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  • FIRST POST
    • MSE Callum
    • By MSE Callum 1st Sep 17, 5:36 PM
    • 71Posts
    • 32Thanks
    MSE Callum
    MSE News: Millions on standard variable tariffs for over three years
    • #1
    • 1st Sep 17, 5:36 PM
    MSE News: Millions on standard variable tariffs for over three years 1st Sep 17 at 5:36 PM
    More than a third of UK customers have been overpaying for their gas and electricity on a standard variable tariff for at least three years, it has emerged...
    Read the full story:
    'Millions on standard variable tariff for over three years'

    Click reply below to discuss. If you haven’t already, join the forum to reply.
    Last edited by MSE Luke; 04-09-2017 at 11:31 AM.
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Page 2
    • A Flock Of Sheep
    • By A Flock Of Sheep 4th Sep 17, 1:37 PM
    • 4,796 Posts
    • 6,120 Thanks
    A Flock Of Sheep
    I've been with Npower for several years now and never actually had a problem with them, save for them failing to understand that I know my projected energy consumption better than they do and their stubborn interference sometimes in wanting to alter my direct debit downward when in fact if it just remains the same every month, it will work out exactly right. Trouble is, computer doesn't quite seem to get that! I had a refund of £30 the other week, which is just blind stupid because my winter bill will swallow that up. You just can't tell these people sometimes!

    But seriously, I personally have no intentions of shifting away from Npower. In June last year, I switched to their cheapest fixed rate tariff for two years. There is absolutely nothing at present, including the tiny independent companies, that can beat my current Npower dual fuel tariff. In one year alone, I switched tariffs with Npower at least 3 times when they kept offering up new cheaper tariffs. It didn't even cost me a penny in phone calls, just ten minutes of having a chat.

    As for swapping to other companies, well there'd have to be a really significant saving per year for me to bother. I'm not interested in switching to a small fly by night independent company offering up a tariff that is £20 cheaper per year than my current tariff. For me, I can suck up that little extra cost. Don't get me wrong, if when my current two year exceptionally low fix comes to an end and another of the big six has a cracking tariff, I'll happily kiss Npower goodnight and move.

    For many householders, there just simply isn't the will to bother sitting down and seeing how much they could save. It's like it's just not important. You'd think that the prospect of a potential saving of over a couple of hundred quid a year might be tempting, but some people just can't be bothered, it's that simple.
    Originally posted by Caddyman
    I am puzzled how this works. NPower comes nowhere near cheap or cheaper for me against Scottish Power's online fix. I have just checked and NPower will be approx £50 a year more expensive. NPower's standing charge is over 15p per day for a start against SP's 8p per day so how can NPower possibly be cheaper?
    • Cardew
    • By Cardew 4th Sep 17, 2:47 PM
    • 27,031 Posts
    • 13,157 Thanks
    Cardew
    I am puzzled how this works. NPower comes nowhere near cheap or cheaper for me against Scottish Power's online fix. I have just checked and NPower will be approx £50 a year more expensive. NPower's standing charge is over 15p per day for a start against SP's 8p per day so how can NPower possibly be cheaper?
    Originally posted by A Flock Of Sheep
    Caddyman's post indicated he switched to a 2 year fix in June 2016. Tariffs from 15 months ago will not be available now.
    • Caddyman
    • By Caddyman 4th Sep 17, 3:31 PM
    • 265 Posts
    • 156 Thanks
    Caddyman
    Caddyman's post indicated he switched to a 2 year fix in June 2016. Tariffs from 15 months ago will not be available now.
    Originally posted by Cardew
    Thank you for pointing that out. To be honest, I thought it was clear in my post.

    Indeed, Npower would no where near be the cheapest at the current tariff rates, hence why my foresight of fixing when I did, has proved very beneficial.

    Even if I wanted to leave now, which clearly I'd be incredibly stupid to do, I wouldn't even have to pay an exit fee.
    • Caddyman
    • By Caddyman 4th Sep 17, 3:56 PM
    • 265 Posts
    • 156 Thanks
    Caddyman
    I am puzzled how this works. NPower comes nowhere near cheap or cheaper for me against Scottish Power's online fix. I have just checked and NPower will be approx £50 a year more expensive. NPower's standing charge is over 15p per day for a start against SP's 8p per day so how can NPower possibly be cheaper?
    Originally posted by A Flock Of Sheep
    As per Cardew's explanation.

    I still check monthly the tariffs using the Moneysavingexpert Energy Club. Absolutely nothing over the last 8 months has come anywhere near my Npower tariff. At the time the two year fixed tariff I'm on came into play, I actually managed to convince 4 other households (family and friends also on Npower) to switch to the same Npower tariff at the same time. They've quite literally saved hundreds of £££££'s. To be honest, we're all dreading when the fix ends!

    My wife and I are also relatively low energy users. We live in a relative new build house (2002) with very well glazed windows and good all round insulation. Our heating is off completely, usually from the middle of April through to the end of October. Gas only being used to heat the hot water and the odd bit of cooking, as we eat mostly salads/cold meats during the summer months. Electricity, just standard evening TV and lighting and light tumble dryer use.

    One of the best things we did a few months back, was have HIVE from BG installed. We're not BG customers, just paid the one off fee to have it supplied fitted, £210 from Amazon and BG fitted it. We can schedule our water/heating whenever we like from anywhere in the world. Brilliant for when you're on holiday and want to switch everything back on the day before you get home. The convenience factor of it is excellent.

    Our combined dual fuel energy use, comes to around £670 a year, so we pay £56 monthly direct debit as things currently stand. This is in comparison to a close friend of ours living alone who lives in a 1912 built house and is currently on one of EON's tariffs. Our friend pays £92 a month.
    • phillw
    • By phillw 4th Sep 17, 6:22 PM
    • 945 Posts
    • 558 Thanks
    phillw
    Out of interest which providers do people on this thread use and which tariff are you on?
    Originally posted by A Flock Of Sheep
    IRESA Flex4 12 month Fixed, it's the joint cheapest for me on cheapenergyclub & it has no exit fee (the economy energy tariff has one).

    One of the best things we did a few months back, was have HIVE from BG installed. We're not BG customers, just paid the one off fee to have it supplied fitted, £210 from Amazon and BG fitted it. We can schedule our water/heating whenever we like from anywhere in the world. Brilliant for when you're on holiday and want to switch everything back on the day before you get home. The convenience factor of it is excellent.
    Originally posted by Caddyman
    I think I'll keep the £210, the heating is turned off and the hot water gets turned on when I need it. People going on holiday for a week could just leave the heating and hot water on, it would take years to make back the hive cost. At which point it will probably break
    Last edited by phillw; 04-09-2017 at 6:29 PM.
    • Caddyman
    • By Caddyman 4th Sep 17, 6:49 PM
    • 265 Posts
    • 156 Thanks
    Caddyman
    .....I think I'll keep the £210, the heating is turned off and the hot water gets turned on when I need it. People going on holiday for a week could just leave the heating and hot water on, it would take years to make back the hive cost. At which point it will probably break
    Originally posted by phillw
    In my defence, I've saved so much money by being fiscally savvy enough to fix at the right time, HIVE is merely a nice to have play thing!

    As for leaving the heating and water on when going away, personally, I wouldn't and I don't. I isolate the mains supply every time I go away. A very close relative of mine discovered after two weeks away, on his return, an upstairs cold tap water pipe had split and caused thousands of pounds worth of damage. It was heartbreaking and moreso because he wasn't insured...., even worse, he is on a water meter!
    • A Flock Of Sheep
    • By A Flock Of Sheep 4th Sep 17, 9:45 PM
    • 4,796 Posts
    • 6,120 Thanks
    A Flock Of Sheep
    In my defence, I've saved so much money by being fiscally savvy enough to fix at the right time, HIVE is merely a nice to have play thing!

    As for leaving the heating and water on when going away, personally, I wouldn't and I don't. I isolate the mains supply every time I go away. A very close relative of mine discovered after two weeks away, on his return, an upstairs cold tap water pipe had split and caused thousands of pounds worth of damage. It was heartbreaking and moreso because he wasn't insured...., even worse, he is on a water meter!
    Originally posted by Caddyman
    The SP Tariff I am on is fixed until January 2019 and is:

    8.22 p per day standing charge for gas and electric so that is about £60 a year for both standing charges.

    Then 3.558p per kwh for gas and 14.350p per kwh for Electricity. I use about 1800 kwh a year for electric and about 4,500 for gas.
    • A Flock Of Sheep
    • By A Flock Of Sheep 4th Sep 17, 9:53 PM
    • 4,796 Posts
    • 6,120 Thanks
    A Flock Of Sheep
    Do people still heat hot water in cylinders? Thought combi boilers were taking over from tha and people just heat the water they use.
    • Caddyman
    • By Caddyman 4th Sep 17, 10:51 PM
    • 265 Posts
    • 156 Thanks
    Caddyman
    Do people still heat hot water in cylinders? Thought combi boilers were taking over from tha and people just heat the water they use.
    Originally posted by A Flock Of Sheep
    I suspect, though I can obviously not be totally sure, that by far, the vast majority of households have a hot water cylinder in the airing cupboard.

    I imagine, that quite a lot of new development housing has gone combi boiler. Personally, I'm sticking with stored hot water. If I lose the GCH during the winter, I can at least still heat the hot water via immersion heater.

    A good friend of mine has just recently had their hot water cylinder replaced with a mains pressure tank. The water tanks in the loft have been removed. I quite like the idea myself. I'm not however in the fiscal mood for having a perfectly good working conventional boiler removed along with my hot water tank. It would cost me the best part of about 3 grand, and I've got better things to spend my money on.
    • Cardew
    • By Cardew 4th Sep 17, 11:44 PM
    • 27,031 Posts
    • 13,157 Thanks
    Cardew
    Do people still heat hot water in cylinders? Thought combi boilers were taking over from tha and people just heat the water they use.
    Originally posted by A Flock Of Sheep
    Over the years there have been countless threads on the merits/demerits of conventional HW systems(with tank) and Combi boilers.

    No point in rehearsing the arguments. However I, and many others, are firmly in favour of the conventional HW system. This is especially so if you have a pressurised HW tank that produces hot water at mains pressure; and at any temperature you require.
    • Caddyman
    • By Caddyman 4th Sep 17, 11:45 PM
    • 265 Posts
    • 156 Thanks
    Caddyman
    The SP Tariff I am on is fixed until January 2019 and is:

    8.22 p per day standing charge for gas and electric so that is about £60 a year for both standing charges.

    Then 3.558p per kwh for gas and 14.350p per kwh for Electricity. I use about 1800 kwh a year for electric and about 4,500 for gas.
    Originally posted by A Flock Of Sheep
    I've just compared my kwh useage for both gas and electric using Npower's excellent tracking App, put the figures into CheapEnergyClub and if I were to go onto Npower's SVT from the Feel Good Fix 2018 tariff I'm currently on tomorrow, my annual bill based on my regular useage, would increase by £310 per year! If that isn't a good enough incentive to ensure I keep on top of things when my current fix ends, I don't know what is!

    The cheapest tariff I could possibly move to if my current tariff ended tomorrow, would be with OneSelect energy company and I would be paying about £15 a year more than I'm currently paying.

    There are currently 14 independent energy companies that beat all of the big six tariffs based on my usage. The first of the big six energy companies that come in with the cheapest tariff based on today's tariff offerings, is my current supplier, Npower (30 Sept 2018 Online Fix) The difference between that tariff inclusive of their current cashback offer and the cheapest of the independent energy suppliers, is around £60 per year more than OneSelect. That's still not enough for me to risk swapping from Npower to a company I've never heard of. The only energy company out of all of the cheaper ones than my current provider is offering that I would definitely consider swapping to if my current tariff ended tomorrow, is Bristol Energy who are owned by Bristol City Council and their current 12 month fix is around £64 a year more than I currently pay.

    The other thing people need to get their head around as well, is with some of energy companies, you can't swap to them if your gas is supplied by an Independent Gas Transporter as ours is. Lots of newer housing developments come under IGT.
    • Hengus
    • By Hengus 5th Sep 17, 8:53 AM
    • 4,555 Posts
    • 2,721 Thanks
    Hengus

    The other thing people need to get their head around as well, is with some of energy companies, you can't swap to them if your gas is supplied by an Independent Gas Transporter as ours is. Lots of newer housing developments come under IGT.
    Originally posted by Caddyman
    Following the roll out of Project NEXUS earlier this year, most suppliers will now accept IGT transfers. Previously, it was a manual transfer process.

    The reason why the smaller suppliers are cheaper is two-fold: one, they tend not to pay referral fees and they do not offer WHD. Remember, anyone with £450 can apply to get a Supply Licence. It follows that your chosen supplier may be nothing more than a man with a computer and a phone working from an attic. Ofgem makes it clear when they issue a Supply Licence they are not giving any indication that the licence holder is a ‘fit and proper person’ to hold that Licence. Caveat Emptor.

    The problem that we all have is that we want Rolls Royce billing and CS at Skoda prices.
    • Caddyman
    • By Caddyman 5th Sep 17, 9:30 AM
    • 265 Posts
    • 156 Thanks
    Caddyman
    Following the roll out of Project NEXUS earlier this year, most suppliers will now accept IGT transfers. Previously, it was a manual transfer process.

    The reason why the smaller suppliers are cheaper is two-fold: one, they tend not to pay referral fees and they do not offer WHD. Remember, anyone with £450 can apply to get a Supply Licence. It follows that your chosen supplier may be nothing more than a man with a computer and a phone working from an attic. Ofgem makes it clear when they issue a Supply Licence they are not giving any indication that the licence holder is a ‘fit and proper person’ to hold that Licence. Caveat Emptor.

    The problem that we all have is that we want Rolls Royce billing and CS at Skoda prices.
    Originally posted by Hengus
    Thank you Sir, for successfully putting me off from ever switching to an independent energy supplier other than those owned and operated by large County Councils in the UK. I don't mean that in any way sarcastically, I just don't want the hassle of being left high and dry and being necessarily switched to another supplier if they go to the wall because they simply might not have the back up or finances in place that the main suppliers have. I believe this has already happened in the past?

    I had no idea what Project NEXUS was. Just searched it and read up. Interesting.

    As for billing, all I and any sane person wants, is an energy bill we can understand 100 percent. I can now at least understand my Npower statements, all received online, paperless and through my phone App. Certainly, once upon a time, it wasn't easy, but thankfully the veil of confusion appears to have been consigned to the waste bin concerning the breakdown and structure of bills.
    • jmnathan
    • By jmnathan 5th Sep 17, 2:35 PM
    • 20 Posts
    • 14 Thanks
    jmnathan
    It tends to depend on when your contract starts. A well managed one, paying by monthly DD, will be in credit at the end of the summer and have a debit balance at the end of winter. In my experience, they aim for a zero balance at the end of the contract, so that can affect the calculation.
    Having said that, I'm on the MSE/CEC collective fix with BG, ending next month. BG have just refunded the small credit I'd built up over the summer and said they were increasing my DD significantly to cover future estimated cost. That was of course based on the assumption I would go onto their standard variable tariff when the fix ends. I phoned them up, told them to leave the DD where it is, as it will more than cover my usage this month (even after the refund) and I'll be leaving them when the fix ends.

    So I suppose the moral is that you do have to be prepared to manage your account on DD payments, which is too much for many people.
    Originally posted by victor2
    This is very true. I'm on the collective with BG and they keep raising my monthly DD and each time I call them to lower it, which they do only to increase it the following month. It doesn't really bother me as I know I'll get it back. They also refunded me back in July but has since taken £176 on two monthly payments but my usage has so far only been £77 over that period (I'm on a smart meter). I'm looking forward to a nice refund when I switch in a few weeks' time
    • A Flock Of Sheep
    • By A Flock Of Sheep 6th Sep 17, 8:45 PM
    • 4,796 Posts
    • 6,120 Thanks
    A Flock Of Sheep
    So much for MSE's new collective - it is £67 dearer per year for me if I were to switch from SP fixed. Even with the £25 cahsback it is still more expensive.

    Massive 15p per day standing charge.
    Last edited by A Flock Of Sheep; 06-09-2017 at 8:48 PM.
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