In anticipation of the start of a colder snap, the country’s first local authority-owned, licensed energy supplier, Robin Hood Energy, has launched a new prepayment tariff, Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG).

PAYG is one of the cheapest prepayment tariffs available on the market today. It is £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 is available to customers in England, Scotland and Wales.

Introducing a pre-payment tariff is a rare move by an energy company with fewer than 50,000 customers. Most others haven’t. Companies with more than 50,000 customers are obliged to introduce such tariffs.
Robin Hood Energy is the country’s first not-for-profit, licensed energy supplier owned by a local authority. Launched by Nottingham City Council in September, it drives the council’s commitment to provide affordable energy to customers while helping to tackle fuel poverty. The new affordable Pay-as-you-go tariff will be particularly beneficial to many people on lower incomes.

It is estimated that some 16 per cent of households across the country use pre-payment meters either for single or dual fuel. An Ofgem report in June this year highlighted concerns that a lack of competition within the prepayment market is resulting in higher energy bills for customers who rely on pre-payment tariffs. Robin Hood Energy is tackling this problem and giving customers more choice by introducing a competitive prepayment tariff.

Pay-as-you-go allows customers to better manage household budgets by tracking how much energy they’re using. This provides more flexibility for customers. By topping up meters regularly during the year and spreading the cost, they’re not hit with larger bills during the winter months.

Cllr Alan Clark, Nottingham City Council’s portfolio holder for Energy and Sustainability, says: “For many energy companies, providing tariffs for those on lower incomes is not a priority. Smaller companies often don’t even have a prepayment tariff simply because it’s not where the profit can be made. But Robin Hood Energy is different. It is a not-for-profit enterprise and one of our key objectives is to help to tackle fuel poverty. That’s why we’re putting customers’ needs first by offering a cheap pay-as-you-go option. We decided not wait until we reached 50,000 customers – the regulatory threshold for offering prepayment – to launch PAYG. Why wait? The right thing to do is to offer this as soon as possible particularly to help people on lower incomes as winter approaches. It’s convenient and puts the customer in full control of their energy finances.”

New customer Sirmena says: “I decided to go for Pay-as-you-go because it’s convenient and I can top up pretty much anywhere at any time. It also helps me keep on track of how much I’m using and I know that I’m less likely to fall into debt. Also, as I share my property, it’s easier for us to divide the bills as we can just take it in turns to top up.
Switching to Robin Hood Energy’s Pay-as-you-go tariff 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).

*This is correct at time of launch. The prices compared are an average across Great Britain. The British Gas tariff that PAYG is being compared to is a fixed price until 2017, while Robin Hood Energy’s is a variable tariff.