Switching to Social Energy
Once your battery is installed you’ll need to initiate your switch to Social Energy Supply. This is easy to do from within the app, it should take no longer than 5 minutes and we will do the rest from here.
Our app is the best way to interact with us, you can monitor your battery and manage your energy account all in one place. With our app moving to the app store we’ll also send you push notifications with important updates.
It’s really easy to enter meter readings on our app and ensure you get the right information in the right place – instantly!
When you join Social Energy Supply we want to be sure you only pay for the energy you’ve used. The best way to do this is to bill you every month based on a meter reading. If you don’t have a communicating smart meter we’ll remind you every month to give us a meeting reading. We’ll use this to calculate your bill.
You are likely to use more energy in the winter and less in the summer, this is for a few reasons:
- You’re likely to generate less solar in the autumn and winter months when the days are shorter and the sun is shining a lot less than the spring and summer months.
- The weather is usually colder in the autumn and winter, which means that your bills during this period are likely to be higher as you have your heating on a lot more. The days are also shorter, so you tend to use more electricity lighting your home.
You may generate more energy than you use in your home during peak summer months. The great news is that any excess will be stored in your battery. In the summer you may see very small and maybe even negative bills. However, in the winter you will generate less solar energy and also use more energy in your home. This may mean your bills could be bigger in the winter that during summer and this can come as a surprise, especially as the season changes.
As your payments are not a fixed amount, it is completely normal to see a change in your bills with the change in season across the year.
Will I still have to pay an electricity bill?
Whilst your bill will reduce with your new battery and your trading earnings and savings, you will still receive a monthly electricity bill from Social Energy. As with other energy providers, your bill will include a daily standing charge and a cost for every unit of electricity you use from the grid. In the summer your bill could be very low, as you'll be generating plenty of solar and using less electricity, meanwhile with less sun and higher electricity usage in the winter, your bill will be higher.
Benefits & Savings
Your benefits and savings are unlocked at different times and we have made sure that you don't miss out while you are getting set up by including a pre-trading tariff for your first year.
We don't earn anything until you do, so you can be sure we will be working hard to get your benefits unlocked as soon as possible.
As soon as you have your battery and hub installed you will start earning straight away. You will be benefiting from your solar generation, storing and consuming your own energy which means a reduction on your bills.
As soon as you come on supply with Social Energy, we will start to test your battery and get it ready to join the community of batteries providing grid balancing. This can take 90 days before you can start to earn grid balancing credits.
The other trading benefits and export payments are dependant on having a new generation smart meter (Smets 2) and we will check to see what type of meter you have and if necessary update your meter to get you ready for unlocking these benefits. This also takes a bit of time to get sorted which is why we offer a pre-trading tariff while we sort all of this out for you.
As a battery customer you’ll export less energy than a standard solar customer. However, if you do export energy we’ll pay you a market leading rate for this. If you are a FiT (Feed in Tariff) customer being paid deemed export, you’re better off staying with your FiT provider and getting this as its based on you exporting 50% of your solar generation (that’s a lot more than you’ll actually export – so a great deal). If you aren’t in a FiT scheme you’ll want to be paid our export rate. To qualify for this we’ll need you to have a Smets 2 / second generation smart meter. Once you have one, we’ll need you to opt in for our export tariff and we’ll do the rest!
Credits are paid four times a year. Depending on when your bill date is, these will be paid in Jan/Feb, April/May, July/August and September/October. They’ll be paid on your regular monthly bill and offset the cost of your energy.
Social Energy are the only supplier to offer credits for balancing the National Grid. Once you switch your energy to SE we’ll get your battery in to our pre-qualification process. This can take up to 90 days. Once testing’s successful we’ll be able to enter you into the next available tender.
This may be straight after your 90 day qualification, it may be ahead of schedule and within your 90 days, or it may take a while longer, it really depends on the market and when the tender is won. Don’t worry about any of this as its all factored into your savings calculator. As soon as you’re in a ‘tender’ you’ll be earning money and this will be paid as a credit four times a year.
It’s a common misconception that grid balancing is a one off occurrence. It's actually happening all the time. This means your battery will never fully charge or discharge. The reason for this is to ensure there is enough space in your battery to be able to charge up from the grid or always ensuring there is enough energy left in your battery to pass back to the grid when needed. The clever AI does all this and then lets you use the rest of the energy in the most cost effective way.
By optimising your battery to never get totally empty or full up, it also helps to improve the life of your battery.
There is a lot of complexity and confusion around smart metering and I’m afraid to say that there’s more than one type of meter!
These are older meters (that need a meter reading to be taken manually). Once you join SE as a supply customer we’ll work with our third party contractor (SMS) to get this swapped out for a new smart meter. We will aim to get you a second generation (Smets 2) smart meter installed within 6 months of joining us, in some cases this can take a bit longer but we’ll keep you posted.
There are few things that we need from you to ensure this switch over is a success:
- You’ll need to respond to SMS when they send you an email to schedule your meter exchange
- You’ll need to be at home at the time of the appointment and ensure there is suitable parking available for the engineer
- You need to ensure there is space in the meter box for the new meter, ideally this means there is nothing else in the meter box. If there is you may need to speak to your battery and solar installation company before your meter exchange appointment.
First Generation meters (Smets 1):
These are the original smart meters that the government rolled out. These meters do not communicate with any supplier apart from the one that installed it. This means you’ll need to go back to giving us meter readings every month. For these meters to earn you trading credits they need to be ‘adopted’ by the government roll out programme. This is outside of our control but is happening already and will continue to happen throughout the whole of 2020. As we can't speed up how quickly this happens we’ve done two things:
- Introduced a cheaper pre trading tariff to ensure you don’t miss out on any savings
- Excluded these savings from your first year of savings – giving the roll out time to catch up.
Smets 2 or second generation meter:
This is the newest type of meter, as soon as you're on supply with us we’ll work to get this communicating every half an hour – this can take up to a month to happen. As soon as this is working you’ll be able to start earning trading credits