E.on Next has unveiled a support scheme that gives existing customers on low incomes up to 50% off the rate of the new Ofgem energy price cap until next spring.
It started when the new Ofgem price cap rate kicked in on 1 October, and the Winter Affordability Support Scheme will run until 31 March 2024. The energy supplier says “tens of thousands” of people will be able to benefit from its discount, which could save a typical household £480 over six months.
So, how will E.on Next’s winter support work – and who’s eligible for the scheme? Here’s a quick explainer on what you need to do now if you’re an E.on customer in order to save on your energy bills.
What is the E.on Next Winter Affordability Support Scheme and how do I know if I qualify?
E.on Next has said it will provide more than £80 million in support over the colder months of the year to those deemed to be its “most vulnerable” customers. As part of the scheme the supplier will discount standard variable tariff rates for these households – either by 25% or 50%, depending on their circumstances.
To be eligible for these discounts, you must meet the following three criteria:
- Be an existing customer with the supplier (as of 25 September 2023)
- Have an existing monthly direct debit
- Either have an existing smart meter, or agree to have one installed in your property
And you must also meet at least one of the following three criteria:
- Live in a household earning under £19,000 a year and be running a deficit (in other words, your basic living costs outstrip your income).
- Have specific medical needs and a household income under £31,000. E.on’s listed the medical needs that are eligible: 1) nebuliser or apnoea monitor, 2) heart-lung or lung ventilator, 3) dialysis, feeding pump or automated medication, 4) oxygen concentrator, 5) MDE electric showering
- You’re eligible for the warm home discount, or you were eligible for the previous iteration of the scheme in England and Wales, and have a “low affordability threshold” (E.on has not yet spelled out what this phrase means)
How much will my tariff be discounted by?
- If you are in debt with E.on Next when you sign up to the scheme, it will give you the full 50% discount. Provided you keep up with your payments throughout the 6-month period, the provider says it will waive the debt you entered the scheme with when it expires next March.
- The 25% discount will apply to any customers on a low income (or with medical needs) who are not in any debt.
E.on says the discount will apply from the date a customer signs up for the scheme through until its end. The unit prices will then be fixed in at the discounted rate until the end of March 2024, regardless of the next change to the price cap (which will be announced in November and kicks in from the New Year). To see how much energy prices will change in January, Look After My Bills has compiled the latest predictions from respected analysts.
The scheme will charge no exit fees. If you fail to pay your direct debit or cancel it, E.on says it will move you back to its standard variable tariff rate (i.e. the Ofgem energy price cap).
How can I sign up for the E.on Next support?
E.on said it would be contacting all customers who meet its eligibility criteria “directly” from the end of September. Depending on your contact preferences, you should receive an email, letter, phone call or text from them outlining the Winter Affordability Support Scheme.
If you think you’re eligible for the scheme but have not been contacted, you should get in touch with E.on on 0808 501 5200 (its call centre is open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Thursday, and 9am to 4pm on Fridays). The supplier can also be reached via social media, email or WhatsApp (from 8am until 10pm seven days a week).
What other help does E.on Next offer?
If you aren’t eligible for E.on’s winter support scheme, you may be able to receive other energy bill help and support on offer from the energy provider.
Its Energy Fund provides grants towards bills or replacement appliances if you’re in financial difficulty, while it also offers free cavity wall insulation for existing customers who meet the eligibility criteria of the government’s Great British Insulation Scheme. Under Ofgem rules, E.on has to work with you if you are struggling to pay for your energy and can direct you to free debt advice from the charity StepChange.