FAQ to answer all your Electricity Questions|Symbio Energy

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Introduction

The name Symbio Energy is a contraction of the term “Symbiosis” - Symbiosis is a process in which two parties collaborate to benefit each other. Since March 2019, we have collaborated with our valued customers to consistently provide the Lowest Overall Electricity Prices in the UK.

Keeping our customers in mind, we’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions. We would appreciate it if you could take a few moments to read this document, as it will most likely answer most of your questions. We understand that you prefer not to speak with your energy provider unless absolutely necessary. Please keep this document handy as it will be a valuable source of information.

We’ve divided this document into sections to help you find the answers to your relevant questions

Switching tO Symbio Energy

A: When you switch to Symbio Energy you can Save up to £600 per annum on your electricity bills, Since March 2019, we have been the UK’s Lowest Price energy provider.

To complete your Switch with us, we will communicate with your Old Supplier, Meter Operators, and various other stakeholders to ensure a smooth transition. The switch process usually takes about 14 - 21 days.

A: In case you change your mind and decide to leave us, you have 14 days from the date of the switch application to request for a cancellation without charge.

A: When you request a switch, you will receive a confirmation email to the email address you provided during the registration process. The confirmation email will include information such as the estimated switch date, terms and conditions, tariff information, and a direct debit confirmation.

A: As soon as you have switched to Symbio Energy, you will be requested to submit an opening meter reading along with a meter picture.

We will use the submitted meter reading to compare with the one provided by your old supplier. In the event there is a dispute with the opening meter reading on the account, the meter picture will be used as evidence.

It is essential to provide the opening meter reading to us and your old supplier. If you fail to submit the meter reading, the old supplier will use an estimate. In many instances, the meter estimate will be much higher than your actual read. Your final bill to your old supplier will be higher than it needs to be and when you do eventually submit a meter reading to Symbio Energy, you will feel that you are being overcharged. In reality, you have overpaid your old supplier.

The importance of the above step is highlighted by the fact that we send three email reminders for an opening meter reading between the request for switch and the actual switch date.

A: We allow up to 30 days after the switch date to provide an opening meter reading, if we do not receive this information we will have to take the meter reading given by your old electricity supplier. If it subsequently transpires that the old supplier has overcharged you due to the fact an opening meter reading was not given to us or a closing meter reading to the old supplier, you will, unfortunately, be charged an admin fee of £25 to resolve the issue. The fee simply covers the actual cost of admin and ensures customers are compliant and not penalised with high energy bills due to increased costs.

A: We request you to submit a meter reading at the end of every month, this helps us to reconcile the bill in line with your consumption.

As per our company policy, we do not accept meter readings over the phone call or email. The amount of energy you consume results in a bill. To avoid anyone in Symbio making manual errors which result in a liability to yourself, all matters concerning meter readings, tariffs and bank accounts are predominantly left to you to change or record via the Symbio Customer Portal.

We would request you to visit our website or log- into your account via our Customer Portal by clicking on Symbio Customer Portal.

Alternatively, you can download the Symbio Energy Mobile app on the Apple IOS Store for iPhone Devices and Google Play Store for Android Devices and submit your monthly meter readings.

Please note as per our company policy, Meter readings submitted post the cut-off date i.e., end of the month will be used to reconcile the bill in the following billing cycle. The best time to submit your meter reading is towards the end of each month. This will ensure that your bill will be reconciled in line with your consumption.

A: To dispute the opening meter reading with your previous supplier, the variance between the reading used and the reading you gave should be 250 kWh or more. This is called ‘tolerance’. If the variance is within this range, it is known as being ‘within tolerance’ and we may not be able to dispute it with your previous supplier.

For example, suppose you submitted a reading of 02100 and the estimate used was 02450 in your electricity bill. In that case, there will be a difference of 350 kWh and a meter reading dispute is likely to occur.

A: We would notify you via email if we see your switch application being objected by your current supplier, this could happen due to the following reasons:

A) There could be an active contract on your meter, where the term may not have ended, which could result in objecting the switch.

B) There are arrears on the account with your existing energy provider that needs to be cleared before you could switch over to Symbio Energy.

This does not mean you cannot switch to Symbio and start saving. We would indeed honour your switch request and reapply for the switch with the tariff you had initially chosen. After you have resolved the issue with your previous supplier, we request you to kindly contact us to re-initiate the switch.

Billing

A: Click on the link to understand your electricity bill. Read here

A: Symbio Energy follows an Advanced Billing methodology for existing/older customers and has recently begun with the ‘Monies on Account’ billing methodology for new and potential customers.

We’ve gone over each of these in detail in the sections below:

A: Advance billing is a smart way to manage all your electricity payments. It allows us with reliable information to base our financial decisions. The entire industry works on limited credit, and we have to pay for electricity in advance. This process helps you to keep track of your electricity usage patterns. Therefore any changes in electricity usage, you can monitor and lower the electricity usage.

The existing/older customers will be charged in advance for each month on an estimated basis. Seasonal variations, day length, weather patterns, cloud cover, temperature and various other factors will all be considered by Symbio Energy’s best estimates. The estimates, like any other estimation model, follow a standard distribution pattern. Some people may experience overestimation, while others may experience underestimation.

Upon receiving the monthly meter reading, Symbio Energy will adjust any over or underconsumption in the following month. Even if the customer prefers a regular fixed amount, this method involves frequent changes in the amount of money collected each month. If there is a balance owing to Symbio Energy of more than £25 per month, the system will attempt to adjust the monthly payment to recover the outstanding balance over three months.

The process of reconciling and estimating one month in advance is ongoing throughout their contractual period.

A: If you wish to request a fixed amount to be collected each month, Symbio Energy Limited reserves the right to review the fixed amount paid every three months. If we feel that the fixed amount set by yourself is not in line with your usage, we will increase the fixed direct debit amount to match your electricity usage. We will take any debit or credit balance forward to the next month’s bill.

A: If there is a credit on the account at the end of the agreement, it will be either refunded to you or, should you choose to stay with us, we will carry it to the next billing month. However, if there is an outstanding amount on the account, we will collect the amount from you.

A: Monies on Account is a standard monthly amount charged, which will vary twice a year. We will collect less from April to September and slightly more from October to March to align the payments with the expected consumption. The new system has calculated the ‘Amount on Account’, which we will take from your Direct Debit. Please note that this is NOT your billed amount.

The newer billing methodology results in less monthly bill variation and is more competitive in the industry. The amount deducted from your account by Direct Debit will be the same each month. Symbio does have a seasonal billing and collection system in place. Symbio Energy collects less in the summer and more in the winter because users use less energy in the summer. Unless there is a significant change in energy usage, the Direct Debit amount will generally remain the same for six months of the year.

We will verify the expected annual energy usage and add 15% to account for expected variances in consumption and anticipated increase in overall UK energy consumption. The customer will receive a request for monies on account to cover electricity costs for the month. You will receive the monthly bill which will be deducted from the monies on account.

Any surplus funds will earn 5% interest, which we will pay monthly on a compound basis. The surplus amount is the funds remaining after the immediate bill has been paid.

For example, if you had £100 on Symbio’s account for the upcoming month and your energy bill was £90 at the end of the month, your surplus is £10

A: The credit balances or monies held more than your expected monthly bill will attract 5% interest from Symbio Energy. In line with Ofgem best practice guidelines and unlike our competitors, we will not allow any excess amount on your account to exceed 15% of your annual bill. We will automatically refund any excess at the end of your contract period.

Estimated Bill

A: Estimated bills are calculated using numerous data points, including Estimated Annual Consumption estimates provided by a national database, market conditions, changes in consumption, weather, and season. Estimated bills are not your actual reconciled bills. They are estimates and as with any estimate, some customers are under-estimated and customers who are over-estimated. The optimal way to get accurate bills is to submit regular meter reads OR obtain a free smart meter from Symbio.

Actual/Reconciled Bill

A: Upon receiving a meter reading at the end of the month, the estimated bill is reconciled with the meter reading received. We will adjust any over or undercollection in the following bill. Please note that an energy bill is primarily the price per unit of electricity used, plus the standing charge for the meter rental and other infrastructure related to energy consumption. Hence you can only be charged for the number of units you have consumed. Nothing more nor nothing less.

Monies on Account

A: These are monies collected to hold on the account to pay for your energy when the bill is issued. The monies on account will invariably be slightly more than your actual billed amount to allow for the peaks and troughs of consumption. Any amount over your billed amount will attract 5% interest and in the event that the company is holding more than 15% of your annual bill, it will be automatically refunded. 5% interest is on average 30 times more than the average current account interest. Monies on the account have no reference to your actual bill but is an amount held to cover your expected monthly bills over the year.

A: The final bill will be issued as per the closing meter reading received from the new supplier. If we do not receive the closing meter reading, we will use the estimated annual consumption and estimate the final meter reading on the bill.

A: We request you to inform us at least two weeks in advance that you will be moving out of the property. We would also need the closing meter reading obtained on the day you move out, along with a meter picture

To close your energy account with us, we would appreciate it if you could provide us with the Landlord’s/ New Tenant’s name, email address and phone number

Meters & Meter Reading

A: A meter reading helps us to reconcile your bill in line with your consumption. Submitting a meter reading at the end of each month ensures that your bills are always accurate and reconciled.Please note that we do validate your meter submissions from a variety of sources. In the event the meter read is not validated, it will be deemed as queried. Symbio will instruct a physical meter read to resolve the query. We shall send you quarterly email reminders to submit a meter reading on the last day of each month.

If we receive the meter reading after the cut-off date, it will be considered in the next billing cycle. If the submitted meter reading is below or above the expected usage by 20%, we will request our customer to submit a meter picture as evidence and/or send a meter operator to obtain a physical meter read.

A: As per our company policy, we do not accept meter readings over phone or emails. We would request you to visit our website or log- in to your account via our customer portal by clicking on Symbio Customer Portal.

Alternatively, you can download the Symbio Energy Mobile app on the Apple IOS Store for iPhone Devices and Google Play Store for Android Devices and submit your meter readings.

If you face any issues while submitting the meter reading, we will request you to contact our customer support team, and we’ll do our best to resolve the issue.

A: Currently our systems have been upgraded to read 2nd generation smart meters. However, if you have a SMETS1 meter, you will have to continue to submit the meter reading manually.

A: If you have been trying to submit an opening meter reading before the switching date, the online portal shall not accept the meter reading submission. You will be able to submit a meter reading only on the date of the switch.

However, if this is not the first time you are submitting a meter read and you still face an issue, we would request you to kindly drop an email to our customer support team with the error you are facing or give us a call, and we will do our best to resolve the issue

A: Please contact our customer service team to request the installation of a smart meter at your property. We are currently updating our customer portal so that you can request a smart meter through it as well.

Customer Portal / Mobile App

A: We have a Customer Portal on our website, as well as a Mobile App, to manage your account online.

A: Logging in to your energy account is quite simple. You just need the Customer Reference Number and the area Postcode to create an account. Once you feed that, you will have to use your registered email address to set up your account password. Please note that you will be able to login to the Customer Portal/ Mobile App, only on the date of the switch.

Dashboard: shows the name of the tariff, the rates displayed here are exclusive of VAT.

My Profile: Editing your alternate email address is quick and easy. You can also change your account password as per your convenience.

My Meter Reading: The meter submission functionality is available on the login screen as well as the dashboard. So, you don’t have to log in each time you submit a monthly meter reading.

My Bills: you can view the summary of the bill for a more detailed understanding of the bill, please refer to the bill pdf that is emailed to your registered email address.

My Payments: will let you view the payments collected.

Direct Debit

A: At Symbio Energy we accept monthly payments via Direct Debit. This is the most cost-effective way of taking and reconciling payments. The savings in costs are then passed onto you, the customer. Allowing Symbio Energy to be the overall lowest price electricity provider in the UK since March 2019.

Direct Debits provide you with a guarantee which protects you from being overcharged. It protects you against payments made in error, ensuring a safe payment method.

The details of the Direct Debit Guarantee are herein. Click here for Direct Debit Link

Direct Debit

A: The first payment towards your energy account will be deducted within 3-7 working days of us sending you the bill.

A: The Direct Debit instructions are usually set up via the online switch portal on our website or via the Price Comparison Website ( if you have switched via a third party). If, however, you have already cancelled this instruction or you wish to amend/ update the direct debit details, you can click on the link below:

Symbio Direct Debit

As for your personal financial information, we do not set up your Direct Debit instruction over the phone. We can help you if you have trouble with the link or our system. Please note that you should not share personal bank details. We may ask you to confirm some details we hold for identity verification processes only.

A: When you register via our website, you have the opportunity to choose to pay a variable amount each month based upon your consumption or a fixed amount per month to assist in budgeting. With Symbio Energy, we do not like holding your money, nor do we wish you to incur any unexpected debt. Accordingly, we offer a seasonal fixed amount that collects more in the winter (in line with the higher winter usage) and less in the summer (in line with the lower summer usage). Therefore, we do not hold your money and nor do you owe too much during the winters.

If you wish to fix a direct debit amount to be collected each month, Symbio Energy Limited reserves the right to review the fixed amount paid every three months. If we feel that the fixed amount paid is not in line with your usage, Symbio Energy Limited will increase the fixed direct debit amount to match your use. Any debit or credit balance will be forwarded to the next month’s bill.

You may contact us at any time on the number below and we can work with you to set an affordable amount for you. The amount collected will be set to an amount that does not leave a large debt to you at the end of the contract or a large surplus for Symbio Energy. We will still collect the money in advance, but a lower amount agreed with you.

A: If we cannot collect the direct debit on the agreed date, we will send you an email reminder. If the direct debit is not reinstated, we will write to you to make a payment by BACS transfer or online payment and we will have to add £10 to your energy bill to cover the cost of credit control and/ or reinstate your direct debit.

If you have experienced billing issues and have cancelled the direct debit with us, we would request you to reinstate the direct debit once the issue is resolved. Not reinstating the Direct Debit acts as a breach of the agreement with us and the tariff will be moved to the default tariff, which may have higher rates. The Direct Debit can be reinstated via the Direct Debit set uplink in the Symbio Energy Customer Portal, via the App or indeed from the embedded links you have in the e-mails we will have sent you about this cancellation.

A: To get rid of the Debt on your account, we can offer you a payment plan to repay the Debt in instalments for up to 3-4 months. We would request you to contact our customer support team for the same.

A: If your monthly electricity consumption is lesser than your monthly payment, your account will build a credit which will be adjusted in the next monthly billing cycle.

A: The lowest priced tariffs we offer at the moment are available only when a customer makes a payment via Direct Debit. Not setting up the Direct Debit with us would be a breach of the contract.

We do not accept BACS payments as a regular mode of payment as it causes reconciliation problems as this type of payment has to be manually feeded into the billing system.

Revised Direct Debit Amount

A: We review the Direct Debit amount every three months to ensure you are not paying too much or too little for the energy you are using.

Most of the electricity suppliers in the UK, let their customers build up a huge debt before they start with the repayment. However, we are actively helping our customers by revising the Direct Debit on the account, so that our customers do not accrue huge debts on the account at the end of the contract.

If the energy consumption as per the meter reading submitted by you and the industry algorithms are slightly higher than initially indicated. As a result, the current Fixed Direct Debit setup does not fully cover the cost of consumption. If unchecked, it would leave you with a large balance at the end, which might be difficult to pay in one lump sum.

Accordingly, your Fixed Direct Debit amount is going to be updated to cover the cost of consumption and regularize your account. We will revise the Direct Debit as per the average monthly bill amount.

We understand that you may not be able to pay the outstanding amount all at once. Hence in order to keep providing you with the lowest prices for electricity and since you are a valued customer, we will split the outstanding amount into three instalments and add it to the monthly Direct Debit amount.

We will then review the Direct Debit at the end of three months and if the consumption is lower than expected, we will reduce your monthly Direct Debit amount.

You can clear off the outstanding amount by visiting the Take My Payment link given below.

If it is easier, you can Click Here for Symbio Customer Portal Link to make a one-off payment through our online payment facilities. We request you to follow the below steps to make the payment:

1) Please Login to the Customer Portal

2) Please Click on “Pay My Bill” to make Payments for any current outstanding payment.

Refunds

A: If your account is in credit at the end of the Agreement, it will be refunded back to you. In all other instances, any overpayment is adjusted against the next month’s bill. However, if you choose and the amount to be refunded is greater than £50, you can ask for a refund into your account instead of an adjustment.

A: It is pretty simple, the Total Amount Due printed on your bill appears to be in negative, then we owe you a credit.

You can refer to the below-given example that refers to a credit balance on the bill:

Direct Debit

Reference Bill Image

A: If the credit amount on the account is less than £50.00, it will be adjusted in the following bill. However, if the credit amount is over £50.00, it will be refunded upon request in 14 days.

The customers with a new billing methodology or the ones who are billed on Monies on Account will have the credit refunded automatically when any amount on your account exceeds 15% of your annual bill at the end of your contract period.

A: To be eligible for a refund, a final bill needs to be generated and we will generate a final bill once we receive a closing reading from your new supplier. We aim to process your refund request within 10 days of us issuing your final bill. If there is any delay, we will inform you accordingly.

Estimated Annual Consumption Revision

A: We at Symbio Energy Limited, have kept our promise to provide you with low and fair prices. Symbio Energy has been the UK’s overall lowest cost electricity provider for over 18 months, saving millions of pounds for our customers.

We are constantly improving our systems and algorithms to ensure we do not collect too much from yourself or not enough thereby increasing our costs. It is the ‘Goldilocks’ approach of just the right amount. We use data from the meter reads you have submitted and industry averages amongst other data points.

If our systems evaluate that the Estimated Annual Consumption (EAC) submitted initially on the account is slightly less than the actual amount consumed then we will revise the EAC. We recognise the discrepancies in the meter reading submission after three months and resolve the issue by revising the EAC.

Please note, that estimated bills based on the EAC are not the actual liability. The actual liability is ascertained after a reconciliation via a valid meter read. The industry works on estimated consumption data in the absence of meter reads or smart meters.

We will make the revisions in line with your usage and the Industry EAC and an adjustment will be made to the EAC using the data from the meter readings submitted by you. If you have not provided us with the meter readings, we will revise the EAC using the Industry EAC for that property.

There will be no change to your bill amounts in most instances as the algorithm simply better matches your actual consumption. In all cases, the bill will be more accurate. The more meter readings we receive, the more accurate your bill will be. Therefore, we kindly request you to submit a meter read on the last day of every month.

Renewal

A: If you are at the end of your contractual period on a fixed contract, we will communicate with you via email to inform you of the renewal tariff that you will be placed on. Unlike our competitors, who notify the customer only once, we send you three renewal reminders in the last 30 days of the term if you are on a fixed tariff contract and a variable tariff contract.

The e-mail clearly explains the process of selecting the tariff in case you wish to renew the contract with us. You need to click on the embedded link, which will allow you to confirm the renewal tariff of your choice.

The existing/older customers currently being billed on Advanced Billing methodology choose to continue with us at the time of renewal; the system will automatically place you on new billing methodology or Monies on Account. You may refer to the Billing category under FAQ’s to know more about the Monies on Account.

For instance, if you are not happy with the new billing methodology implied on your account, you are free to switch to another supplier with no exit fees levied on your account.

A: Unlike other providers, we do not penalize our customers for their loyalty by renewing the contract with a standard variable tariff plan (i.e., highest default tariff). At the time of renewal, we give you a fair chance of maximum savings on our competitive tariffs and place you on one of our competitive tariffs plans, as per Ofgem’s best practice guidance.

This tariff is still several hundred pounds lower than British Gas and other Big 6 suppliers.

If you have received a tariff renewal email but have not chosen the tariff via the link provided and instead replied to the email requesting a tariff change, the desired tariff will be activated from the next billing cycle if you have already been billed on the default renewal tariff.

Change Of Tenancy (COT)

A: We request you to inform us at least two weeks in advance, that you will be moving out of the property. We would also need the closing meter reading obtained on the day you move out, along with a meter picture.

To close your energy account with us and to issue a final bill on your account, we would need the Landlord’s/Letting agency’s complete details to be shared with us. Until then, you will be liable for all the costs.

A: We would need a meter reading on the date the customer has moved into the property.

We would appreciate it if you could provide us with your Name, Contact details, Email address, so we can open the account in your name. Customers can choose the tariff of their choice and also update the direct debit details via the direct debit link.

Complaints

We aim to resolve all issues in the first instance. Symbio Energy strives to provide the best service to all our customers. We are fully committed in supplying the best prices possible and delivering excellent customer service which is clear and concise.

There are times where we may not get it right, but we will attempt to resolve it quickly.

You can visit our website to view our Complaints Procedure.

You can also approach Independent Advice Helpline: Citizens Advice Bureau, they can provide you with further advice.

Consumer Service – 0808 223 1133.

More Questions

A: We currently have a contract with a third party company “GoCardless” that collects the direct debit on our behalf. Hence customers who are eligible for a cashback from their respective banks, may not be able to avail the offer. However, we are in the process of introducing our own Direct Debit services which will allow customers to avail the cashback scheme.

Please note that as the lowest price energy provider in the UK, our customers save far more than 2%.

A: To provide you with the Economy 7 timings, we will access your meter details on the account and help you with the timings based on your postcode.

We would kindly request you to provide us with your customer reference number to provide you with the details you seek.

Contacting Us

Contacting us by phone:: You can speak with our Customer Support Team at 0333 050 9372.

We are here to assist you from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday to Friday, and from 9:00 a.m. to 03:00 p.m. on Saturday.

Our offices are closed on Sundays and would appreciate it if you could refer to the FAQs for immediate assistance.

Write to us via Email:We are available at [email protected], we usually respond within 24 to 72 working hours.

Supporting Vulnerable Customers

Customers with Special Requirements or who are vulnerable due to financial pressures, personal circumstances, or other similar circumstances should identify themselves on the website or call our Dedicated Vulnerable Customer Support Team at 0800 098 8618 from Monday to Friday 9 am to 6 pm.

By providing Low and Fair Energy Tariffs, Symbio Energy has saved UK customers millions of pounds on their electricity bills.