There's a new energy supplier in town and just like the legend himself, Robin Hood Energy, the innovative not-for-profit energy company set up by Nottingham City Council, is determined to put money back in the pockets of the people.
Robin Hood Energy launched in September 2015. It's the first local authority-owned not-for-profit energy supply company since the nationalisation of Great Britain's electricity supply industry in 1948. Its primary focus is to provide affordable energy to customers and to help tackle fuel poverty by offering cheap tariffs and supplying energy at affordable prices.
You don't need to live in Nottingham to benefit from its competitive tariffs. Domestic customers in England, Scotland and Wales can switch to Robin Hood Energy to purchase their gas and electricity. Business tariffs will be launched later in the year.
Customers who switched to Robin Hood Energy (during the controlled market entry phase) from their existing providers are forecast to save on average up to £237 per year on their annual energy bills.
At Cornerstone Money Advice, its not just our clients who have discovered that they can save them hundreds of pounds a year on their fuel bills if they switch to Robin Hood Energy, some of our Debt Advisers have switched too!
What core tariffs do Robin Hood Energy offer?
Robin Hood Energy offers a range of competitive tariffs and Nottingham City residents can take advantage of a unique ‘Nottingham tariff’ which is only available to customers in the City of Nottingham. Customers can check which tariffs are appropriate to them by entering their postcode into the ‘quote portal’ on the website. Robin Hood Energy’s three core tariffs are:
- Evergreen (standard variable)
- Prime (one year fixed-term)
- Nottingham (for Nottingham city residents only)
You can choose to pay your bills in a number of ways, including by variable or fixed direct debit and there are additional discounts of £22.50 per fuel per year if you opt to manage your account online.
After an Ofgem report in June 2015 highlighted concerns that a lack of competition within the prepayment market resulted in higher energy bills for customers who rely on pre-payment tariffs, Robin Hood Energy decided to tackle this problem by launching a competitive prepayment tariff in November. It was one of the cheapest prepayment tariffs available on the market at the time of its launch, (£77.65 cheaper than British Gas’s cheapest dual fuel medium user tariff and £125.23 cheaper than British Gas’s duel fuel economy 7 meter tariff).
PAYG tariffs are of particular benefit to people on lower incomes who prefer to have prepayment meters to manage their household budgets. The flexibility of PAYG means that they can top up their meters regularly during the year and spread the cost, rather than be hit with larger bills during the winter months.
Does Robin Hood Energy charge any exit fees?
Robin Hood Energy doesn't charge any exit fees. Customers wishing to change tariffs or leave Robin Hood Energy are free to do so at any time.
Where does Robin Hood Energy Source it’s energy?
The energy supplied to customers is sourced from the National Grid via a Grid Master Trade Agreement. When Robin Hood Energy is more established, it may consider a Power Purchase Agreement with a local or a national energy generator to secure the lowest possible energy purchasing price as part of its commitment to help keep tariffs low for customers.
How can Robin Hood Energy guarantee to keep tariffs low?
Robin Hood Energy is a not-for-profit company owned by Nottingham City Council. Its directors, who are not paid a salary, and other employees don’t receive bonuses and it has few overheads which help maintain low tariffs for customers.
Switching is easy.
Although you can get an instant quote on the Robin Hood Energy website, I recommend that you use a energy price comparison website like uSwitch or MoneySavingExpert.com's Cheap Energy Club first. These powerful energy comparison tools will identify which suppliers can offer you the most competitive tariffs, depending on your usage and requirements. It is also important for you to check whether the tariffs are fixed or variable and whether there are any exit fees. Don't forget to take into account any exit fees you may need to pay if you switch from your current supplier.
If, after doing your research, Robin Hood Energy offers you the best deal, switching is easy. To get an instant quote, customers simply need to visit the website or call 0800 0304567 (calls are free from mobiles and landlines).
Why not see whether Robin Hood can put some money back in your pocket too?
By Jane Taylor, Volunteer Debt Adviser
(Adapted from her post on her money-saving and lifestyle blog, maflingo.com)