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    • JerryFr
    • By JerryFr 18th May 17, 5:56 PM
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    JerryFr
    Standing charge comparison
    • #1
    • 18th May 17, 5:56 PM
    Standing charge comparison 18th May 17 at 5:56 PM
    I am looking to switch energy supplier as my fixed price tariff ends.
    I found wide variations in standing charges, from 8 pence/day to 80 pence/day - is there any data source that shows all the standing charges for all tariffs for all the energy suppliers?
    Last edited by JerryFr; 19-05-2017 at 10:13 AM.
Page 1
    • gsmlnx
    • By gsmlnx 18th May 17, 7:44 PM
    • 606 Posts
    • 494 Thanks
    gsmlnx
    • #2
    • 18th May 17, 7:44 PM
    • #2
    • 18th May 17, 7:44 PM
    No.
    What is important is the total annual cost of actual energy used and the yearly standing charge. Which is exactly what comparison sites show if you input your annual usage in kWh's
    • macman
    • By macman 19th May 17, 10:05 AM
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    macman
    • #3
    • 19th May 17, 10:05 AM
    • #3
    • 19th May 17, 10:05 AM
    As above, it's irrelevant because there are too many other variables than just SC's and unit rates. The comp sites take into account all these factors for you-you just need your annual usage and postcode.
    If you are a low user seeking an NSC tariff, then Ebico is really your only option.
    No free lunch, and no free laptop
    • footyguy
    • By footyguy 19th May 17, 11:14 AM
    • 3,383 Posts
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    footyguy
    • #4
    • 19th May 17, 11:14 AM
    • #4
    • 19th May 17, 11:14 AM
    I am looking to switch energy supplier as my fixed price tariff ends.
    I found wide variations in standing charges, from 8 pence/day to 80 pence/day - is there any data source that shows all the standing charges for all tariffs for all the energy suppliers?
    Originally posted by JerryFr
    Yes, a comparison site usually gives the full details of any tariff, including the daily standing charge
    • footyguy
    • By footyguy 19th May 17, 11:21 AM
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    footyguy
    • #5
    • 19th May 17, 11:21 AM
    • #5
    • 19th May 17, 11:21 AM
    ...
    If you are a low user seeking an NSC tariff, then Ebico is really your only option.
    Originally posted by macman
    That's odd, because when I invoke the 'No Standing Charge' filter on the CEC for me, it throws up a couple of traiffs from Solarplicity for dual fuel, and they are considerably chaeper than Ebico.

    They also do gas and electricity seperately.

    Also Green Energy comes up for electricity only

    Is the CEC incorrect in this ???
    I looked at the tariff details and that confirms there is no standing charge (according to the CEC)

    Btw, I wouldn't suggest anyone does invoke the 'No Standing Charge' filter when doing a comparison - if a tariff offering a no standing charge is cheapest, it will be at the top of the list

    Edit: Utilita sort of offer a zero standing charge tariff too.
    But what they effectively do is add the the an equivilent amount to the first kWh used per day
    e.g. for gas, the first kWh will cost say 30p, and all the rest about 3p each
    But at least if you use nothing, you pay nothing. Otherwise it's not really worth considering. But unless you do use nothing, a zero standing charge tariff may not be the best option for you anyway, as I indicated earlier
    Last edited by footyguy; 19-05-2017 at 11:41 AM.
    • JerryFr
    • By JerryFr 19th May 17, 11:36 AM
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    JerryFr
    • #6
    • 19th May 17, 11:36 AM
    hidden in the tariff description
    • #6
    • 19th May 17, 11:36 AM
    I know the comparison sites will either estimate or use real annual usage, then find the cheapest options.
    But with a given annual usage, a new tariff with a low standing charge would cost more if usage increases, conversely a new tariff with a higher standing charge (with a lower kWh cost) would exhibit a lower cost increase.
    I would be looking for a low standing charge and then make lifestyle changes to reduce my usage, hence wanting to see standing charge comparisons clearly (not hidden in the tariff description).
    • footyguy
    • By footyguy 19th May 17, 12:05 PM
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    footyguy
    • #7
    • 19th May 17, 12:05 PM
    • #7
    • 19th May 17, 12:05 PM
    I know the comparison sites will either estimate or use real annual usage, then find the cheapest options.
    But with a given annual usage, a new tariff with a low standing charge would cost more if usage increases, conversely a new tariff with a higher standing charge (with a lower kWh cost) would exhibit a lower cost increase.
    I would be looking for a low standing charge and then make lifestyle changes to reduce my usage, hence wanting to see standing charge comparisons clearly (not hidden in the tariff description).
    Originally posted by JerryFr
    As I indicated earlier, consult a comparison site to find the best deal for you.
    Use your lastest anticipated annual consumption figures for such a comparison.

    Good luck!
    • molerat
    • By molerat 19th May 17, 2:21 PM
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    molerat
    • #8
    • 19th May 17, 2:21 PM
    • #8
    • 19th May 17, 2:21 PM
    I know the comparison sites will either estimate or use real annual usage, then find the cheapest options.
    But with a given annual usage, a new tariff with a low standing charge would cost more if usage increases, conversely a new tariff with a higher standing charge (with a lower kWh cost) would exhibit a lower cost increase.
    I would be looking for a low standing charge and then make lifestyle changes to reduce my usage, hence wanting to see standing charge comparisons clearly (not hidden in the tariff description).
    Originally posted by JerryFr
    It is hardly "hidden", it is clearly shown. The majority of consumers do not want or need this information to be headline news. You can also do a comparison using high and low consumption figures and see what that throws up.
    Last edited by molerat; 19-05-2017 at 2:23 PM.
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    • JerryFr
    • By JerryFr 19th May 17, 3:45 PM
    • 5 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    JerryFr
    • #9
    • 19th May 17, 3:45 PM
    • #9
    • 19th May 17, 3:45 PM
    When I say hidden, one has to click tariff details to find it
    • Joyful
    • By Joyful 19th May 17, 7:39 PM
    • 2,175 Posts
    • 1,122 Thanks
    Joyful
    All suppliers must now give you a Tariff Comparison rate ( TCR). It's supposed to make it easy to see the charges. It adds unit charge, and discounts and standing charge all together and then gives 1 rate. It is based on industry standard usage but if you look for that it can help.
    I am an employee of British Gas.The views expressed on this post are mine and do not necessarily reflect the views of Centrica, its subsidiaries or affiliated companies.
    • EachPenny
    • By EachPenny 20th May 17, 11:04 AM
    • 1,366 Posts
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    EachPenny
    I can see both sides to this discussion - the comparison sites will give you the cheapest overall options, but to get there you generally have to enter a lot of details (not always relevant to the enquiry) which some people are reluctant to do, especially if they feel it will result in junk mail and spam.

    Some people (like me) prefer to use a spreadsheet to keep track of the best deal because some of the assumptions made in the comparison sites don't fit with my personal circumstances.

    It would be useful to some people to have a maintained list of zero or low standing charge tariffs - for example the poster the other day who was considering having her supply cut off because she was unaware zero standing charge tariffs existed. But the number of people who would benefit from this would be relatively small.

    A parallel example would be the maintained lists of accounts on the savings and investments board. If you are looking for a specific type of account you can check there to see what the market is currently offering. Picking an account from one of the lists might not give you the best return on your money, but the lists do bring together details of the interest rates from the market and helps to inform choice.

    That might be the answer to your question JerryFr, as there appears to be no single source of data, perhaps you could start one on here and see whether it takes off? It would be more complicated than the ones on the savings board though because the tariff prices vary between supply regions.

    At the very least a maintained list of tariffs which have zero standing charge, or perhaps less than 5p per day, would be useful to some people - and may perhaps encourage consumers currently paying high standing charges on low consumption to actually take the next step and do a full price comparison.

    There's nothing like finding you are paying 20p per day for something others are paying 0p per day for to trigger the urge to compare prices... even if it turns out the 20p per day package is still the cheapest option.
    "In the future, everyone will be rich for 15 minutes"
    • molerat
    • By molerat 20th May 17, 1:10 PM
    • 16,604 Posts
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    molerat
    All suppliers must now give you a Tariff Comparison rate ( TCR). It's supposed to make it easy to see the charges. It adds unit charge, and discounts and standing charge all together and then gives 1 rate. It is based on industry standard usage but if you look for that it can help.
    Originally posted by Joyful
    But that is, in most cases, a meaningless number. The "UK average consumer" TCR is at best misleading, at worst dishonest. Obviously dreamed up by someone with a poor grasp of numbers. Individual TCRs can be wildly different and completely change the order of tariffs. CEC though does give the TCR based on individual use.
    Last edited by molerat; 20-05-2017 at 1:13 PM.
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    • Xbigman
    • By Xbigman 20th May 17, 6:35 PM
    • 2,894 Posts
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    Xbigman
    Obviously dreamed up by someone with a poor grasp of numbers.
    Originally posted by molerat
    Why not just say "Daily mail" and be done with it?



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    • redux
    • By redux 20th May 17, 9:15 PM
    • 16,836 Posts
    • 21,023 Thanks
    redux
    I know the comparison sites will either estimate or use real annual usage, then find the cheapest options.
    But with a given annual usage, a new tariff with a low standing charge would cost more if usage increases, conversely a new tariff with a higher standing charge (with a lower kWh cost) would exhibit a lower cost increase.
    I would be looking for a low standing charge and then make lifestyle changes to reduce my usage, hence wanting to see standing charge comparisons clearly (not hidden in the tariff description).
    Originally posted by JerryFr
    I think you have a point.

    I've decided to go for the low standing charge high unit charge for the summer, then look at high standing charge with cheaper units for the winter.

    If the same spread of tariffs continues, this might save £60 to £80 a year.
    • EachPenny
    • By EachPenny 20th May 17, 11:13 PM
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    EachPenny
    I've decided to go for the low standing charge high unit charge for the summer, then look at high standing charge with cheaper units for the winter.
    Originally posted by redux
    This is the kind of issue I have with the comparison sites - most of my gas consumption is in three or four months of the year, with a good proportion of that in only two months.

    The comparison sites seem to spread the annual consumption over the whole year, and crucially, assume you'll stay with the same supplier for the whole year.

    Because my consumption is so low I get a zero SC tariff coming up as the cheapest option, when in reality the very cheapest option would involve switching to a lower unit rate tariff at some point late autumn, and then switching back again in the spring. I'm not sure how happy the energy companies would be if lots of people were advised by comparison sites to switch in that way.

    One of the very few benefits of smart meters is that they could be used to build up a profile of household energy use to identify more complex switching patterns than the current comparison sites are able to. I know my profile because I regularly read my meters and add the data to my model, but few people have the time or interest required to do that. Smart metering makes it feasible for mass use.

    So the switching sites of the future could perhaps tell you to use supplier A for electricity, supplier B for gas until October, and then switch to supplier C for gas and electric from October until April. Or maybe just cut out the human being altogether and allow the smart meter to pick the energy supplier for the next week based on its own predictions and calculations
    "In the future, everyone will be rich for 15 minutes"
    • redux
    • By redux 20th May 17, 11:32 PM
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    redux
    You could bodge the comparison by alternately understating and overstating your use.
    • phillw
    • By phillw 21st May 17, 3:40 PM
    • 611 Posts
    • 270 Thanks
    phillw
    If the same spread of tariffs continues, this might save £60 to £80 a year.
    Originally posted by redux
    You'll be excluding any tariffs that have exit fees though & probably also exclude getting any cashback.

    It's a pity none of the comparison sites allow you to enter a +% and -% and give those in the results as well, so you can see what will happen for all the results if you manage to reduce your usage or what happens if it increases it. Sometimes there will be a couple of results at the top of the list that are identical/very close and one is likely better for increases and the other better for decreases.
    Last edited by phillw; 21-05-2017 at 3:43 PM.
    • molerat
    • By molerat 21st May 17, 4:42 PM
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    molerat
    You could bodge the comparison by alternately understating and overstating your use.
    Originally posted by redux
    Hard work on many comparison sites as you need to go back to the start but fairly easy on CEC, right click and open in new tab on "back to my account", edit kWh then get new quote. Just had 3 different usage quotes open at once.
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    • matelodave
    • By matelodave 21st May 17, 4:51 PM
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    matelodave
    It's not ever so hard to try out a comparison site with a low, medium or high consumption say 8,000 kwh, 12,000kwh or 16,000kwh (or any other number that you care to try). You can do the same for leccy as well.

    I've thought about swapping about, summer & winter but the savings wouldn't really make the hassle worth it. I've got better things to do with my time.
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    • ASavvyBuyer
    • By ASavvyBuyer 21st May 17, 6:27 PM
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    ASavvyBuyer
    I've thought about swapping about, summer & winter but the savings wouldn't really make the hassle worth it. I've got better things to do with my time.
    Originally posted by matelodave
    Tried the same doing comparisons a few months ago to see if it was worth it; but difference was only about £10 a year; so as you say, not worth the hassle, and it cuts out the deals that have exit fees that are higher than the difference.
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