Many people feel trapped paying high prices on prepayment meters. White Rose Energy, set up by Leeds City Council, aims to help customers out of fuel poverty by providing them with a means to reduce their bills or change to direct debit.
Unlike the big six, customer opinions of White Rose Energy are mostly positive.
Luckily, Selectra has the definitive review of the company for those thinking about making a switch to the little known supplier.
Current customers of the company have given them high ratings in most categories. In particular, customers mention that the switch to White Rose Energy was easy and problem free.
I switched to White Rose in February and haven't experienced any issues, which is a first!
Various customers also mention that they have been with the company for a year or more without problems. The only customer who mentioned moving away from the company, said that his move was more a question of price than service.
We would recommend that while White Rose Energy is a non profit supplier, they don't come close to being the cheapest supplier on the market. So, although the majority of customers won't benefit from switching to them, people who have previous problems with debt might find that moving to the company could give them the opportunity to move away from prepayment meters and onto a direct debit contract.
The company doesn't use outside credit agencies to vet their customers, so although you might have problems getting onto a direct debit tariff with other companies, White rose Energy might just give you the step up you need. Their customer service is very supportive and easy to talk to and can provide a variety of solutions if you are having problems paying your energy bill.
White Rose Energy work in partnership with Robin Hood Energy. So, customers can also get a better idea of the company's customer service by checking them out.
Reviews of Robin Hood Energy are below average in general. A recent Citizens Advice survey gave the company only 2.5 stars out of 5. They have also had a large number of unresolved complaints. For every 100,000 customers they have had 456.1 complaints sent to the ombudsman and only 49% of customers received and accurate bill on time over the duration of a year. These aren't exactly the best customer service ratings out there and it's something to keep in mind if you are thinking of switching to White Rose Energy, as their service will be comparable.
Overall, Selectra would rate White Rose Energy 2.5 out of 5 stars. On the whole, most customers would be better going with a company which has cheaper prices and more efficient customer service. However, for those people facing fuel poverty, on benefits or struggling to pay their bills the company could provide a real opportunity to improve their situation and could be worth a try.
If you are having problems and owe money to your supplier, whether it's the supplier's fault or not, you can also give us a call and find out what your options are to repay your debt or resolve your problem.
Likewise if you are struggling to pay your electricity or gas bills we can try to find you the cheapest deal in your area by doing an online comparison whether you are on prepayment meters or already on direct debit.
If you are looking for a more in depth review of Robin Hood Energy then you can check out the dedicated supplier page where you will find more information on their customer service, tariffs and contact information.
White Rose Energy's fight against fuel poverty
Nobody wants to worry about switching on their heating when the weather is freezing outside.
However, finding an energy company that shares your concerns is hard.
Well, that's where White Rose Energy is a bit different. It was set up by Leeds City Council to expressly help customers who are facing fuel poverty. Bradford, Calderdale and Wakefield councils have also been promoting their tariffs to their constituents. White Rose Energy follows in the footsteps of companies such as Peterborough Energy, another non-profit supplier from Peterborough.
According to reports published by the government the level of customers struggling to pay their energy bills in the North East and Yorkshire is 11.1%, much higher than the national average. In fact, in Yorkshire and the Humber 17.5% of people are facing problems paying their energy bills.
Everyone at some point has tried to avoid switching on the heating on a cold winter day by wrapping up with warmer clothes, blocking gaps in doors and windows and following other energy saving tips. Everyone wants to save money on their gas and electricity bills.
However, the most practical and effective way of reducing your energy bills isn't to avoid turning on your heating but rather changing your energy supplier to one with lower rates. Something, that for many families, due to previous debt or financial problems, could be difficult or even impossible.
Usually, families with lower income are those who are at highest risk of fuel poverty. They also tend to be those who are most likely to be on prepayment meters - the most expensive way to pay for your electricity.
The high number of these types of families on prepayment meters in Yorkshire was one of the driving forces why Leeds city council wanted to start their own energy supplier - so that they could help their most vulnerable constituents get out of difficulties and live more comfortably.
Prices and Tariffs
White Rose Energy has a range of prepayment, variable and fixed tariffs to choose from.
White Rose Energy primarily aims to help customers who are having financial difficulties by having its prepayment (PAYG) tariffs only slightly higher than its standard variable tariff - just high enough to cover admin costs. They also aim to fit prepayment customers with smart meters to help them control their costs and make it easier for them to
Below you can see a direct comparison of the British Gas Safeguard PAYG tariff and White Rose Freedom PAYG tariff. As you can see changing from British Gas would save £22.87 on electricity and £18.75 on gas. A total saving of £41.62 over the course of the year.
White Rose Energy also want to give their customers the right to choose.
Many prepayment customers are stuck on these expensive tariffs due to poor credit history. The company is very sympathetic to customers who have had financial problems in the past. They allow customers to move away from prepayment and onto a cheaper direct debit tariff, based on their own customer payment history. Additionally, the switch can be done remotely, making the whole process much more accessible for customers.
Although White Rose focuses on helping customers who are using prepayment meters, they also have a range of tariffs to pay by direct debit which, while not the cheapest deal on the market, also offer affordable prices. Customers on the White Rose Energy standard variable tariff will pay 15.1318p for their elecricity and pay a standing charge of 19.98p per day. This means, that for a standard household in Yorkshire customers will pay an average of £469.09 per year for their electricity bill.
However, electricity and gas prices change depending on your address, average usage and tariff. This can be confusing and it can be difficult to find the best deal. To get a current personalised quote to see if you could save by switching supplier give us a call. You can have an accurate quote in just a few minutes.
Although according to their customers it is easy to deal with White Rose Energy over the phone, many customers prefer the convenience of managing their account online.
Although it appears quite rudimentary, their website does have an account login on their webpage where you can manage your account. Customer can also reset their password if they have been locked out of their account.
Most importantly, logged in customers on prepay meters can top up their prepayment meter easily without having to go to the shop or a paypoint. Unfortunately, at this time they don't have an app. Once you have logged into your account you will be able to do the following:
- Check your balance
- See past usage details
- Submit meter readings
- Top up
If you would like to log in to your account now, to manage your energy without having to call someone you can do so by clicking on the button below:
All energy suppliers are obliged to publish their fuel mix every year, and White Rose Energy is no exception.
Suppliers can get their energy from a variety of different sources and each company has a different mix of fuels. White Rose Energy is pretty standard by UK averages although it does use a much higher percentage of coal in its mix (the UK average is 8.5%.)
Here you can see the entire makeup of White Rose Energy’s fuel mix.
Otherwise, as you can see, the company does reasonably well on the renewables front, exceeding the national average by 5.2%. Renewable energy can come from a variety of sources such as wind turbines, hydro-electric and tidal power. The company's energy also produces much less CO2 per kWh than the national average. It produces 0.298 g/kWh while the national average is 249.2g/kWh.
As mentioned above, White Rose Energy are helping their customers install smart meters to make it easier for them to monitor their usage, save money and top up more easily. Smart meters are especially useful for customers who are trying to save money on their electricity or gas bills because they can see how much electricity they are using on various appliances.
Fortunately for White Rose Energy customers, the company is now installing smart meters as standard for all new customers. If you are a current customer then you can contact them to find out when they will be installing them in your area. Having the meters also makes it easier for customers if they later want to change to direct debit because it is easier to switch between the two.
If you'd like to contact White Rose Energy for general enquiries or regarding one of their tariffs or offers, you can use the phone number provided below.
The company has a dedicated UK call centre team who work in the same offices at Robin Hood Energy. The average wait time to get through to a customer service agent at Robin Hood energy is 4:07 minutes, so White Rose Energy may be quite similar.
So, you might find it easier to contact them by email by using their contact form. You can also get in touch via their social media as you will find White Rose Energy on Twitter and Facebook.
To get a better idea of the tariffs and services they have to offer you, you can visit their website to browse the tariffs that they currently have available. Remember, in order to get a comparison of how much you could save by switching supplier, it's also easy to give us a call or do a comparison.
White Rose Energy contact number
Please check with your provider if you don't know how much a call will cost.
0800 022 3553
*Monday to Friday: 8am-8pm; Saturday: 9am-5pm; Sunday: closed
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