Following on from lots of positive responses from our fantastic community of green energy pioneers, we wanted to give you another quick update about what we’ve been up to and give you the answers to a few common questions we’ve seen popping up, so you don’t need to get in touch to find the answers.
Firstly, as we all continue to stay home to protect our NHS, we hope you and your families continue to remain safe and well during these strange times. We’d like to say a special thank you to all of the key workers who are customers of Social Energy and all of the key workers keeping us safe across the UK.
We’ve been listening to your suggestions and particularly like the idea of time stamping our COVID-19 updates on the app and website, so that you can see when we’ve updated it – we got our web team on this straight away and we’re happy to say that this update has now been made.
Our web developers have been a busy bunch lately and are currently hard at work on a brand new in-depth Social Energy app. A lot of you are keen to get your hands on this and it won’t be long before we’re looking for some of you to test out the new app and get your thoughts. We’ll give you a bit of an update on this properly soon – but we’re extremely excited and confident that the new app will deliver everything that you’ve been hoping for (and much more)!
When it comes to answering your questions, our support team have been hard at work from their kitchen tables. Whilst this seems like the new normal, it’s still a tad odd and does mean there’s slightly longer times for us to answer calls and respond to emails or chats. With this in mind, we would like to kindly ask that wherever possible, you only make contact for urgent matters – right now we need to focus as much time as possible on members of our community specifically impacted by COVID-19.
Hopefully we can answer a lot of questions you may have, with some key topics we’ve picked up on lately:
Grid Savings and Export, what’s the difference?
We know that sometimes Social Energy may seem a bit mystical and complex, but we’re working on making things simpler. One thing that often gets misunderstood is the difference between Grid Balancing, Trading credits and Export. Your Grid Balancing and Trading credits are entirely based on the clever AI technology that we provide at Social Energy, including supporting the National Grid and buying energy at times when it’s cheaper for you to do so. They aren’t linked to the amount of export that your system is doing.
Exported energy relates to the kWh of solar energy that your system sends back to the grid. Credits for export are based on the exact kWh you export and with Social Energy, we’re pleased to say that you’ll be paid the best export rate on the market! To be eligible for export payments, there’s a few things you’ll need:
- A smart meter that communicates with us every half an hour
- Be opted-in to claim export payments. Once you’ve got a smart meter that we can talk to, we’ll reach out to you about opting in.
- Not be a member of a Feed in Tariff export scheme (if you are a member, you’ll already be getting paid for export)
If you’ve ticked the boxes for all three of the above points, then we’ll already be working with the distribution network to get approval to ‘sell’ your exported energy and pass our market leading tariff of 5.6p/kWh back to you. We are only just starting this process (before most of the ‘big’ energy companies) but guarantee that you will see the new credits on your bill as soon as you meet all of the criteria.
Our installation partners
There’s often a little bit of confusion as to who’s responsible for what, when it comes to your solar, battery and energy trading and it leads to people contacting us for things we can’t give any answers to. Just for a bit of clarity, we’re your energy company and we use the Social Energy Hub that was sold to you by your installer, to talk to your battery and trade your energy for you. If you’ve got questions about your solar system, battery, installation or any other product and service that you purchased with your solar installer, unfortunately we won’t be able to help.
We’ve noticed a lot of customers contacting us lately as they can’t get through to their installers. We’d love to be able to help you with this, but we’re a separate business and don’t have other contact options than you do, to contact your installer. If you need help from them, you can call or email them directly. As small businesses, many installers are currently temporarily impacted by COVID-19 and so may not be able to answer your questions right away.
We’ve also had a few questions from people needing help from their previous and alternate suppliers. Unfortunately, again here we’re unable to help. It’s best for you to take a look at the contact details on their website and reach out to them.
A reminder about Smart meter installations
We are still receiving a number of contacts every day from customers chasing when their smart meter installation will take place. We’re really pleased that so many of you are excited to be leading the way in green energy. Unfortunately for the moment, until lockdown ends and we can get back to business as usual, all smart meter installations are on pause, to protect your family and our installation partners. We will be doing our absolute best to get back on track with smart meter installations, as soon as it’s safe to do so. Normally, we’ve been well ahead of the curve when it comes to smart meters, but we’re sure all of our customers can appreciate the need to pause these installations right now.
Last but by no means least we have another bank holiday on the way. As our team have been working harder than ever to support you and the rest of the Social Energy community, we will be closed on the 8th May, for a well-deserved rest and will be reopening as usual on Monday 11th.
Please continue to stay safe and well! We’ll be back in touch soon, with more news and updates.
Last updated 30/04/2020
As our team continue to work from home supporting our customers, we’re seeing a fantastic community spirit from both our colleagues and our customers – we greatly appreciate your patience in these current times and are proud of the exceptional customer base that we have at Social Energy.
Whilst we’re able to work effectively from home, increased call volumes mean that some of our most vulnerable customers are having to wait longer to speak with us. To help us support these customers most, we would greatly appreciate your help, by avoiding contacting us unless you really need to until the country begins to return to normal.
With glorious sunshine spreading across the UK in the past week, as we head into Spring, our customers are better protected than most of the country against the cost of increased energy usage. As the weather continues to improve, your solar usage will continue to rise, reducing strain on the grid and helping to keep your bills low.
To help you find what you might want to know a little easier, we’ve looked at the most frequent questions we’ve had from customers and included a few handy answers below, so that you don’t have to find them yourself:
Savings and credits
We’re still applying bill credits as normal every month for all your grid earnings and savings. Meanwhile, self-consumption (the amount of your solar that you use), one of the biggest benefits you get from your renewable energy storage system is rising rapidly, with increased daylight hours and more daytime usage. That means you’ll be paying less as you don’t need to use as much energy from the grid.
Social Energy has the leading export tariff on the market, paying our customers 5.6p for every unit of electricity sent back to the grid. To take advantage of our leading tariff, you will need a half hourly settled export meter and to not be part of a feed in tariff scheme. If you meet these criteria, we’ll be in touch as soon as we can to get you signed up to this tariff. We are working very hard in the background to ensure this is as soon as possible. If you do not yet have a smart meter that we can control, we’ll be in contact with you when we are able to switch you over, so that you can benefit from export. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 all current smart meter installation activity is on hold for the safety of our installation partners and our customers.
Billing and Affordability
Many people have been impacted by COVID-19 and we want to do our best to help you out however we can. I’m sure you’ll understand, that as a start-up business, pioneering in the renewable energy space that we aren’t able to simply waive bills, or give payment holidays. However, we do want to help where possible and if you are having trouble paying for your energy during this time, please get in contact and we’ll work with you to see what we can do. We can’t stress enough that it is vital that you don’t just cancel your direct debit – let’s work together to come up with a solution that works for us all.
Bank Holiday Weekend
We’ll be closing our offices this Friday – Monday for the Easter break. I’m sure you’ll agree that our amazing team deserve a break and some time to enjoy the sunshine (from the comfort of their gardens, as we all focus on maintaining social distancing).
We hope that all our customers, and the wider community stay safe in this difficult time.
Last updated 07/04/2020
At Social Energy, our primary focus is taking care of you, our customers. Our team are following Government guidance and are now working from home. We are doing our best to maintain our normal service, but you may need to wait a little longer than usual for a response. To access most of information you may need, you can use our support section or chat with our friendly chatbot Eddie.
If you are looking to join Social Energy, you can still get a quote from a third-party installer, however this will likely take longer than usual and will need to be conducted remotely via a telephone call or a video conference. If you’d like to find out more about joining Social Energy, please fill out our contact form.
Our approach is designed to keep everyone safe and to ensure we focus on supporting our most vulnerable customers during this difficult time.
Last updated: 25/03/2020