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Is switching utilities supplier really worth it?

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EssDeeAitch
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Is switching utilities supplier really worth it?

#187931

Postby EssDeeAitch » December 19th, 2018, 9:12 am

Going around the fourth circle of hell and am on the brink of descending to the the fifth in trying to decide whether to switch suppliers or not.

On the plus side is a potential £160 a year saving (EDF to Pure Planet) but on the negative side is the potential for the new and old supplier to mangle the exit process resulting in long term "unresolveitis" and general frustration over the only process that seems to be more convoluted than Brexit (if one reads reviews - which I do).

What experiences has anyone had of switching to the challenger utilities providers?

staffordian
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Re: Is switching utilities supplier really worth it?

#187943

Postby staffordian » December 19th, 2018, 9:40 am

I switched from Eon to Flow Energy a couple of years ago. I think it was a Martin Lewis offer.

No issues at all, though Flow is now part of Co-op Energy so I can't comment on how good a transfer to them might be now.

In general terms, I suspect 99.9% of people have no problems, you only tend to hear of the ones with issues.

That said, I would be wary of swapping to one whose customer service comes out very badly in surveys etc.

swill453
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Re: Is switching utilities supplier really worth it?

#187946

Postby swill453 » December 19th, 2018, 9:43 am

I switched to Bulb, completely painless. E-on made a half-hearted attempt to try and keep me (2 phone calls). I had a 10-day window to supply the changeover meter readings. Got a refund of my credit from E-on less than a month after the switch.

Bulb seems OK so far, suggested a monthly direct debit payment, but was happy for me to propose a lower one.

I can supply a referral code (£50 each) on request.

Scott.

Meatyfool
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Re: Is switching utilities supplier really worth it?

#187948

Postby Meatyfool » December 19th, 2018, 9:47 am

Those "newer" suppliers have eye-catching offers are ones to be careful with. If you jump on the bandwagon at the same time as everyone else, their customer support may be overwhelmed and that is where the issues may occur.

Sticking to the big guys is no guarantee either. Read up on which ones have the best customer service, which ones are being harangued by regulators for this that and the other. But going for the big names means you will not get the absolute best deals.

I moved to Ovo when moving from the bigger names for the first time. No issues, although they are "mid-tier" now. Moved to Avro Energy last time around, again no issues.

Meatyfool..

Stompa
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Re: Is switching utilities supplier really worth it?

#187969

Postby Stompa » December 19th, 2018, 10:37 am

I think I've switched supplier about 7 times now. It's very straightforward and just seems to work. No major issues, and I don't recall any minor ones either.

bungeejumper
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Re: Is switching utilities supplier really worth it?

#188000

Postby bungeejumper » December 19th, 2018, 12:32 pm

Good luck with Pure Planet, because you can only communicate with them by mobile phone, and they simply haven't got their process sorted yet. :(

I was a fair way into switching over to PP (for a £220 annual saving), but when they emailed me their access code (so that I could progress the application) it just didn't work. The link that they sent me got a big fat 404 refusal on my desktop, and when I tried reading the email on my mobile phone (something I hardly ever do, BTW), the hyperlink was completely non-operational - it wouldn't even try to connect to the page.

I emailed Pure Planet, asking them to resend the email with a link that would work. They phoned me back on my mobile the next morning. Apparently, they said, they might have sent me an outdated link to a server that wasn't in use any more (or something like that), and I ought to disregard their email and instead download the new version of the Pure Planet App directly from Google Play Store (or something like that)....

At this stage I was already losing the will to live. But before I could do that, he said, I would need to delve back into Android and get special permission to...… (continued on page 94)…..

….It went on. Fer chrissakes, I said (or perhaps I was being a bit gentler than that?), this is not the way I use my mobile, and I can't be arsed to run around plugging the gaps in your own service if it doesn't work. (Okay, maybe I was a bit kinder than that, as well?) He was very polite, acknowledged that doing everything by mobile wouldn't suit everybody's requirements, and we left it at that. I switched to Octopus (which also claims to be 100% green), and no problems yet.

BJ

scrumpyjack
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Re: Is switching utilities supplier really worth it?

#188006

Postby scrumpyjack » December 19th, 2018, 12:54 pm

I've moved several times with no problems at all. The last moves were to Ovo, then to Isupplyenergy and lastly to Yorkshire energy.

It has all gone very smoothly and saved a lot of money.

Meanwhile my solar panels energy refunds are all handled by E.ON

You do not need to have the same electricity company for solar panels Feed In Tariff as you do for your household supply.

Meatyfool
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Re: Is switching utilities supplier really worth it?

#188010

Postby Meatyfool » December 19th, 2018, 1:12 pm

scrumpyjack wrote:and lastly to Yorkshire energy.


Oooh, do the electrons leak out of the wires?

Meatyfool..

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-y ... e-46608795

Loup321
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Re: Is switching utilities supplier really worth it?

#188031

Postby Loup321 » December 19th, 2018, 2:35 pm

I move regularly. Each year, when a deal comes to an end, I check who is the cheapest and move to them. I have gas and electricity from different suppliers. In the past, I was sucked in by the discounts for dual fuel, but when I moved to my current house (which was probably still on whoever was given the contract locally when electricity was privatised and BG), I saw that with one supplier I could make a massive saving on gas, but little on electricity, while with another I could make a massive saving on electricity but little on gas. So I switched both separately, and still think I pay less than if I had a dual fuel discount.

Currently, I'm with Daligas and Octopus.

I've been with Daligas for nearly 4 years, because they still seem to come out cheapest. At the end of the first year they just stopped debiting my bank account. After 3 months I phoned them (I just thought that I had better things to do with my time and they would notice eventually, but they didn't), and they apologised and reinstated the direct debit, and I paid the built up debt over the phone. They also repaid the money I'd overpaid in the first year (couldn't set one against the other, but it's not that big a deal to me). The end of the second was fine - a small overpayment just arrive in my bank account a couple of weeks after I sent a meter reading. The end of the third year they changed the direct debit structure so I pay more in the winter and less in the summer. I have complained, but they have said that it's fairer that way. It's no big deal - £18 a month in summer, £28 in spring/autumn and £38 in winter.

I'm with Octopus for electricity because Iresa went bust. Quite a few small players have gone bust this year - about 7 if I remember the article I read correctly. There was no problem with the switch, apart from an overzealous spam filter putting a vitaly important email into Junk. Direct debits were going out and electricity was working, but without that email I didn't have an active account. Clicking on one link got that sorted, 3 months after the original email was sent, and now I'm fully "in the system".
Previous switches have all been fine - money returned to my bank account a couple of weeks after the account closure, or a final direct debit taking a small amount and then being cancelled. Proper final bills being produced (I'm one of those people who check the closing meter reading and balance from one bill match the opening meter reading and balance from the next, and I get confused if billing periods olverlap).

If it's £160, go for it. Even if you have a disaster and have to spend a couple of hours on the phone, that's an hourly rate of £80 in the first year. But the chances are you'll have no problems at all.

Wuzwine
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Re: Is switching utilities supplier really worth it?

#188037

Postby Wuzwine » December 19th, 2018, 3:12 pm

Hi,

Definetely worth it. I stayed with EDF too long. Over about 6 moves only had trouble with Npower who insisted my reading was wrong. Eventually sorted by EON who paid for the small gap!

Have had 2 go bust. GBenergy was too cheap to be true but I got a year of cheap fuel and Coop energy who were nominated to take over managed the change excellently.

Then IRESA went bust earlier this year and there was a seemless Xfer again. However unlike the Coop the new supplier didn't honour the remainder of fixed term so I moved to Enstroga. So far OK but they don't seem to remind you for a monthly meter reading.

Go for it as this is the time of year when your usage is near its highest and it takes a few weeks to finalise. I also review every year but don't move if its only a small saving and I am happy with current service.

Regards,

Wuz

malakoffee
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Re: Is switching utilities supplier really worth it?

#188044

Postby malakoffee » December 19th, 2018, 3:35 pm

Switching saves you from getting exploited by your current provider ( probably ).

1) Always take a date-stamped digital photo of your meter-reading on the designated switch day. Used in evidence if something goes wrong.

2) Be aware that the ( supposedly approved ) algorithms that estimate your savings may not correspond exactly, or even remotely or your own usage*.
* Especially if your usage is outside the normal range.

The confusion-marketing/pricing tactics of the suppliers make it quite difficult to establish a reasonable estimate, even if you are a spreadsheet geek-meister. e.g. Tiered pricing : discounts and cashbacks : standing charges.

<stuck record>
Please Dear Regulator, consider cutting the complex pricing carp and only permit these devils to charge on cost per KWh ONLY. Easy to compare the prices. And focuses the customers' attention on energy efficiency.
How difficult is that ?
</stuck record>

jackdaww
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Re: Is switching utilities supplier really worth it?

#188094

Postby jackdaww » December 19th, 2018, 5:13 pm

yes.

i switch most years as there is always a better deal than the one expiring .

been with OVO , isupplyenergy , extraenergy , octopus , brilliant energy and now yorkshire energy.

no major problems , i research reviews to avoid the very cheap duds , always take fixed price deals.

savings average £300 per annum , which i think is worth the effort .

EssDeeAitch
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Re: Is switching utilities supplier really worth it?

#188219

Postby EssDeeAitch » December 20th, 2018, 8:15 am

many thanks to all contributors, I shall definitely be switching to SoEnergy for gas and Igloo for electricity. Savings on the new EDF tariff will be £172 a year.

neversay
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Re: Is switching utilities supplier really worth it?

#189595

Postby neversay » December 27th, 2018, 9:54 pm

A perennial switcher here too, although it has all gone pete tong in recent times. Future Energy went bust last year while I was in the process of switching to E.On who then reversed the move and for a while left me in limbo without a supplier. It's sorted now but my E.On tariff ends in February and all alternatives now are £150+ higher and there's no obvious target for my next move. Any recommendations on good suppliers?

bruncher
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Re: Is switching utilities supplier really worth it?

#214530

Postby bruncher » April 12th, 2019, 1:29 am

malakoffee wrote:
The confusion-marketing/pricing tactics of the suppliers make it quite difficult to establish a reasonable estimate, even if you are a spreadsheet geek-meister. e.g. Tiered pricing : discounts and cashbacks : standing charges.

<stuck record>
Please Dear Regulator, consider cutting the complex pricing carp and only permit these devils to charge on cost per KWh ONLY. Easy to compare the prices. And focuses the customers' attention on energy efficiency.
How difficult is that ?
</stuck record>


It can be extraordinarily difficult to get a written tariff from some suppliers, they just want to talk about estimates - chat about the size of the property or the bills paid in the last year. No! I am the customer! What is your unit charge?

malakoffee
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Re: Is switching utilities supplier really worth it?

#214904

Postby malakoffee » April 13th, 2019, 10:05 pm

^ EDIT . . . whoops . . . that was a rhetorical question . . . . . . ignore below :lol:

This is going to sound expensive, but as an ultra-low user it works out consistently cheapest.
For me any standing charge tends to cost more per day than the energy I use.

Ebico / Robin Hood Energy
Tariff : Ebico Zero Green Fixed V2 ( no standing charge, or other fixed charges )

Elec kWh : 20.77p inclusive of VAT

Gas kWh : 5.97p inclusive of VAT

mutantpoodle
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Re: Is switching utilities supplier really worth it?

#214929

Postby mutantpoodle » April 14th, 2019, 8:52 am

for those finding it difficult to see actual tarif details

join MSE energy club (free) and use them as comparison site
at each shown result there is 'tarif details' link and tariffs are clearly shown

be warned however that on expiry of any current 'tarif deal' your existing supplier may NOT offer you the best available!

SO CHECK...……….we know they do not care

JohnB
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Re: Is switching utilities supplier really worth it?

#214946

Postby JohnB » April 14th, 2019, 10:29 am

I wish I could switch. With a white meter it is very difficult.

Actually I wish we went back to monopoly billing. I don't mind market competition for the bulk supply of electricity, but for consumer supply so much effort is wasted with marketing, customer support IT systems and consumer time I very much doubt there are any real savings, just loyal customers subsidising the fickle.

And yet they want to do the same for water. Gosh, I sound Corbynite.

neversay
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Re: Is switching utilities supplier really worth it?

#216964

Postby neversay » April 24th, 2019, 10:50 am

I had a nice surprise from Octopus Energy yesterday. I thought it was time to do my meter readings, duly took them, went online and then found out that my previously dumb smart meter (that went dumb after leaving EON 2+ years ago) has gone smart again.

I'll be moving every year as usual but I have to say that Octopus has been a good small energy provider from my point of view.


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