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  • FIRST POST
    • JonLea
    • By JonLea 16th Jul 17, 7:13 PM
    • 2Posts
    • 0Thanks
    JonLea
    EBICO prepayment Electricity supply
    • #1
    • 16th Jul 17, 7:13 PM
    EBICO prepayment Electricity supply 16th Jul 17 at 7:13 PM
    My wife and I own a flat which we are renovating (gradually). We work on the flat every other weekend, and as a result use only a sparing amount of electricity.

    When we bought the flat it was fitted with a prepayment meter, and we have elected to stay on a prepayment tariff as this suits our future plans for the flat.

    We swapped to EBICO's zero atanding charge prepayment tariff some months ago, and thought we had found a tariff which really suited our needs. . . . until they elected to part company with SSE. SSE have written to us saying that we will be transferred to their standard prepayemtn tariff, under a "deemed contract", which will more than triple our annual electricity costs.

    Our existing tariff expires late August. I can't find any alternative tariff which is as good for us as the EBICO one we are being forced out of. There are other zero standing charge tariffs, but they have significantly higher unit costs.

    What I am considering is to add a substantial amount of credit to the meter towards the end of our existing tariff period (I understand most prepayment meters can hold around £250 credit) which I plan to continue to use after the EBICO tariff ceases and gets transferred to SSE. My idea then is that this gives us a fixed tariff until this credit runs out as long as we don't insert our SSE Payment Key into the meter.

    Are there any pitfalls in this which will cause this strategy to fail?
Page 1
    • trickytree1963
    • By trickytree1963 16th Jul 17, 10:31 PM
    • 86 Posts
    • 43 Thanks
    trickytree1963
    • #2
    • 16th Jul 17, 10:31 PM
    • #2
    • 16th Jul 17, 10:31 PM
    Ebico ended their Zero SC for PAYG back In February 2017, you didn't switch to RHE/Ebico when they ended their supply arrangement with SSE in March 2017 so your PAYG has been with SSE for a while. I cant see how your plan will work as SSE will deduct the Daily standing charge from August. If you are using a sparing amount of electricity why not switch to a PAYG supplier with a Zero SC?

    As an alternative why not ask if SSE will install a credit meter? Then if they do , switch to a Zero SC Credit Tariff?
    • footyguy
    • By footyguy 17th Jul 17, 10:24 AM
    • 3,468 Posts
    • 1,368 Thanks
    footyguy
    • #3
    • 17th Jul 17, 10:24 AM
    • #3
    • 17th Jul 17, 10:24 AM
    ... If you are using a sparing amount of electricity why not switch to a PAYG supplier with a Zero SC? ...
    Originally posted by trickytree1963
    I don't think there are any.

    Following the introduction of capped tariffs, it is no longer financially viable to offer zero SC tariffs for PPM customers. That is why Ebico had to stop, and presumably why SSE are now pulling the plug.
    • Globtrot4
    • By Globtrot4 17th Jul 17, 11:04 AM
    • 5 Posts
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    Globtrot4
    • #4
    • 17th Jul 17, 11:04 AM
    EquiGas and Equipower tariff
    • #4
    • 17th Jul 17, 11:04 AM
    I also understand this issue because my Utility arrangement with Ebico was also turned upside down by the arrival of a letter from SSE stating that the partnership was coming to an end on 21 August, (give or take a few days )
    The letter outlined that a new cost projection beginning on 21 August based on my current annual usage to be supplied by SSE as being £201.52 more expensive for my gas and electricity each year.
    Despite a price cap set by OFGEM earlier this year, the supplier SSE has cunningly (in my own view) managed to recoup customers, by transferring all remaining existing EBICO customers who did not sign up for the Robin Hood tariff to their own Higher and excessive SSE prepayment tariff.
    The SSE STANDING CHARGE OF 30.28 PENCE PER DAY is the exact same excessive tariff that I had originally joined Ebico to avoid paying.
    The best alternative for electricity supply I can find for my own purposes using the MSE Energy Club comparison tool is with Spark Energy at an extra cost of around £48.00 per year in the main due to a daily standing charge of 14.70 pence per day. (half the SSE rate).

    In my particular area the Spark Protected (until June 2018) it has a Pay as you go Unit rate of 15.43 pence per kWh and a Standing charge of 14.70 pence per day

    I find it ironic that I am using the MSE comparison tool to find the lowest additional cost that I shall pay as opposed to finding a cheaper tariff.
    Having said that I do accept that according to current published tariffs available there is no similar priced pre-payment tariff with a zero daily standing charge that I can switch across to.
    • footyguy
    • By footyguy 17th Jul 17, 11:29 AM
    • 3,468 Posts
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    footyguy
    • #5
    • 17th Jul 17, 11:29 AM
    • #5
    • 17th Jul 17, 11:29 AM
    I also understand this issue because my Utility arrangement with Ebico was also turned upside down by the arrival of a letter from SSE stating that the partnership was coming to an end on 21 August, (give or take a few days )
    ....
    Originally posted by Globtrot4
    Wecome to MSE!

    Surely you were first made aware way back in March when Ebico informed their then customers that

    SSE has closed Equigas/Equipower to new sales and tariff will be coming to an end...
    So you've been on borrowed time since if you failed to heed that and further advice given then by Ebico all those months ago.
    • SpotlandRules
    • By SpotlandRules 17th Jul 17, 1:05 PM
    • 102 Posts
    • 37 Thanks
    SpotlandRules
    • #6
    • 17th Jul 17, 1:05 PM
    • #6
    • 17th Jul 17, 1:05 PM
    Not that I like them, as they have a two tier system, but Utilita are PP and also have no standing charge.
    • Globtrot4
    • By Globtrot4 17th Jul 17, 4:18 PM
    • 5 Posts
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    Globtrot4
    • #7
    • 17th Jul 17, 4:18 PM
    EquiGas and Equipower Tariff
    • #7
    • 17th Jul 17, 4:18 PM
    I wish it had been as straight forward as you suggest.
    A contradictory letter had been produced 6 months ago both by Ebico and SSE.
    The final letter dated 10 July 2017 is the first letter which stated categorically that my energy account was moving to the SSE Standard Tariff.
    Whilst Ebico did send out a letter notifying customers about the new Robin Hood tariff, they did also indicate the existing tariff would be in force for the forseeable future. A quick check revealed that the tariff I had signed up for was originally intended to be valid until December 2017. I decided that it was therefore better to wait and stay with the current tariff for as long as it was in force. Thus, the result being that I will have saved money each month for what you might well classify as being an extended 6 month period.
    Now that SSE have written an official letter of notification the time arrived to use the MSE Energy club tool comparison.
    Although I may well have been on borrowed time as you put it. Back 6 months ago Ebico at that particular time were not in a position to anticipate the pricing strategy that SSE would finally adopt. No indeed were SSE themselves.
    I am happy to have benefited a while longer from an exceptional Ebico pricing tariff and have now put in place and arranged in advance for a switch over to 2 separate utility suppliers with lower pricing prior to the implementation of the higher SSE tariff.
    • JonLea
    • By JonLea 17th Jul 17, 5:26 PM
    • 2 Posts
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    JonLea
    • #8
    • 17th Jul 17, 5:26 PM
    How does a prepayment meter get tariff updates
    • #8
    • 17th Jul 17, 5:26 PM
    We were lead to believe that the tariff would continue, and anyway EBICO / RHE had no Zero Standing Charge tariff for prepayment meters on offer back in Feb 16. As I said in the original post, I want to keep the prepayment meter, at least for now. The crux of my question was for someone (who knows more than me) to confirm my suspicion that a (non smart) prepayment meter only gets new unit cost and standing charge data from downloaded data from a payment key, and that it happily lives of the previous credit until a new suppliers payment key gets inserted for the first time. Can anyone confirm this?
    • Globtrot4
    • By Globtrot4 17th Jul 17, 6:59 PM
    • 5 Posts
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    Globtrot4
    • #9
    • 17th Jul 17, 6:59 PM
    • #9
    • 17th Jul 17, 6:59 PM
    I would not advise you or anyone for that matter to do nothing. SSE has already stated that the move to the new tariff will happen automatically within their computerised system. On switchover day, you will know soon enough because the displays on the meter will always show you the rates you’re being charged.
    Even if your suspicion were to be correct, If you continued not to remove the key or card to top up after the increased tariff rate with a daily standing charge took effect, SSE will most very likely realise the anomaly after an initial period of time and then proceed to deduct any amount owed for the difference directly from the meter.
    • EachPenny
    • By EachPenny 17th Jul 17, 9:45 PM
    • 1,668 Posts
    • 2,018 Thanks
    EachPenny
    I also understand this issue because my Utility arrangement with Ebico was also turned upside down by the arrival of a letter from SSE stating that the partnership was coming to an end on 21 August, (give or take a few days )

    ...by transferring all remaining existing EBICO customers who did not sign up for the Robin Hood tariff to their own Higher and excessive SSE prepayment tariff.
    Originally posted by Globtrot4
    There is no partnership between Ebico and SSE, it ended back in March. Customers had the choice of joining Ebico/RHE or else becoming a 'full' SSE customer with no further involvement of Ebico in the relationship between the customer and SSE.

    If any former Ebico customers hadn't signed up to the Ebico/RHE arrangement then they ceased being Ebico customers back in March. There are no longer any 'existing' Ebico customers being supplied by SSE. SSE are supplying some ex-Ebico customers.

    I wish it had been as straight forward as you suggest.
    Originally posted by Globtrot4
    We all wish it had been more straightforward, but the situation is as footyguy stated.

    A contradictory letter had been produced 6 months ago both by Ebico and SSE.
    The final letter dated 10 July 2017 is the first letter which stated categorically that my energy account was moving to the SSE Standard Tariff.
    Whilst Ebico did send out a letter notifying customers about the new Robin Hood tariff, they did also indicate the existing tariff would be in force for the forseeable future. A quick check revealed that the tariff I had signed up for was originally intended to be valid until December 2017. I decided that it was therefore better to wait and stay with the current tariff for as long as it was in force. Thus, the result being that I will have saved money each month for what you might well classify as being an extended 6 month period.
    Now that SSE have written an official letter of notification the time arrived to use the MSE Energy club tool comparison.
    Although I may well have been on borrowed time as you put it. Back 6 months ago Ebico at that particular time were not in a position to anticipate the pricing strategy that SSE would finally adopt. No indeed were SSE themselves.
    I am happy to have benefited a while longer from an exceptional Ebico pricing tariff and have now put in place and arranged in advance for a switch over to 2 separate utility suppliers with lower pricing prior to the implementation of the higher SSE tariff.
    Originally posted by Globtrot4
    It actually sounds like you were sent entirely different letters to other customers. The only promise made in relation to December 2017 was the new Ebico/RHE arrangement fixing reduced standard prices until then.

    The old Ebico/SSE tariff became the responsibility of SSE - Ebico made no promises in relation to that (how could they, as they aren't the supplier) and any promises made in relation to the old tariff (affecting customers like yourself) would have been made by SSE.
    "In the future, everyone will be rich for 15 minutes"
    • Xbigman
    • By Xbigman 17th Jul 17, 11:10 PM
    • 2,904 Posts
    • 1,166 Thanks
    Xbigman
    As far as I am aware if you buy credit for a prepayment meter it is just that, an amount of money in credit. It is not a guarantee of a tariff. Once a new tariff starts you are on that tariff. When the energy company eventually reads the meter they will work back the bill to the date the tariff started and charge you accordingly.



    Darren
    Xbigman's guide to a happy life.

    Eat properly
    Sleep properly
    Save some money
    • Cardew
    • By Cardew 18th Jul 17, 8:42 AM
    • 26,716 Posts
    • 12,920 Thanks
    Cardew
    As far as I am aware if you buy credit for a prepayment meter it is just that, an amount of money in credit. It is not a guarantee of a tariff. Once a new tariff starts you are on that tariff. When the energy company eventually reads the meter they will work back the bill to the date the tariff started and charge you accordingly.



    Darren
    Originally posted by Xbigman
    I think you are correct about the 'legality' of the issue. Many of us with credit meters are well in credit at the time of a tariff price rise and an estimated meter reading is used to start the new unit price, and the date determines any change in the daily standing charge.

    However my gut feeling is that the OP's ruse will work as such an unusual situation(huge credit) will not be catered for by the software, and they rarely resort to 'manual' calculation of accounts.
    • mac.d
    • By mac.d 18th Jul 17, 9:50 AM
    • 442 Posts
    • 348 Thanks
    mac.d
    If you load up credit on the meter, when you do finally insert the key, won't it then calculate the backdated standing charge from the date of the change and deduct it, so that all you are doing is delaying it?
    • Globtrot4
    • By Globtrot4 18th Jul 17, 10:59 AM
    • 5 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Globtrot4
    Low usage, no standing charge, PAYG tariff
    I had originally written above in my first post on this thread it was my intention to Switch to the Spark Protected tariff (until June 2018) it has a Pay as you go Unit rate of 15.43 pence per kWh and a Standing charge of 14.70 pence per day applicable for my particular region / area of the country.
    Turns out that Spark Energy cannot switch me across because quote 'i have the wrong type of PAYG meter'. This is a blessing in disguise because:

    LOW USAGE PAYG TARIFF
    I have therefore now decided to make the switch to eversmart energy.
    Based on their low usage, no standing charge, PAYG tariff at 15.44 pence per Kwh applicable to my particular region / area. This is the nearest unit price that i found to the one that I presently use. It also suits my need to avoid paying a daily standing charge.
    • Cardew
    • By Cardew 18th Jul 17, 11:13 AM
    • 26,716 Posts
    • 12,920 Thanks
    Cardew

    LOW USAGE PAYG TARIFF
    I have therefore now decided to make the switch to eversmart energy.
    Based on their low usage, no standing charge, PAYG tariff at 15.44 pence per Kwh applicable to my particular region / area. This is the nearest unit price that i found to the one that I presently use. It also suits my need to avoid paying a daily standing charge.
    Originally posted by Globtrot4
    Given the new regulations for PAYG tariffs, if lots follow your example, I wonder how long before Eversmart Energy withdraw this PAYG tariff and start charging a Daily Standing Charge.(DSC)

    As Ebico are a non-profit organisation, and took pride in giving the same unit rate with no DSC, regardless of payment method, I can't help thinking they must have a good reason for withdrawing the no DSC for PAYG.
    • Globtrot4
    • By Globtrot4 18th Jul 17, 11:55 AM
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    Globtrot4
    The topic within this particular thread started because there is a section of the general public who use a low amount of electricity, whether it be for reasons of a gradual renovation of a house or travel away from home for extensive periods of time or a host of other reasons. Hence a tariff with no standing charge is ideal.
    Eversmart Energy offer this type of tariff only for those who have an annual low usage of Kwh. They also feature a range of other tariffs in their portfolio for average to higher usage that does have a daily standing charge.
    How long a particular tariff can like this can remain in place for those of us who do sign up is anybody's guess.
    • Xbigman
    • By Xbigman 18th Jul 17, 1:15 PM
    • 2,904 Posts
    • 1,166 Thanks
    Xbigman
    Surely Eversmart are governed by the same rules as everyone else and their no SC tariff is living on borrowed time.
    I think a more long term solution needs to be found.



    Darren
    Xbigman's guide to a happy life.

    Eat properly
    Sleep properly
    Save some money
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