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Gas and Electric - Who to go with?

Being forced to move as Ebico will be no more.

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Female
Sea  Female  Essex
13-Sep-2020 09:14 Message #4792176
Just recieved letter from Ebico - 'Robin Hood Energy' our supplier have agreed a sale of business to British Gas. As we are unable to operate without Robin Hood Energy, oure customers will also be looked after by British Gas.
...........
It will happen between mid Sept. and mid Nov. but will be sent a consent form. What would happen if not at home to sign consent form? Would I be cut off? But anyway am shopping around but don't know who to go with? Did attempt to find quote on British Gas but all it gave was a monthy fee and NOT the breakdown i.e standard charge and unit rate. So basically only a figure out of mid air, which may not relate to what I use. At the moment I do not have a standard charge but pay 23.95p/KWh Electric and 16p/kWh gas, with Ebico. Has gradually risen so may not now be much difference if paying a standing charge, with lower unit rates? Did attempt to look at Utilita without standing charge but had silly pop up and couldn't find anything, also think they force you to have a smart meter, which I don't want. I also looked at Octopus Energy. Electric S/Charge 19.383 and 15.519p/kWh, Gas s/charge 16.8 and 3.2025p/kWh. Then there is Shell energy, Bulb Energy, Pure Planet, Peoples energy etc. etc. and from what I have read smaller companies are much better than big six. One listing had put Ebico in second place behind Octopus in first. But my head now in a spin and am rather clicked out from browsing this and that. So can you recommend anyone? Who would you go with? Which options are best?
Female
JustLyn  Female  Cheshire
13-Sep-2020 09:33 Message #4792180
Search "IsMyBillfair", they have a reputation for switching you to the cheapest rate.

I used to have a great relationship with my energy company and tracked all my own therms and KWh over 10 years, but then I found the previous helpful and polite Scottish Power, become threatening and wanting me to pay more and more. I even rang to increase my own payments and they insisted they had to double my payments. It was really scary. This tactic also occurred with EDF then I moved to OVO and their customer service was much more helpful, but I still seemed to get charged way above my consumption, even after using the same for 3 years and it working right for 2 years, then it all escalated again in the 3rd year. I found the same with Greener Network Energy so 3 months ago I moved to BULB. Each time, they look at my actual consumption, quote around £100 a month, then I rang them to increase my own payments to £120, then low and behold, they insisted on £146 in the middle of summer. Luckily I could afford to pay £650 last month to get rid and BULB paid my £60 exit fees.
(3 x adults in my house)

It's all such a silly game.

However, from reviews, OCTOPUS do seem to score well and customer service is so important.

You could also try the MoneySavingExpert website as they give scores on price and service.
Male
BOYDEL  Male  Surrey
13-Sep-2020 09:39 Message #4792183
From earlier posts you suggest you are away from home for ? half the year - so may be averse to a daily standing charge - though one way or another that gets factored in to overall charge.

Plenty of comparison sites to look on and there is one advertising on TV which says they constantly switch around to ensure you are always on best deal - without you as customer doing anything.

In short term maybe just switch to a provider with reasonable charges and no exit fee while you make up your mind. I assume you know your gas/elec usage on a seasonal basis.... Do you switch off everything at mains when you are on a long trip?

I am sure that "doing nothing" will not mean you get cut off - just that you will be billed by a different provider at some stage - until/unless you formally switch to a new provider.
Male
fosy  Male  Leicestershire
13-Sep-2020 11:20 Message #4792204
as has been mentioned, use comparison sites, moneysavingexpert will give you some c/back on a lot of deals, dont forget topcashback as they have some good offers [currently shell is £127 c/back, but ends tonight...i think they do good offers as being newish they are trying to corner a portion of the market],but look at annual charges then deduct the c/back to see if its worth it.

i too did not want a smart meter so i went with the second cheapest [for me] who are shell, so far so good.
Female
wonderoushen  Female  Gwynedd
13-Sep-2020 11:23 Message #4792205
We use Bulb and hae done for a few years now ad have no complaints, before them we had OVO and were quite happy with them too, the only reason we changed was because when we moved Bulb were cheaper. Bulb also have a deal where if you recomend them to a friend and the friend switches you both get £50.
Male
Pboro Trevor  Male  Cambridgeshire
13-Sep-2020 11:26 Message #4792206
Use 2 or 3 of the comparison sites as each does not list all suppliers, only those who give them a 'finders' fee.

Avoid the big 6 as they all insist on having a 'smart' meter fitted.

Trevor
Male
The_Snow_Covered_Fool  Male  Cheshire
13-Sep-2020 12:01 Message #4792211
JustLyn,

Ismybill fair only use certain companies that give them a kickback, allegedly.
So don't actually offer you the cheapest deal on the market. Others do this too so as somebody else mentioned check two or three of the comparision website to cover all suppliers.



Chris.
Female
JustLyn  Female  Cheshire
13-Sep-2020 16:48 Message #4792222
I haven't used Ismybillfair yet, but I still like to check to see what they offer, so far I am registered to get their info, but not their automatic switching.
I've no problems them getting a cut if they genuinely do the work. I received a message from them this week to save me £50 but I wouldn't mess about with where I am for that. Also, many of their predictions, any of the comparison predictions, are not necessarily accurate to £50 anyway.
Female
sunnyagain  Female  Hampshire
13-Sep-2020 17:31 Message #4792226
Look After My Bills were on Dragons Den, they take a commission from the suppliers. They seem to get good reviews - I haven't used them, it's just a suggestion.!
Male
brisinger-the-beekeeper  Male  Lancashire
14-Sep-2020 00:35 Message #4792255
Don't use just one switching site because some get special deals. For example, at the time when I switched electricity to NPower Select (subsidiary group), uswitch had an exclusive deal with them. However, they don't have the same T&Cs the parent company, NPower requires being part of the 'Big 6'.
Moneysavingexpert also get in special group deals. What's useful with there's is that you can set up an account so that it will alert you if a significantly better deal comes up. I think you can set up a trigger value, for example for arguments sake £30 saving, so that you are notified when a supplier could save you more money than you are paying by that amount or more rather than constantly notifying you about the swings and roundabouts pennies. It helps because you are leaving someone else to keep their eye on the ball for you.
My current gas supplier, Zog energy, has an interesting function on their statements notifying you of their cheapest overall plan and cheapest similar plan so that you have the option to switch to a cheaper deal of theirs. I guess the catch being that it extends the end of contract date because you are essentially starting a new contract period subject to a renewed early exit fee.
Female
Sea  Female  Essex
15-Sep-2020 21:23 Message #4792403
Many thanks for all your helpful replies everyone. Still mulling over it all at the moment. And yes I am away a lot hence had gone for no standing charge option. Have looked on 'Moneysaving expert twice. The first time quotes werer cheaper than second time. Don't know if I missed it first time around but the second time it gave my present costs on the left then on the right was another much higher figure (almost double which said what my bill will be when present contract finishes. Just wondering if they know more about what British Gas will charge me than I do? And was this why figures second time I looked so much higher? Letter I received said that British gas would treat Ebico customers well and not charge any more and is some cases lower. They may have omited to say, but customers not at present paying a standard charge will be treated appallingly? I also checked 'Quotezone and 'Uswitch'. But when attempting to click into tariffs of each quote with 'Uswitch' they did not give the standard charge and unit charge for any of them just a monthly amount and annual. So no way to know what this related to. I have come to believe that many of these figures are just to entice you in and why some slightly better than what already paying, and once they have hooked you in, will then rise steeply. Small print seems to imply figures may not stay for long. Looked at a few others. 'Bulb' seemed a bit more expensive. Another, may have been 'Pure Planet' was on line only, so nobody to speak to if any queries. Shell was one of the cheapest but then with 'Which' only rated 29 out of 34. Octopus slightly more expensive but very clear pricing, which does not appear to be hit and miss like others. Oh and looked on 'Ismybillfair' and they only came up with Octopus as an option. But I will have to get in touch with Ebico (did try but 20 min wait and didn't wait) as I suddenly remembered that they phoned me in April, to say tariffs rising but if I wanted to keep with no standing charge I had to agree to an annual spend of at least £150 for my gas. Fine when we reach colder months but so far not had central heating on, so not used any. I now don't know where I stand if I move? Can they legally charge me this £150 if I change now? But if I let them move me to B/Gas, bills could double plus £30 exit fee for each. I really hate having dilemmas and decisions to make.
Male
The_Snow_Covered_Fool  Male  Cheshire
16-Sep-2020 06:27 Message #4792410
Re: Charge if you change now ? NO.

They have changed the terms and conditions not you. This usually explained in the accompanying letter or e-mail under FAQ's.

The only way to find out about no standing charge will probably look on each companies indivual website, very long winded I know but worth it if the amount it saves you is considerably.



Chris.
Male
BOYDEL  Male  Surrey
16-Sep-2020 16:58 Message #4792460
"At the moment I do not have a standard charge but pay 23.95p/KWh Electric and 16p/kWh gas, with Ebico"

Having just checked my EDF bill the respective kWh rates for Electric/Gas are 16.65p and 3.851p both plus 5% VAT

Also plus a combined Standing Charge of 43p daily plus 5% VAT

There is therefore a horrendous difference - but that may be simply a reflection of your ?? very low usage - I assume Ebico charge more per unit for a tariff with nil S/C - so in effect the "notional" S/C uplift gets spread across fewer units of fuel actually used.
Male
brisinger-the-beekeeper  Male  Lancashire
16-Sep-2020 17:59 Message #4792465
Are you sure uswitch doesn't show the standing charge etc. I thought that if you clicked on "Plan info" then More details about this plan "View standing charge and rates" in the sub-menu it gave them there. I think Energylinx is clearer that way though. Each one seems to get in their own special deals. You can get cashback with energylinx via topcashback.

Female
Sea  Female  Essex
16-Sep-2020 19:25 Message #4792478
Hi Boydel, Just realised a misprint, maybe not pressing keys hard enough or half asleep? It should have read that I pay at present 6.16p/KWh for gas and not 16p, but I do not have the standing charge of 43p a day + 5% VAT. And I am not using my gas central heating through the summer months and some of the Winter, so to be paying a standing charge all year is rather dead money.
.....
Anyway today I did manage to get through to Ebico. They said that British Gas will honour the 'no standing charge' but only until the year is up on present plan, so about next April. Also any terms such as minimum spend do not now apply. They could not tell me if an exit fee when moved to British Gas or not though. So I could wait until they said me a letter to see what it outlines. There again that is if I am at home to read it?
With 'Uswitch' I did click on detailed plan etc. but only on the top quote given and that did not give me a breakdown of KWh unit price and daily standing charge, just the total amount for both, monthly and annually. Maybe it would have been different on a quote for a different company, but clicking on each one does seem to take forever. Ebico did say the change over will be gradual over the next couple of months and could be early December before completed for everyone.
Male
BOYDEL  Male  Surrey
16-Sep-2020 20:49 Message #4792487
OK so what approx amounts are you spending annually on each of the two fuels Sea?
Female
Sea  Female  Essex
17-Sep-2020 10:04 Message #4792519
Hi Botdel, Usually about £160 on electric and £120 on gas per year approx. last year. I am usualy away up to two months before Christmas and two months sometime after, hence not using central heating much. When here, a couple of hours or so in the evenings. Nothing ever left on standby. At the moment though I always pay quarterly bill in full, so know exactly where I stand. It seems with others you have to pay a set monthly amount, so can be in credit or debit at times.
Male
persona_non_grata  Male  North London
17-Sep-2020 10:30 Message #4792521
OMG. I have just looked at my bank account and for the past year my joint gas/electric was just over £3500. I have no idea how that compares to the average house with two occupants. I do know we can be quite wasteful. I'm with EDF.
Male
brisinger-the-beekeeper  Male  Lancashire
17-Sep-2020 11:03 Message #4792530
Wow!
My electricity is £365 and gas is £72 and that includes running 2 marine aquariums 24/7.
Male
BOYDEL  Male  Surrey
17-Sep-2020 11:03 Message #4792532
Sea - with EDF you can choose a monthly DD amount- though any fixed amount will naturally vary seasonally between in credit in summer and vice versa.

With the Ebico rates you quoted you could save 30% on cost of Electricity and 37.5% of the cost of Gas by say moving to EDF - so basic fuel charges would drop to say £111 Elec/£75 Gas thus saving you £94 pa - but offset by the aggregate annual daily standing charge of a total £164.53 incl 5% VAT.

At present you are away for around 1/3rd of the year and over winter when a typical household would be using maybe 2/3rds of their annual fuel in say 6 months - and I guess your overall fuel usage would increase by anything up to 150% if you lived at home throughout the year.
Male
BOYDEL  Male  Surrey
17-Sep-2020 11:09 Message #4792536
PNG - that £3500 is almost treble the average household dual fuel bill

"Calculating the average gas and electricity bill across the UK is difficult as it depends on a variety of factors. However, according to energy market regulator Ofgem, the average dual fuel variable tariff as of April 2019 is £104.50 per month, or £1,254 a year.

Not shockingly, this is far from being the cheapest. In fact, Ofgem found the cheapest tariff available was around £880 a year, or just £73 a month.

This means that most people are needlessly paying too much for their gas and electricity."

Are you on a monthly DD - and do you have low energy lighting - or do you needlessly heat rooms that are seldom used?
Female
JustLyn  Female  Cheshire
17-Sep-2020 11:14 Message #4792538
I checked my MoneySavingExpert mailshot and it mentioned Look After My Bills and at the same time BULB are putting their prices up from next month so I thought I'd give joining the auto change service a go.

I received a message from Look After My Bills only the day after stating currently I couldn't get a better deal than I am already on with BULB, though that might change next month, and they don't bother if it only saves up to £50 a year.

PNG.

I saved an example from the Octopus website on average usage.
It states the approximate usage for a medium household with 3 bedrooms and 3-5 occupants would consume 2900 kWh of electricity and 12000 kWh f gas.

I kept the above as reference because I have 3 -4 occupants in my household and expect to consume more than average because 2 of them have disabilities that means they are more often in the home than the average person.

My September statement from BULB was updated today and it estimates my annual consumption will be 10421 kWh of gas and a horrendous, in my view, 7528 kWh of electricity.
The BULB cost for this is estimated to be a total of around £1450 a year.

I have cavity wall insulation, high level of loft insulation, double glazing with one large pane triple glazed. I have a Green Star Worcester Bosch combination boiler and no stored hot water.

I use a small combination oven to cook on convection, rarely the full size oven.
All my appliances are either A* or A** energy efficient.

All my lighting is low energy LED except for my utility area 3 sections which each has fluorescent old tech low energy using 6 x 25w bulbs but I am about to replace them all with 5w LED, again A+, which all equate to roughly the old 40-60w tungsten for the same level of light. If these lights were on all the time, the difference in cost is reducing £185 a year to £35 a year so a pack of 6 bulbs for £10 is definitely cost effective.
Male
brisinger-the-beekeeper  Male  Lancashire
17-Sep-2020 11:17 Message #4792540
OVO energy have produced a guide from 2019
https://bit.ly/35JqaAB
Male
brisinger-the-beekeeper  Male  Lancashire
17-Sep-2020 11:35 Message #4792543
You can get plug in energy power monitors off ebay so you can detect what the power usage of each product is which can help detect where the energy usage is coming from. I've found that the one cup hot water dispensers are great for saving money if you only want a brew and they tend to come in at around £30ish. All my lights are LEDs are well which are cheap to run.
Male
brisinger-the-beekeeper  Male  Lancashire
17-Sep-2020 11:55 Message #4792545
These are brilliant ceiling lights for larger rooms. You can get them flush and surface mounted, dimmable or non-dimmable and they are really bright. I'm currently running a 12w dimmable and it's really bright. I could quite easily go down to 9w.

https://bit.ly/2RBj2Ow

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