Coronavirus FAQs: How we are supporting our customers and employees

Together Energy and our people are proud of that fact that we are providing an essential service to our customers. Coronavirus is affecting all of us, but by working together and helping each other we can get through it.

During this time Together Energy will continue to provide our essential service to all customers. We want to stress that you can use the energy in your home as normal, your energy supply will not be affected.
We will be working hard to ensure that our most vulnerable customers are protected and looking after customers who have notified us of an emergency.

Our FAQs will be updated regularly, and will cover areas such as
• How Together Energy are prioritising vulnerable customers
• Advice for customers in self-isolation
• Meter appointments and engineer availability
• How to contact us
• What we are doing to keep our employees safe and working for you

Thank you and keep safe.
Together Energy team

Contacting Us
We are maintaining all existing service levels for customers. However, our customer service team and call centre staff will need to focus on helping vulnerable customers and dealing with emergencies. So please look at the FAQs below before getting in touch.

We need to prioritise answering urgent enquiries from potentially vulnerable customers and dealing with emergencies. If you need to get in touch, but it’s not urgent, you may find it’s quicker to manage your account through your customer portal https://account.togetherenergy.co.uk/account/login/

Key emergency contacts:
• Electricity Power Cut: 105 (Local Electricity Network Provider)
• Gas leak: 0800 111 999 (National Grid)

 

Frequently Asked Questions 27.03.20

How do I view my bills or provide a meter read?
Please use your customer online portal to view bills and provide meter readings.

You can log in to your customer portal here: https://account.togetherenergy.co.uk/account/login/

 

How are you keeping customers safe?
To keep our customers and our people safe, on Friday 13th March we stopped all door to door sales operations. We believe we were the first energy company to do so.

Read about it here: https://togetherenergy.co.uk/news/coronavirus-safety-changes/

 

I want to get in touch with Together Energy, how can I do this?
You can contact Together Energy as normal by phone or email.

We are maintaining all existing service levels for customers. However, our customer service team and call centre staff will need to focus on helping vulnerable customers and dealing with emergencies.

We will agree timescales with you for fulfilling your request in line with prioritising customers in vulnerable situations.

 

What is Together Energy doing for vulnerable customers?
We need to prioritise answering urgent enquiries from potentially vulnerable customers and dealing with emergencies. If you need to get in touch, but it’s not urgent, you may find it’s quicker to manage your account through your customer portal https://account.togetherenergy.co.uk/account/login/

We know things are particularly tough for vulnerable customers who need to self-isolate. So, we’ve put processes in place to make sure we prioritise their needs. And we’re also following official health advice and working with industry bodies to look after all our customers during this difficult time. If we all look out for each other, we’ll get through this together.

To reassure customers, Together Energy and other energy suppliers working closely with Ofgem and have signed up to a Government emergency package to ensure no-one faces any additional hardships in heating or lighting their home during the coronavirus outbreak. This package also covers anyone struggling to pay their bills or repay a debt – it includes a range of options from debt repayment plans to hardship funds where necessary. Importantly, the government has also asked energy suppliers not to disconnect anyone on a credit meter during the outbreak. Together Energy has commitment to this.

You can read more about how energy suppliers are supporting customers here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-agrees-measures-with-energy-industry-to-support-vulnerable-people-through-covid-19/

You can also find out how you can register for our Priority Services Register here: https://togetherenergy.co.uk/support-for-vulnerable-customers/

 

I have an existing metering appointment – will it still go ahead?
We are following guidelines provided by government agencies Department for Business, Energy, Industry and Strategy (BEIS) and Ofgem.

In order to keep our customers and partners safe, we have agreed with our metering agents to only attend emergency appointments.

An emergency metering appointment is where you are off supply for either electricity or gas as a result of a meter fault.
If you are over 70 or have an underlying health issue, please contact us for advice on whether your metering appointment can go ahead. We will consider your individual circumstances around whether it is safe for you for the appointment to go ahead.
For existing appointments, that are not for customers over 70 or with underlying health issues and where the customer is requesting the appointment to go ahead, we will be cancelling the appointment.

So that everyone knows where they stand, we’ll confirm all cancellations either by text, telephone call or letter.

 

I am vulnerable and rely on someone reading my meter – will this go ahead?
We are following guidelines provided by government agencies Department for Business, Energy, Industry and Strategy (BEIS) and Ofgem.

In order to keep our customers and partners safe, we have agreed with our meter read partners not to attend customer homes to collect meter reads.

We have a list of customers who rely on this quarterly meter read service.

Even if you are unable to read your meter, we can still provide quarterly bills to your online portal based on estimated reads, and if you have chosen paper billing we will send you a paper bill every six months.

We recognise that as we are all at home, we will all be using a wee bit more energy. During this time, if we are currently sending a meter reader to your home every three months, we will not recommend increasing your direct debit without speaking to you first and assessing your ability to pay.

We are very sorry for any inconvenience this has caused and would like to reassure you that we are doing everything we can to support our customers during this uncertain time.

 

I am struggling to pay my direct debit – what should I do?
We recognise that these are difficult times for everyone, and that people’s employment circumstances may change.

If you are having payment difficulty, please contact us. We are here to help. Do not cancel your direct debit.

A specialist team trained to support customers in payment difficulty and in vulnerable situations will deal with your enquiry, advise of the options available to you, assess your ability to pay, and help reach a good outcome for you.

Together Energy will not disconnect anybody during this period.

It is important that we don’t allow anyone to build up debt, Together Energy will proactively be in contact with customers if we feel they are building up a debit balance. We will advise of the options available to you, assess your ability to pay, and help reach a good outcome for you.

You can read more on our advice on energy debt page: https://togetherenergy.co.uk/advice-on-energy-debt//

 

I am working from home what will happen if I use more energy?
We recognise that over the coming weeks COVID-19 may have an impact on you, and we’ll offer additional support and flexibility where needed. Each case will be looked at on an individual basis, but the extra help may include repayments made over a longer period of time, delay payment for a short period or offer alternative payment arrangements.

Read our energy efficiency advice here: https://togetherenergy.co.uk/energy-efficiency/

We will continue to monitor customer usage, and we will be in touch if we feel your payments are not covering your usage. We are here to help.

A specialist team trained to support customers in payment difficulty and in vulnerable situations will deal with your enquiry, advise of the options available to you, assess your ability to pay, and help reach a good outcome for you.

Together Energy will not disconnect anybody during this period.

It is important that we don’t allow anyone to build up debt, Together Energy will proactively be in contact with customers if we feel they are building up a debit balance. We will advise of the options available to you, assess your ability to pay, and help reach a good outcome for you.

 

What is Together Energy doing to protect their staff?
We have a radical recruitment approach, with more than 90% of our staff coming from the poorest 10% of postcodes in Scotland. That means that the wellbeing of our staff is at the heart of everything that we do.

To date we have:
• Issued all staff a copy of our Covid-19 policy
• Ensured we have the capability for everyone to work from home. We have invested in hardware and software to ensure we can do this securely
• Employees with underlying health issues are already working from home
• Employees with dependents are working from home
• Working with partners to ensure their staff are safe.

 

Are Together Energy employees defined as key workers by the UK Government?
Yes, and our team are immensely proud to be providing you an essential service and looking after our most vulnerable customers.

On Friday, 20th March, the UK Government defined a list of key workers whose efforts will be essential as the UK responds to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. This list included the utilities, communication and financial services sectors and covers many employees of Together Energy e.g. contact centre teams, planning & resource, IT & data infrastructure, etc.

 

What advice are independent third parties giving?
For information from Ofgem, the industry regulator please visit Ofgem’s coronavirus webpage here: https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-covid-19-and-your-energy-supply

We will update our FAQs as we receive advice from Ofgem, BEIS, or Citizens Advice Bureau.

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Testimonials

It was actually a pleasure talking to Lis. Many Utility firms can be abrupt and use jargon. There was none of this and although it is the first time we had spoken together it felt like talking to old friends.

Peter