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  • FIRST POST
    • MSE Jennifer
    • By MSE Jennifer 7th Jun 17, 2:03 PM
    • 3Posts
    • 5Thanks
    MSE Jennifer
    Help us make Cheap Energy Club better
    • #1
    • 7th Jun 17, 2:03 PM
    Help us make Cheap Energy Club better 7th Jun 17 at 2:03 PM
    Hi everyone!

    My name's Jennifer, and I work on our Cheap Energy Club (where we help our members make sure they’re always on the cheapest energy tariff). Our team is constantly working on the Club to make it quicker and easier to use, both for new and long-standing members. Here's a quick peek of the tool:



    So we want to ask you - what do you really think of Cheap Energy Club? And most importantly - what improvements and/or new features would you like to see?

    We'd love to hear how you think we could make comparing or switching your energy tariffs easier. And if you have any great ideas, you could even see them appear on the Club in the near future…

    If you haven't used Cheap Energy Club before, you can register here to compare energy tariffs and receive alerts when you can save more money.

    Thanks in advance for your help - we can't wait to hear your thoughts and ideas.
Page 1
    • molerat
    • By molerat 7th Jun 17, 3:19 PM
    • 17,109 Posts
    • 11,261 Thanks
    molerat
    • #2
    • 7th Jun 17, 3:19 PM
    • #2
    • 7th Jun 17, 3:19 PM
    The latest incarnation is the best so far and IMO better than most out there.

    Suggestions:
    A high / low / normal usage input to show how the different unit price and standing charges affect the overall comparison (but maybe only a few sad nerds would find it useful)
    % saving (as shown on EnergyHelpline)
    www.helpforheroes.org.uk/donations.html
    • tempus_fugit
    • By tempus_fugit 7th Jun 17, 3:36 PM
    • 222 Posts
    • 231 Thanks
    tempus_fugit
    • #3
    • 7th Jun 17, 3:36 PM
    • #3
    • 7th Jun 17, 3:36 PM
    Well, it's a lot better than uswitcch anyway.
    • SnowMan
    • By SnowMan 7th Jun 17, 4:17 PM
    • 3,124 Posts
    • 5,787 Thanks
    SnowMan
    • #4
    • 7th Jun 17, 4:17 PM
    • #4
    • 7th Jun 17, 4:17 PM
    With some of the recent changes I find the Cheap Energy Club very good indeed at the moment. So I'm happy with the Cheap Energy Club as it is.

    The real strength over most other comparison sites is the ability to have a an account storing your postcode, existing tariff and usage figures, which makes doing a new comparison super quick.

    A few blue sky thoughts as you ask:

    Being able to limit the search to new tariffs added in the past month (say) would be good. Quite often you've been in done a comparison fairly recently but come back to see if there are any new tariffs that have come out and are only interested in them.

    A search by fixed rate term would be useful. For example it can be useful to search for say fixed rate tariffs of at least 2 (say) years.

    Quite a few geeky things I could suggest:

    For example you could have a tool to be able to enter monthly usage figures for gas and electricity and then through a graph be able to compare say 2 chosen tariffs based on their cumulative costs over time (e.g. 12 months). This can be useful if you are comparing two similar costing tariffs on a 12 month basis, where the apportionment of cost between standing charge and unit price differs and so the cost varies between summer and winter months.

    If an existing tariff is one of the two tariffs in the comparison such a tool can also identify when over the next 12 months the saving arises. For example if you are considering switching from a fixed rate tariff with no exit fee and just a summer period remains to the tariff end, then the existing comparison which will be based on a too high year average usage figure, isn't going to necessarily tell you whether to switch now or when the fixed tariff ends. Obviously you can go back in and change your annual usage figure to your summer usage to check this, and then revert back to your real annual usage, but that's a bit of a faff.

    Obviously this would need to be a tool rather than a standard feature (because it overcomplicates for the average user) but it would still make a nice tool.
    Last edited by SnowMan; 07-06-2017 at 4:29 PM.
    I came, I saw, I melted
    • AFK_Matrix
    • By AFK_Matrix 7th Jun 17, 4:20 PM
    • 661 Posts
    • 798 Thanks
    AFK_Matrix
    • #5
    • 7th Jun 17, 4:20 PM
    • #5
    • 7th Jun 17, 4:20 PM
    I second a tool for working out the yearly/monthly cost of a tarrif. So if I put in that I used 1000 units of Gas and 1000 of Electricity it would then calulate the tarrif cost based on the Standing Charge and unit rates.
    • molerat
    • By molerat 7th Jun 17, 7:31 PM
    • 17,109 Posts
    • 11,261 Thanks
    molerat
    • #6
    • 7th Jun 17, 7:31 PM
    • #6
    • 7th Jun 17, 7:31 PM
    I second a tool for working out the yearly/monthly cost of a tarrif. So if I put in that I used 1000 units of Gas and 1000 of Electricity it would then calulate the tarrif cost based on the Standing Charge and unit rates.
    Originally posted by AFK_Matrix
    That is exactly what it already does.
    www.helpforheroes.org.uk/donations.html
    • footyguy
    • By footyguy 7th Jun 17, 8:01 PM
    • 3,690 Posts
    • 1,470 Thanks
    footyguy
    • #7
    • 7th Jun 17, 8:01 PM
    • #7
    • 7th Jun 17, 8:01 PM
    Perhaps find a way to alert customers who are looking at dual fuel comparisons that they can save even more money by opting for seperate suppliers ... but only when this is true, which currently is quite frequently.
    • ladyday
    • By ladyday 8th Jun 17, 12:16 PM
    • 68 Posts
    • 43 Thanks
    ladyday
    • #8
    • 8th Jun 17, 12:16 PM
    • #8
    • 8th Jun 17, 12:16 PM
    It would be a great help to persuade my elderly relatives to switch if we could choose the payment method of 'variable monthly direct debit'.


    • phillw
    • By phillw 8th Jun 17, 1:32 PM
    • 845 Posts
    • 467 Thanks
    phillw
    • #9
    • 8th Jun 17, 1:32 PM
    • #9
    • 8th Jun 17, 1:32 PM
    Perhaps find a way to alert customers who are looking at dual fuel comparisons that they can save even more money by opting for seperate suppliers ... but only when this is true, which currently is quite frequently.
    Originally posted by footyguy
    Yeah, having to select between Dual fuel/Gas Only/Electricity Only and doing the maths ourselves is a pain. To the point where I doubt many people do it.

    Also some way of seeing how two very similar tariffs would change if your usage increased or decreased by a %. As the last time I switched the top 2 tariffs were wildly different in standing order and unit price but they worked out roughly the same for my last years energy usage.

    I know some people try to switch suppliers twice a year to take advantage of the high/low usage in winter/summer. That becomes a bit more complex, because you can't guarantee what will be available in 6 months, but you could add an option for calculating prices for less than 6 months. It would need to include any exit fees.

    It would be nice if the "how much to save before emailing you" could automatically add in any exit fees from the tariff (I'm assuming it doesn't do this already).
    Last edited by phillw; 08-06-2017 at 1:44 PM.
    • MSE Jennifer
    • By MSE Jennifer 8th Jun 17, 2:05 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    MSE Jennifer
    Wow - thank you so much for your responses so far, this has already surfaced some fantastic ideas for the team to look into!

    And as for the 'nerdy' or 'geeky' ideas (your words SnowMan and molerat ), please keep them coming. We're all energy nerds on the CEC team

    I'm also delighted to hear your positive feedback - it's great to know that the improvements we're making are having an impact. Thanks again everyone, I'm looking forward to hearing more of your thoughts!
    • tstockford
    • By tstockford 15th Jul 17, 9:38 PM
    • 14 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    tstockford
    I agree with footyguy about making it easier to compare dual fuel with separate suppliers. Maybe it could work a bit like buying train tickets as two singles, where you choose your preferred outward and return trains and see the total cost for different combinations, and compare it with the price of a return ticket.

    I'm on separate gas and electricity tariffs, so I'd like to be notified if there's a better deal for either of them. At the moment you can only select dual fuel, gas or electricity in the filters.

    Similarly, you could make it easier to compare Economy 7 with standard tariffs, and add a filter for suppliers that are happy to add together the day and night readings without changing the meter.

    At the moment I have to run two separate comparisons and compare the annual costs myself. Every time I toggle the 'Do you have an Economy 7 meter?' setting, the form resets the name of my current tariff! And then the savings it shows are based on the meter type I'm comparing, rather than on my actual current tariff type. So it would be much less effort if I could leave it set to Economy 7 meter, but then have a separate setting for whether I'm currently billed on an Economy 7 or standard tariff, which would be used to calculate my results.
    • movingon
    • By movingon 16th Jul 17, 12:53 PM
    • 322 Posts
    • 185 Thanks
    movingon
    I would also like a filter for different terms of fixed contract.
    • footyguy
    • By footyguy 17th Jul 17, 10:55 AM
    • 3,690 Posts
    • 1,470 Thanks
    footyguy
    Making tariff data from suppliers and specific tariffs accurate.

    My family rely on CEC for reliable energy price comparisons. For example, my mother's just switched supplier and she updated her details on her CEC account to reflect the new tariff and supplier she's with.

    Because the unit rate for Electric is inaccurate for that tariff on CEC, it's now showing she's paying £8 per month more than she actually is. And she can no longer rely on CEC for an accurate comparison of the market going forward.

    She's emailed CEC about it and is awaiting a response. We're hopeful it will be rectified accordingly.

    It's not just CEC that has attention to details issues. I've just had the same with USwitch. They didn't even have my new supplier's tariff listed when I went to update my details with them upon switching recently. I called them up to get them to add the details and they couldn't get that right. And they've even posted the tariff twice differently, so I can't rely on them now either.

    So the point is, attention to detail is paramount and being quick and open to correct things accordingly and correctly is what I'd like to feed back.
    Originally posted by jimroy
    I'm sure MSE/MSM try their best to ensure all data is always accurate, but with the myriad of tariffs/suppliers/formats, I can appreciate the odd mistake may occur. We are all human.It benefits no one to indicate the wrong data.

    If you spot an odd error, then you did the right thing to contact the errant site with the evidence you have to the contrary.

    Btw, if two independent sites (such as MSM and uSwitch) both have the same data, then it would be wise to double check your own information first
    Last edited by footyguy; 17-07-2017 at 11:00 AM.
    • jimroy
    • By jimroy 17th Jul 17, 11:26 AM
    • 20 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    jimroy
    Thanks. The data isn't the same on both sites. And I have checked and double checked my own data.
    I may take it up with them by email.
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