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Energy prices and changing suppliers!

Tony Stephenson is off-line
28 November 2012 18:08
tonycsm
Photographer
tonycsm
Location
United Kingdom
East Yorkshire
Driffield

Crikey they have gone up quite a bit since I fixed my energy prices in November 2011 for one year.
I've now got to get my domestic energy supplies ( dual fuel) sorted out urgently as my current tariff expires in 2 days which from what I can gather was an excellent tariff - I've done the usual comparisons and it seems that the company I'm currently with offers the best tariff until April 2014. For a further £3 pm (approx) , I can fix the price for an extra year until March 2015. I could maybe save a few quid by going with one of the 'cheapie'  companies but have done a quick google check and their feedback isn't particularly good.

As I've not had a lot of time to study the market, have any of you any opinions as to whether it would be wiser to fix it until 2015 or just until 2014 or maybe not fix?

I must say that I don't somehow see energy prices going down any time soon! At least with fixed prices, I'll know how much I spend on average each month for the next 16-27 months.
www.le-femme.co.uk


28 November 2012 19:15
_Maz_
Model


Aye, the prices have gone up a fair bit and are set to rise again at the beginning of December as far as I'm aware.

Whilst the idea of a fixed price plan may seem appealing, there is a *slim* chance that the prices will fall and you're already paying a higher price for this promise of security.
I'd be more inclined to find a capped plan, whereby you have the security of a maximum price but also if the prices fall, you won't be paying over the odds.

What you need to be careful with when choosing plans is the cost of termination if you want to switch to another supplier. Eg. If memory serves me from working for in energy sales a couple of years back, British gas have (or did have) a cancellation fee of the best part of £100 if you wanted to get out before your contract ends - always best to check that there's no or very little of a cancellation fee. Sometimes what you can save anually with another supplier will be nulled by your cancellation fee from current supplier, so you wouldn't see the benefit for the first while.

A good thing to look at when choosing a supplier & plan is to compare the unit rates/standing charge/no standing charge & your usage, as you could wind up having higher rates.

All companies will say they can save you money, and a few companies have been known to bugger about with quotes via phone sales as it's all target-driven, so if comparing I'd suggesting checking places like uswitch and the suppliers sites.

Hopefully that's helpful - I'm in the process of looking at switching again but holding off until all the price rises are done incase I switch now and a few weeks down the line I find that they've become more expensive than my current supplier - such a hassle!

Scottish Alternative Model, represented by Spirit Model Management. Just a wee bit bonkers ;) www.kasuminoir.co.uk


Tony Stephenson is off-line
28 November 2012 19:38
tonycsm
Photographer
tonycsm
Location
United Kingdom
East Yorkshire
Driffield

Quote from _Maz_
Aye, the prices have gone up a fair bit and are set to rise again at the beginning of December as far as I'm aware. Whilst the idea of a fixed price plan may seem appealing, there is a *slim* chance that the prices will fall and you're already paying a higher price for this promise of security. I'd be more inclined to find a capped plan, whereby you have the security of a maximum price but also if the prices fall, you won't be paying over the odds. What you need to be careful with when choosing plans is the cost of termination if you want to switch to another supplier. Eg. If memory serves me from working for in energy sales a couple of years back, British gas have (or did have) a cancellation fee of the best part of £100 if you wanted to get out before your contract ends - always best to check that there's no or very little of a cancellation fee. Sometimes what you can save anually with another supplier will be nulled by your cancellation fee from current supplier, so you wouldn't see the benefit for the first while. A good thing to look at when choosing a supplier & plan is to compare the unit rates/standing charge/no standing charge & your usage, as you could wind up having higher rates. All companies will say they can save you money, and a few companies have been known to bugger about with quotes via phone sales as it's all target-driven, so if comparing I'd suggesting checking places like uswitch and the suppliers sites. Hopefully that's helpful - I'm in the process of looking at switching again but holding off until all the price rises are done incase I switch now and a few weeks down the line I find that they've become more expensive than my current supplier - such a hassle!



Thanks for the reply Maz...it's a bit of a nightmare and gamble all in one!

I've been on a very good tariff and it's only now I'm realising just how good it was.
I've put all the figures in as if I was already moved onto the new tariff I'm considering with the same supplier and none of the other companies can offer any improvement, in fact most are considerably higher so as far as fixed rates go,. it's certainly worth considering!

I might be able to save a few quid if I split it into two separate suppliers but nothing worth the hassle. I've been with Scotish Power and I must admit their service is excellent when I've rung them this last two days...when there is a telephone queue, they even give you an automated estimate of how long it will be when they ring you back and they're very true to their word. I looked at that newish company called OVO but their customer service reviews seems to be bad - they may be a bit cheaper but would it be worth the hassle if things go a bit wrong which seems to be pretty frequent with them!
I'll check out the 'capped ' options too if I have time as that might be a good option!

www.le-femme.co.uk


Philip Hartley is off-line
28 November 2012 19:44
ph_oto
Photographer
ph_oto
Location
United Kingdom
South Yorkshire
Barnsley

I've been looking at the alternatives as my existing deal (electric only) expires mid Dec, but it all seems like a bit of a minefield. I went through Uswitch and filled out their questionaire but they only recommended the company/deal I am already on.
Lots of the suppliers seem only too happy to start you off on a good deal to entice you to switch, but it's further down the line when you find you are going to be clobbered. An Eon rep offered to cut my payment by at least 10% but she hadn't even asked what my average monthly useage was.
Single energy users don't get many of the offers that Dual energy users get.
Say what you Mean and Mean what you Say


28 November 2012 20:07
_Maz_
Model


Quote from tonycsm
Thanks for the reply Maz...it's a bit of a nightmare and gamble all in one!

I've been on a very good tariff and it's only now I'm realising just how good it was.
I've put all the figures in as if I was already moved onto the new tariff I'm considering with the same supplier and none of the other companies can offer any improvement, in fact most are considerably higher so as far as fixed rates go,. it's certainly worth considering!

I might be able to save a few quid if I split it into two separate suppliers but nothing worth the hassle. I've been with Scotish Power and I must admit their service is excellent when I've rung them this last two days...when there is a telephone queue, they even give you an automated estimate of how long it will be when they ring you back and they're very true to their word. I looked at that newish company called OVO but their customer service reviews seems to be bad - they may be a bit cheaper but would it be worth the hassle if things go a bit wrong which seems to be pretty frequent with them!
I'll check out the 'capped ' options too if I have time as that might be a good option!




It was SP(also my current supplier) I used to work  for on sales team (hated the job with a passion - I'm crap at pushing sales) - they did offer a capped plan at one point so a good idea to check with them if they're still offering one , they should do as it was a good tariff to have when I was working there.
 Online plans will also give you an annual discount  (sp is around a tenner split between gas and electric) and flexibility to manage your account and track costs at your leisure. 

Fixed prices are always higher than other plans - think they do this so that when prices do rise they're not losing as much as they would if they were the standard price. 
I've heard of companies like OVO, utility warehouse etc. but can't say I know much about them - best thing to do is check reviews to see how they fair.




Scottish Alternative Model, represented by Spirit Model Management. Just a wee bit bonkers ;) www.kasuminoir.co.uk


Spike is off-line
29 November 2012 03:16
Spike
Photographer
Spike
Location
United Kingdom
Hertfordshire
St Albans

Quote from _Maz_
I've heard of companies like OVO, utility warehouse etc. but can't say I know much about them - best thing to do is check reviews to see how they fair.



I moved everything to Utilities warehouse(gas, electric, phone, broadband) a couple of years back, they always do well on Which surveys
 Thing that impressed me though is the excellent customer service when you do have a problem, & their call centres normally answer within a minute, unlike some of the bigger providers I've used.
"Photoshop is there to cut diamonds, not polish turds"


diipii is off-line
01 December 2012 15:26
diipii
Photographer

Location
United Kingdom
Worcestershire


Woodburners rule. I reckon my Morso saves me £1300 per year.
I haven't run the gas heating for 3 years and you can cook on it and it's better than watching the telly these days.
Right now I am looking at 2 years of wood in the shed ... all free of charge. Just keep your eyes open and be prepared to graft every now and then.
And chain saws are the best fun.
It only happens all the time.


Tony Stephenson is off-line
03 December 2012 05:07
tonycsm
Photographer
tonycsm
Location
United Kingdom
East Yorkshire
Driffield

Having been doing a bit more research into the cheapest providers for my needs, I've come to the conclusion that basically, they're all the f***ing same in their energy pricing in one way or another - in other words it's a cartel !





www.le-femme.co.uk


John Allen is off-line
03 December 2012 05:15
CanonpicsParayphotos
Photographer

Location
United Kingdom
Somerset
Wells

Agreed - I don`t think there`s much to choose between them as regards prices.

However, for service and communications, Atlantic (Scottish and Southern) are excellent - far better than most of the others. You talk to real, friendly, helpful people.

The tariff I`m on sends me a refund of one momth`s payments every year, for both gas and electricity.


Tony Stephenson is off-line
03 December 2012 09:19
tonycsm
Photographer
tonycsm
Location
United Kingdom
East Yorkshire
Driffield

Well I've finally gone and done it after much perusing! It turns out that my supplier ( Scottish Power) was reasonably competitive and only a couple of other suppliers were slightly cheaper but for all the farting around, it wasn't worth the extra saving and I've fixed the price until mid-2015. I could have saved a couple of pounds per month if I'd taken the fixed price only up until 2014 but it's worth the gamble that energy won't get cheaper in the next two and a half years!

If energy prices drop ( as if) I can also swap over to another SP cheaper product/tariff at no cancellation cost so that's even better! It's just a pity that my old tariff has ended as the new one has gone up by over £150 per year which shows just how good the old one was!

However, I'm now going to review how we actually use energy as it seems from my observations that my partner and I are very wasteful and I think we can save the extra the new tariff is costing, just by being a bit more circumspect as to how we are with energy use!
www.le-femme.co.uk



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