Snowdrop Energy’s Terms and Conditions
1. Some useful definition
Certain words are repeated throughout these terms. Here is what they mean:
- We are Snowdrop Energy Supply Ltd, and words such as us or our should be read accordingly. Our company number is 09688964 and our address is Crucible Works, Darnall Road, Sheffield S9 5AB.
- You are the person who either signed up to take a supply from us, is taking a supply from us, is the owner/occupier of property at which a supply is being taken from us, or is the secondary account holder who has consented to being added to the primary customer’s account.
- Supply (or similar expressions) means the sale by us to you of gas and/or electricity via a gas transportation network or an electricity distribution network (as applicable).
- Property means the property or premises at which the supply will be made.
- Working day means any day other than a Saturday, a Sunday or a bank holiday in England, Scotland or Wales.
- Metering equipment means the meter itself and all equipment required to operate your credit meter or prepayment meter.
- Credit meter means a meter that does not have to be topped up in advance in order for the supply to be made, and includes a smart meter in credit mode.
- Prepayment meter means a meter that has to be topped up in advance in order for the supply to be made (whether or not the prepayment meter is being used to recover an overdue debt) and includes a smart meter in prepayment mode.
2. When our energy supply to you begins and what you promise
2.1 Your agreement starts from when we agree to be responsible take over your supply, or when you start to take a supply from us, whichever happens first.
2.2 You must live in or own the property and be over 18 to sign up to this agreement.
2.3 You also agree that:
(a) You are allowed to sign up to this agreement for the property.
(b) The property is connected to mains gas or electricity, or both (as applicable).
(c) You will use the supply for domestic purposes only.
(d) You must email or phone us to cancel your agreement, whether it’s a fixed plan or a variable plan.
(e) you will submit meter readings when we ask you to do so.
(f) you are responsible for all outstanding charges owed to a previous supplier.
3. What plan are you on?
3.1 Your agreement will be for either a variable plan or a fixed plan.
3.2 A variable plan means one of our variable rate tariffs. Details of our tariffs can be found at snowdropenergy.com. If you are on a variable plan you can cancel at any time without incurring a termination fee.
3.3 We may increase the charges you pay under a variable plan by providing you with 30 days’ advance notice. If we withdraw your variable plan from new and renewing customers, we may move you onto the cheapest variable plan that is available at the time.
3.4 A fixed plan is for a fixed tariff and/or a fixed term. Details of our tariffs can be found at snowdropenergy.com. We will not increase the charges you pay under your agreement while you are on a fixed plan (unless your agreement changes).
3.5 On a fixed plan you can cancel your agreement without incurring a termination fee during your cooling off period (the first 14 days after your agreement starts).
3.6 We may not allow you to switch to another new fixed plan until your current agreement term ends, or we may charge you a fee to do so.
3.7 If you have not actively entered an agreement with us, but one exists between you and us automatically because you are taking a supply, this is called a Deemed Agreement. Under a Deemed Agreement you will be on our cheapest available (non-direct debit) variable plan for the type of meter you have.
3.8 If you’re not using the supply for domestic purposes, or if you use more than 73,200kWh of gas per year, we can automatically move you onto what we consider is the appropriate non-domestic tariff and the terms and conditions of that tariff will apply instead of any other variable or fixed plan you had been under as a domestic customer.
4. How to join Snowdrop
4.1 When you agree to join us and agree to switch to us:
(a) we’ll let you know when we expect your switch to happen (we always aim for 21 days after telling your existing supplier). However, the start date we give you is an estimate only and may be changed for reasons outside our control.
(b) you accept that that we can tell your existing supplier to end your agreement with them and switch the supply to us.
4.2 We may have to change the start date for the supply if you ask us to start making the supply at a later date or don’t have all the information we need to complete your switch.
5. Ending a Fixed Plan
5.1 Between 42 and 49 days before your fixed plan is due to end, we will send you a “statement of renewal” (also known as a “agreement expiry notice”) explaining your options.
5.2 If you’ve asked us for a new fixed plan before the end of your old one, a new agreement for the new fixed plan will start on the date the old one ends.
5.3 If your fixed plan ends but and you haven’t asked us for a new fixed plan, Ofgems’ rules require that you are transferred onto the cheapest variable plan available for your meter type and payment method until you switch to a new supplier or you start a new fixed plan with us. This means you may be charged higher unit prices and standing charges, and these charges could change at any time.
5.4 If you decide to leave us and we hear from your new supplier within 21 days after your fixed plan ends, or if you enter into a new plan with us in the same period, we’ll keep your charges the same until you switch or start the new plan (as applicable).
6. What meter will you have?
6.1 Your meter will be either a credit meter or a prepayment meter.
6.2 You are responsible for ensuring your property has an appropriate meter installed that is suitable and meets industry standards for safety and accuracy.
6.3 You are responsible for ensuring that your metering equipment is not lost, stolen or damaged. In this agreement metering equipment means the meter itself and all equipment required to operate your credit meter or prepayment meter.
6.4 If you discover any damage, fault or other issue with your metering equipment, you must tell us immediately. We are allowed to install, maintain, read, disconnect, repair or replace any metering equipment.
6.5 You must pay our reasonable costs in connection with removing, inspecting, replacing or repairing the metering equipment at your property (for example, if your payment method is changing).
6.6 You agree to give us or anyone acting on our behalf safe access to your property and all metering equipment. And that any equipment provided should not be removed from your property without our consent.
6.8 If you have a smart meter that we can read without coming to your property, you agree that we may remotely repair and update it, switch it from credit mode to prepayment mode or disconnect your supply (or both), use information from it to work out your bill and offer you appropriate tariffs and other products, monitor your energy usage.
7. What will you pay us?
7.1 You are responsible for paying us for the supply until your agreement with us ends, plus paying any charges or debts you have accrued which remain outstanding after your agreement ends which have not been taken on by your new supplier.
7.2 We’ll calculate the charges for your supply by reference to:
(a) the gas/electricity you’ve consumed in kilowatt hours (kWh);
(b) a standing charge, for each “Meter Point Reference Number” (MPRN) or “Meter Point Administration Number” (MPAN) registered to your property.
(c) If you’re on a fixed plan, the charges that applied to your fixed plan on the date you signed up.
(d) If you’re on a variable plan, the charges that applied to your variable plan for the period in which you consumed the gas/electricity.
(e) If you have a credit meter, any up-to-date meter readings you’ve given us or, if you haven’t given us an up-to-date meter reading, estimated meter readings (using industry standard methods).
7.3 If you have a credit meter, you must pay the amount shown on your bill in accordance with your chosen payment method – see section 8 below.
7.4 If you have a prepayment meter, you must top up your meter in advance in order to receive the supply, and we’ll deduct charges for the supply from the amount you top up.
7.5 We’ll add VAT to our charges at the applicable rate (currently 5% for energy usage, 20% for any other charges).
8. How do I pay you?
The payment methods available are as follows, and form part of our Tariffs:
8.1 Direct debit, which means paying for your supply in advance each month by direct debit (whether directly or via a bill splitting agent), where we set the amount of your direct debit. Paying by direct debit means:
(a) You must keep your account in credit by paying for the supply in advance.
(b) You agree to contact us before the direct debit is taken from your bank account if you believe your bill is incorrect.
(c) We will carry any debit or credit balance forward to the next month’s bill.
(d) You must give us an up-to-date meter reading at least every 90 days (unless you have a smart meter and we receive readings automatically).
(e) Your monthly direct debit amount will be based on the amount of energy we think you’ll use during your agreement, taking into account the information you have provided and the duration and period of usage, and based on this information we can increase the direct debit amount by such reasonable amount to cover additional usage in the winter months.
(f) We aim to review your direct debit at least twice a year, to make sure you are paying enough to cover the energy you use, or offer to reduce your standard direct debit if it’s too high.
(g) We may not reduce your direct debit payments unless we have up-to-date meter readings for your account.
(h) By signing up to or switching to one of our fixed plans or variable plans with a credit meter, you are agreeing by default to pay by direct debit unless you choose a different payment method.
8.2 Via your prepayment meter – if you sign up to or switch to one of our fixed plans or variable plans for prepayment meters, or being under a deemed agreement with a prepayment meter, you are required to have a prepayment meter and you are agreeing by default to pay via your prepayment meter. There may be additional charges for choosing this payment method.
8.3 On receipt of bill, which means paying in arrears by cash, cheque or credit/debit card. If you ask to pay by on receipt of bill, we may run a credit check on you and the result of this credit check may mean you are not eligible to pay by this method. If you are eligible to pay on receipt of bill, your bill is due on the date shown on the bill and must be paid in full.
8.4 We may require a security deposit before we begin to process your switch from another supplier and/or begin your supply or if you are changing payment methods. This isn’t put towards your bill unless you don’t pay on time, and it’s kept in an account separately from our money but mixed in with other customers’ security deposits. The following terms will apply to taking security deposits:
(a) The amount of security deposit will depend on your individual circumstances and the likely value of your monthly bill.
(b) Your agreement with us won’t come into effect until we have received the security deposit in full. We may refuse to start the supply until the security deposit is paid, or we may stop supply if we have to use the security deposit to pay one of your bills. If the start date of your supply is delayed because you have not paid the security deposit, we aren’t responsible for any charges you have to pay your old supplier.
(c) Based on individual circumstances, throughout your agreement we may change the amount held as a security deposit in your account.
(d) You can pay using a prepayment meter or one of our other payment methods if you would prefer not to give a security deposit.
8.5 If you are in debt and don’t repay us, or if you don’t comply with the conditions for your chosen Tariff and/or payment method:
(a) We may install a prepayment meter in your property.
(b) We may notify you and move you to a different Tariff.
(c) You may pay higher unit prices or standing charges on this different Tariff.
9. Additional Charges we may charge you and credit checks
9.1 From time to time you may need to pay additional charges relating to the following:
(a) Testing the accuracy of your meter. We’ll tell you what this amount is at the time, we’ll provide a breakdown of the costs if you ask us for one. If the National Measurement Office decides that the meter is operating outside the statutory limits, we’ll refund the payment to you.
(b) Repairing or replacing your metering equipment.
(c) Changing the position of a meter at your property.
(d) Disconnecting or reconnecting your supply.
(e) Replacing payment cards or keys, if you have a prepayment meter.
(f) Charges we are required to pass on to our customers by law or regulation, or a regulatory authority (such as Ofgem).
(g) Any reasonable costs we incur (including administration costs) because you failed to meet the terms and conditions of this agreement.
9.2 Please see our Energy Charges list below for further details of our charges.
9.3 Before we enter into the contract with you, and during your contract with us, we look at any information we have, and we may share your personal information with credit reference agencies and/or fraud prevention agencies.
9.4 We reserve the right to apply for information on all customers. If you have named another person on your account, you must make sure they know we may perform a credit check on them.
9.5 Information supplied to us may be used to:
(a) Verify your identity.
(b) Make decisions on credit and credit-related services that we may provide to you, your partner, or other members of your household or your business (including the appropriate payment method).
(c) Use scoring methods to assess your application and help us choose what plan and payment method is right for you.
(d) Prevent crime, fraud and money laundering.
(e) Check the operation of your credit-related accounts.
(f) Manage your personal, your partner’s and/or business (if you have one) credit or credit-related account or other facilities by the credit reference agency.
(g) Trace your whereabouts and recover debts that you owe.
9.4 This request will stay on your credit checking history (a footprint), whether you join Snowdrop or not. It may also affect your credit rating.
9.5 Based on your credit check, we may ask you for a security deposit or to pay via prepayment meter.
9.6 If you fail to pay us any money you owe this information may be passed to credit reference agencies and/or fraud prevention agencies. The credit reference agencies keep records for six years after:
(a) Your account has been closed;
(b) You pay the debt; or
(c) Someone takes action against you to recover the debt.
9.7 Your data will not be used to create a blacklist.
9.8 You can contact the credit reference agencies currently operating in the UK – their current details are below. The information they hold may not be the same so it is worth contacting them all. They will charge you a small statutory fee.
· CallCredit, Consumer Services Team, PO Box 491, Leeds, LS3 1WZ or call 0870 0601414.
· Equifax PLC, Credit File Advice Centre, PO Box 3001, Bradford, BD1 5US or call 0870 010 0583 or log on to https://www.econsumer.equifax.co.uk/consumer/uk/showmyequifax.ehtml.
· Experian, Consumer Help Service, PO Box 8000, Nottingham NG80 7WF or call 0844 4818000 or log on to http://www.experian.co.uk.
10. What if you pay late?
10.1 If you’re having trouble paying your bill, you should contact us immediately to discuss ways to save money and the payment methods available to you. Call us on 0330 053 9390. You can also visit our website for more contact options, see www.snowdropenergy.com.
10.2 If you don’t pay your bill on time:
(a) We can add the amount of your debt to your next bill or, if you have a prepayment meter, we can deduct a contribution towards your debt from any top-ups you make.
(b) If your payment method is direct debit, we can charge you for the first missed payment and for each missed payment after that.
(c) You must pay us any bank charges that we have to pay because of cancelled or failed payments.
(d) We can install prepayment meters at your property under warrant from the Magistrates’ Court without your permission.
(e) We can temporarily suspend or permanently disconnect the supply under warrant (if necessary) from the Magistrates’ Court without your permission.
(f) We can charge you interest at 4% per year above the current Bank of England base rate, which will be charged on the overdue amount you owe until you pay the overdue amount plus interest.
(g) We can move you to a different tariff.
11. How do I receive any refund?
11.1 If you would like a refund, please contact us to discuss whether you are eligible. You will have to submit your meter readings first if you don’t have a smart meter.
11.2 If eligible for a refund, you’ll usually get your refund within fifteen working days of your request being accepted, unless we’ve arranged something else with you. We’ll pay it into the bank account you use for your direct debit unless you ask us to pay it into another account.
11.3 If you’re switching away from us, you’ll receive a refund once we’ve received meter readings from your new supplier and sent you your last bill.
12. What fees do I pay if I end my agreement or it comes to the end of the term?
12.1 If you leave us after the cooling off period of your fixed plan agreement, we may charge a termination fee (see Tariffs).
12.2 You do not have to pay us a termination fee if:
(a) You have to end your fixed plan agreement because you have moved house.
(b) You are leaving us after you have received a statement of renewal from us but before your fixed plan agreement ends.
(c) You are moving from a variable plan to another plan.
12.3 Other than the situations set out above, we reserve the right to charge a termination fee. This includes moving away from a fixed plan – in this case we will determine at our discretion whether or not to allow the move or charge a termination fee (see Tariffs).
12.4 If you end your agreement without switching, you’ll automatically move onto our cheapest variable plan (depending upon your payment method). This is an Ofgem requirement.
12.5 If you’re switching to a new supplier, you don’t need to tell us yourself – your new supplier will contact us to cancel your agreement on your behalf under Ofgem’s rules.
12.6 If you are on a variable or fixed tariff which requires payment by direct debit (see Tariffs) and you then cancel your direct debit, we can end your agreement early. If this happens, we have to move you onto the cheapest (non-direct debit) variable plan under Ofgem’s rules.
12.7 If you’re switching away from us for any reason and you have a prepayment meter, we can object to the switch, unless your new supplier agrees to take on the debt or you pay us within 30 working days of receiving notice that we’ve blocked your switch. If you’re paying by any method other than via a prepayment meter, we can block a switch for any amount of debt.
12.8 If you have outstanding debt and you request to switch to a new provider, we may tell you we’re objecting to the switch request. If you clear this debt within 30 working days, we’ll keep your charges the same and allow the switch to happen.
12.9 This section will survive termination of your agreement.
13. When can my agreement change?
13.1 We can change your agreement at any time.
13.2 We will notify you if any changes are made to your agreement and make a copy available to you on our website. If you don’t have access to the internet and would like a copy in the post, please let us know.
13.3 If we make changes to this agreement that are disadvantageous to you, we will give you 30 days’ notice to let you know about the changes. If you do not agree with the changes, you can switch to another supplier or start a new plan with us without paying a termination fee.
13.4 None of these constitutes a disadvantageous change under section 13.3 above:
(a) Changing your payment method. (b) Increasing additional charges under section 9.
(c) Moving you automatically onto a variable plan in accordance with this agreement.
(d) Increasing the VAT you pay.
(e) Making changes to the agreement if we are required by Ofgem’s rules to make them.
13.5 If you ask us, we can add another person to your agreement so that they can administer your account on your behalf. We can’t make that person financially responsible for your supply unless they agree to it and they tell us themselves; in which case this agreement is automatically amended to make them a party to it from the date they agreed to become a party.
14. When can we disconnect your supply?
14.1 We can suspend or disconnect the supply if you haven’t paid your bill on time, and we will restart it as soon as possible once the bill has been paid.
14.2 We reserve the right to terminate this agreement if we believe that you are behaving inappropriately or in violation of applicable laws or regulations; for example if you are verbally abusive or behave offensively towards our staff.
15. What are we liable for?
15.1 This agreement doesn’t exclude any liability that we aren’t allowed to exclude by law.
15.2 Our liability (including for negligence and breach of statutory duty) is limited to £10,000 for each unconnected event that we’re directly responsible for, or £10,000 in total for any connected series of events that we’re directly responsible for, and which has caused you loss or damage.
15.3 We aren’t liable for any loss or damage (including negligence and breach of statutory duty) that we couldn’t reasonably have expected would result from breach of this agreement at the time you entered into it.
15.4 If we’re liable for a loss caused by a gas transporter or electricity distributor, our liability (including for negligence and breach of statutory duty) is limited to the amount we’re entitled to recover from them on your behalf.
15.5 If we’re required or entitled to take action under our gas supply licence, electricity supply licence or any other rules that are binding on us, we won’t be in breach of this agreement. We can’t guarantee that the supply will be uninterrupted.
16. What if you have an emergency?
16.1 If you have a gas emergency, you must report it on the 24 hour National Gas Emergency hotline on 0800 111 999.
16.2 If you have an electricity emergency, you must report it to your local electricity distributor – to know which company to call, you’ll need to know your Grid Supply Point (GSP) number. This is the first two digits of your electricity supply number (or Meter Point Administration Number – MPAN) – you can see on your electricity statement. If you’re not sure, call 105 and this will put you through to your District Network Operator.
16.3 You mustn’t use the supply in any way that endangers people or property, or that could interrupt the gas supply of any other property. We can restrict the supply if we think you are using it in a way that is unsafe or if we are required to by any legal or other requirement that is binding on us.
17. How can you complain?
17.1 You can submit a complaint in writing or over the phone by contacting us at 0330 053 9390 or firstname.lastname@example.org
17.2 Our complaints team will aim to resolve your query within 5 working days. If our complaints team doesn’t resolve your complaint to your satisfaction within 8 weeks, you will receive a final response. This will detail what’s happened with your complaint and what we’ve suggested, and give you contact details for the Energy Ombudsman. Visit ombudsman-services.org/energy, call their helpline on 0330 440 1624, or email email@example.com. They’re an independent organisation who you can ask to pick things up for you, for free. If they decide that we should do something for you, we legally have to do it (but if they think there’s something you should do, you don’t have to go with their decision).
17.3 You are also able to contact Citizens Advice at any time. Visit citizensadvice.org.uk/energy, or call their helpline on 03454 04 05 06.
18. National Terms of Connection
18.1 Your supplier is acting on behalf of your network operator to make an agreement with you. The agreement is that you and your network operator both accept the National Terms of Connection (NTC) and agree to keep to its conditions. This will happen from the time that you enter into this agreement and it affects your legal rights. The NTC is a legal agreement. It sets out rights and duties in relation to the connection where your network operator delivers electricity to, or accepts electricity from, your home or business. If you want a copy of the NTC or have any questions about it, please write to: Energy Networks Association, 6th Floor, Dean Bradley House, 52 Horseferry Road, London SW1P 2AF. You can also phone 0167 706 5137, or see the website at www.connectionterms.co.uk.
19. Other conditions
19.1 We can transfer any of our rights or obligations under this agreement without your permission. However, you must not transfer your rights or obligations under this agreement to anyone without our permission.
19.2 If we are unable to continue supplying our customers, Ofgem may give a “Last Resort Supply Direction”. This means that you could be transferred to another supplier, and your supply will not be interrupted.
19.3 If we need to give you a notice in connection with this agreement, we may deliver it by hand or use the postal address and/or email address you have given us most recently.
(a) If we post a notice to you, it will be assumed to have been delivered two working days after it was posted.
(b) If we deliver a notice to you by hand or by email, it will be assumed to have been delivered immediately when it was delivered or sent to the most recent address we have for you (as applicable).
19.4 These terms and conditions, and any documents explicitly referred to in them, are the entire agreement between you and us.
19.5 Nothing in this agreement affects our legal rights or powers. Nothing in this agreement affects any of your statutory rights that can’t be excluded by law.
19.6 If any part of this agreement is void or unenforceable, the rest of the agreement will be unaffected.
19.7 This agreement is governed by the laws of England and Wales if your property is in England or Wales, and in Scotland if your property is in Scotland. If there is any dispute between us, it will be dealt with by the courts of England and Wales if your property is England or Wales, and by the courts of Scotland if your property is in Scotland.
20. Your Information
20.2 If you have an account with us, we will routinely share information about your payment record with credit reference agencies. If we consider that your account is in default (i.e. you have not paid us and are in breach of your agreement with us) we will notify you and if you do not pay us we will report the unpaid debt to credit reference agencies who will record that default on your credit file.
20.3 If you want to see what information credit-reference and fraud-prevention agencies have about you, you can contact the following UK agencies.
20.4 If you tell us, or we believe that you or another member of your household are in need of extra care, we will record that information and will store it on our Priority Services Register, in order to ensure you get the service you need. The extra care might be because of your age, health, disability, or financial circumstances, or it could be because you are vulnerable for another reason. This is in line with Energy UK’s ‘safety net procedures’.
20.5 We will always process personal data fairly and lawfully in accordance with individuals’ rights. This means that we will not process personal data unless the individual whose details we are processing has consented to this happening (e.g. through the sales engagement when you sign up to an energy supply contract). The processing of all data will always be necessary to provide our product and services, in our legitimate interests and will not unduly prejudice your privacy.
20.7 We will ensure that any personal data we process is accurate, adequate, relevant and not excessive, given the purpose for which it was obtained. We will not process personal data obtained for one purpose for any unconnected purpose unless you have agreed to this or would otherwise reasonably expect this. You may also ask that we correct inaccurate personal data relating to you.
20.8 Our preferred means of communication will be by e-mail, especially where you have opted for an online account related to certain tariffs. However, we will always ask you when you sign up for your preferred means of communication during our contract period.