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The lounge Relax, take a break from photo and camera talk - have a chat about something else for a change. Just keep it clean and polite!

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Old 2nd October 2018
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The Minefield of Energy Providers

I have received a notification from First Utility, our current energy provider that our Contact is due to expire shortly and inviting me to sign up for a new tariff.

We have been with First for several years now after switching from the Gas Board and they have always given reasonable value. However it seems that like Amazon, B&Q and many others they are now using their size, market dominance and customer loyalty to push up prices. The price they quoted me for next year on their 'best' tariff is around £2,600, which is getting on for double what we have paid for the past two years.

I realise that energy prices have risen, but not by that much!

On searching around I found several quotes significantly cheaper than we are paying now, but these are based on estimated usage for our house rather than our actual usage.

There were some good deals with heating system breakdown cover included, but with a £90 call out charge, no cover for pipes, radiators or water cylinders, and no cover for the labour costs to install a new boiler, or for upgrading an existing boiler.

I actually phoned Scottish Power and spoke to a very helpful chap who worked out some prices for me, but it seems they want to charge 35 pence per fuel per day standing charge because we are heavy users and that this allows them to offer lower unit prices.

My concern is that many of the figures quoted are estimates, so it seems there is no guarantee that you will pay what they say.

There was an outfit called 'Bulb' that seemed to have some reasonable offers but like most of the other I have never heard of them before. What a bliddy minefield.
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Old 2nd October 2018
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Re: The Minefield of Energy Providers

IF you want to go for Bulb, PM me as I am a current (very satisfied) user and there is a little bonus of £50 available to you and me!
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Old 2nd October 2018
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Re: The Minefield of Energy Providers

Thanks Walti, I may very well take you up on that offer.
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Old 2nd October 2018
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Re: The Minefield of Energy Providers

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Originally Posted by Naughty Nigel View Post
What a bliddy minefield.
The privatised utilities give the customers choice. I'd like Scottish Water delivered down the pipes to our house in Hertfordshire, but there appears to be a problem!

Jim
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Re: The Minefield of Energy Providers

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The privatised utilities give the customers choice. I'd like Scottish Water delivered down the pipes to our house in Hertfordshire, but there appears to be a problem!

Jim
I must say the water delivered here from the upper Tees by the French owned Northumbrian Water is really very nice, but it doesn't travel well.

I remember the water when my parents moved to the Dorset/Hampshire boarder area was disgusting!
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Old 3rd October 2018
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Re: The Minefield of Energy Providers

Nigel, first thing to do is give us your annual consumption figures for both gas and electric. If you don’t have them then you need to look at some old bills for an actual reading figure, not an estimated one. With that figure you can easily work out what you will pay. I confess to taking daily gas and electric readings and monthly water meter ones. Having solar panels helps too as it gave me the impetus to take control of usage.
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Old 3rd October 2018
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Re: The Minefield of Energy Providers

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Nigel, first thing to do is give us your annual consumption figures for both gas and electric. If you donít have them then you need to look at some old bills for an actual reading figure, not an estimated one. With that figure you can easily work out what you will pay. I confess to taking daily gas and electric readings and monthly water meter ones. Having solar panels helps too as it gave me the impetus to take control of usage.
Thanks Tim. I have all the information to hand including my annual consumption, present unit costs and standing charges, but it seems many of the providers want to sell you an attractive looking estimate based on an 'average' house in your postcode area.

You have to look harder to find what these figures are based on, whilst unit costs and standing charges seem to be absent. In most cases they like to use unrealistically low consumption figures to make it look as if you will be saving a lot of money, but if you chose the wrong tariff they will charge an exit fee.

Just to muddy the waters further some providers try to bundle boiler breakdown cover, but if you look at the T's & C's it would be cheaper to get you own plumber.
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Re: The Minefield of Energy Providers

Out of interest what are your annual consumption rates? We’re electric and gas and gas is about 7500 kWh and elec around 1800. You should be able to plug those sort of figures straight into a comparison site to get an annual quote ( never switched so no experience)
Boiler cover I’d just see as an excuse for them to tell me my boiler is knackered and to try to sell me another ( I mean you British Gas!)
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Re: The Minefield of Energy Providers

Try Out Fox the Market?. I had major issues with ScotPower and ended up going through hoops with the 'Ombudsman'... a total waste of time. The price increases for G & E, plus Daily Charges, was horrendous. Use your bills to calculate annual usage for a more accurate forecsat.

OFTM have no daily charges as such for G or E. There is, however, a single monthly payment - dependant on you usage - starting from £7pcm inc VAT. There are other caveats but, they are worth a look.

I've been with them just over 3 months and, so far without any problems. Chat line for initial queries was excellent as was other questions that popped up later on. You even get a reminder each month to give your readings.
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Re: The Minefield of Energy Providers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Naughty Nigel View Post
I have received a notification from First Utility, our current energy provider that our Contact is due to expire shortly and inviting me to sign up for a new tariff.

We have been with First for several years now after switching from the Gas Board and they have always given reasonable value. However it seems that like Amazon, B&Q and many others they are now using their size, market dominance and customer loyalty to push up prices. The price they quoted me for next year on their 'best' tariff is around £2,600, which is getting on for double what we have paid for the past two years.

I realise that energy prices have risen, but not by that much!

On searching around I found several quotes significantly cheaper than we are paying now, but these are based on estimated usage for our house rather than our actual usage.

There were some good deals with heating system breakdown cover included, but with a £90 call out charge, no cover for pipes, radiators or water cylinders, and no cover for the labour costs to install a new boiler, or for upgrading an existing boiler.

I actually phoned Scottish Power and spoke to a very helpful chap who worked out some prices for me, but it seems they want to charge 35 pence per fuel per day standing charge because we are heavy users and that this allows them to offer lower unit prices.

My concern is that many of the figures quoted are estimates, so it seems there is no guarantee that you will pay what they say.

There was an outfit called 'Bulb' that seemed to have some reasonable offers but like most of the other I have never heard of them before. What a bliddy minefield.
On the Bulb website, you can get a quote based on your postcode, which to be blunt is meaningless... You then end up with a figure and a "refine my quote" button which allows you to enter your usage in kWh (for most accuracy) for both Electricity and gas to get a proper quote.

It seems to be the way most suppliers do their quotes as a surprising number of people simply don't know what they use or pay!
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Old 3rd October 2018
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Re: The Minefield of Energy Providers

I switched from Ovo a few months ago when they wanted to increase my monthly payment for electricity (no gas out here) from £28 to £34. I'm now with ESB who originally quoted me around £29 but have just reduced my payment to £25 per month based on my meter readings. ESB Energy are a subsidirary of the Irish Electricity Supply Board and they have only recently entered the UK market so perhaps their prices reflect a desire to win new customers, but they seem to be OK so far and I rather like the idea of electricity from turf .
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Re: The Minefield of Energy Providers

Otto, how do you heat a place on electric and pay less than £30 a month? Super insulated?
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Re: The Minefield of Energy Providers

Oil. That costs a bit more!
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Old 3rd October 2018
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Re: The Minefield of Energy Providers

Oil, yeah, that would do it!
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Old 3rd October 2018
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Re: The Minefield of Energy Providers

I change providers pretty much every year because in nearly every case, when your present contract comes to an end, they want to put you on their most expensive package. Hardly any of them are honest enough to quote their cheapest package for renewal. I have never had a problem in getting quotes using my actual usage. I have just moved from Tonik (who were very good and did quote their cheapest rate for renewal) to Yorkshire Energy who were cheaper (but not by much) than Tonic.
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