load OK.
  • MSE_MartinMSE_Martin Money Saving Expert MoneySaving Expert
    8.3K posts
    It won't be before you're a high user your price has gone up. Staywarm prices overall have been increasing alongside (and slightly quicker) than others due to general energy price rises. Plus as Powergen took it over, it was less keen on the system so didnt pump as much cash in it as previously.
    Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
    Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.
    Don't miss out on urgent MoneySaving, get my weekly e-mail at
    Debt-Free Wannabee Official Nerd Club: (Honorary) Members number 000
  • margaretclaremargaretclare Forumite
    10.8K posts
    Loon wrote:
    sorry, but i'm a bit confused. where in martin's post does it say YOU should switch to staywarm?

    If you mean me, Martin does not say that I should switch to Staywarm. I simply commented that a lot of people do assume that we're on it because we're in *that* age-group. However it isn't always necessarily any cheaper.

    Aunty Margaret
    [FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Æ[/FONT]r ic wisdom funde, [FONT=Times New Roman, serif]æ[/FONT]r wear[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]ð[/FONT] ic eald.
    Before I found wisdom, I became old.
  • princessmoneysaverprincessmoneysaver Forumite
    15.8K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts
    My 72 year old single Dad will be moving into an all electric first floor flat, which is likely to be the best company to use?


    2020 February wins - None. March wins - CD & Tickets, Book

    Good luck to all compers
  • djohn2002ukdjohn2002uk Forumite
    2.3K posts
    The PDF file does work if you ignore the warning and drag the hand to move it down instead of using the scroll bar.

    It would cost me £75.40/month to go back to Staywarm and I am paying Scottish Power £58/month, a difference of £208.80/year. Methinks a tad expensive for peace of mind.
This discussion has been closed.

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