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Coronavirus (COVID-19): Advice for our members

Mar 19, 2020



During this difficult time, we’d like to offer some reassurance on two particular things that may be causing many of our members concern during this outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19):

  • The supply of electricity and gas to our members’ homes will remain unaffected
  • We’re still here to help our members having just re-deployed our staff to work remotely

Have a read below on exactly how we plan to do that and find out what other members are asking on the impacts of the Coronavirus. We’re doing our best to stay ‘business as usual’ on our side – and looking after our members (as well as the planet) is our top priority!

Help us prioritise our most vulnerable customers by emailing instead of calling us.

We’ve got a huge favour to ask – if you’d like to speak with us, but your query isn’t urgent or putting you at risk, please contact us by filling in this form rather than giving us a call.

Why? This keeps our phone lines free for members who are vulnerable or in need of more immediate support. While our phone lines are still open 9am-5pm weekdays, many of our staff have families or dependants who they need to look after, so will be working more flexibly than usual (e.g. early or late hours) and that type of working is better suited to responding to emails.

Despite the challenges, it’s still (mostly) ‘business as usual’ at Tonik.

We’re proud to be well prepared for situations like these, as unprecedented as they are. The technology we use day-to-day is set up to allow our staff to work remotely – and that’s exactly what we’re all doing here at Tonik. We’ve quickly adjusted to seeing our colleagues via video-conference and are still very much smiling while we look after our members.

With the situation changing all the time, we’re doing the best we can, but there may be a time where we need to ask for a little patience as we prioritise those who need support the most.

The good news? You can do most things online in your Tonik Space account - like submitting meter readings, checking your statement/ balance, renewing your tariff, or making a payment. We also have a comprehensive help section with our most frequently asked questions about the day-to-day management of your energy account with us.

The heat is on… a little more than it usually is at home.

And you’ll likely be using a bit more electricity too. As an energy supplier, we’re being kept well informed by Network Operators (i.e. the regional companies that move electricity and gas around the country, and to your home) on how they’re managing the impacts of the Coronavirus outbreak. They have over 36,000 people working to keep homes across the UK powered and have well-practised contingency plans. You can rest assured that the supply of energy to your home will remain uninterrupted.

With everyone being at home more, the amount of energy you use may also increase. To help you keep on top of how much you use, here's a few simple tips and tricks:

Here are our ‘Top 10 Energy Saving Tips’ from last year’s ‘Big Energy Saving Week’: Click here

Or, for lots more tips you can also check out the ‘Smart Energy GB’ website: Click here

Stay tuned to this page for further updates.

If the last few weeks has taught us anything - is that nothing is certain. We’re keeping a close eye on the latest announcements from the government and are also working closely with other energy suppliers and industry bodies to make sure we’re set up to best look after our members. 

As the situation (inevitably) changes, we promise to keep our members as up-to-date as we can.

 

Coronavirus FAQs

Is Tonik still open for business during the outbreak?

We are indeed – our Member Services Team are set up to remote work and are already doing so effectively.  We do ask that unless your call is urgent, you contact us by filling in this form so that you query can be routed to an agent who will reply to you via email. We ask that you do this because some of our staff have to be flexible with their working hours (some working extra early or extra late due to family and dependants), also so that during our core business hours our phones can be kept open for members who are vulnerable or in the most urgent need of support.

Will my home electricity and gas supply be impacted?

No, your energy supply will not be affected – across the country there are tens of thousands of key workers looking after our electricity grid and network of gas pipes. They have well-established contingency processes in place for this.  If you do experience a power outage or emergency, please contact the relevant body directly who will be able to assist you – details of who to contact can be found here

Can I change my direct debit or have a payment holiday?

We are not currently offering decreased direct debits or payment holidays as standard. We want to help ensure that you do not build up debt on your account. Also, please do not cancel your direct debit – as this will create extra work from our Member Services Team during a time where we’re trying to work as effectively as we can for the benefit of all of our members. It is important that you continue to pay for your gas and electricity to avoid building up debt.

We are working with industry bodies and closely monitoring government advice to ensure we can assist those who are vulnerable to keeping their lights and heating on. Should you be in real financial difficulty or are on the Priority Services Register and need further assistance, please do get in contact and we will assist you where we can. You can read our ‘Making Life Easier’ policy for further information: Click here.

We have also partnered with StepChange, the UK’s leading debt charity. They have more than 25 years experience of providing free, confidential and expert debt advice. They offer a wide range of practical debt solutions. To receive free, confidential support please contact StepChange through their website www.stepchange.org. Please read this FAQ for more information on the process.

If you would like to proactively amend your direct debit because you think you will be using significantly more energy, please contact us by filling in this form.

Will engineers still be visiting my home for planned or emergency jobs?

We’re working closely with the third-party providers who look after metering on our behalf. They have contingency processes in place to help keep them and the households they visit safe.

However, owing to the national restrictions on non-essential work we are no longer able to book in new metering appointments or honour any pre-booked appointments until such time as the government lifts these restrictions and it is deemed safe to do so. This restriction does not extend to emergency metering jobs, which will be conducted as normal. We appreciate your patience at this time.

Can I still renew my tariff or sign up a new property to Tonik?

Absolutely. Thanks to our technology and our remote working capabilities, it’s (mostly) ‘business-as-usual’ for us at Tonik. Our service remains great, our energy is still green, and our prices are low – despite the challenges we all face, we wouldn’t want you to miss out.

 

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