How to determine which is the better tarriff.

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Energy
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BMLBML Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Energy
I contacted EDF and asked them if I am on the most cost effective tariff and they replied.
" Having checked our records I can see that you are on standard(variable) tariff. I would like to inform you that we have introduced two new Blue products. Currently we have Blue+Fixed Price September 2016 and Blue+Price Freeeeze September 2017 available."
I expected a straight answer and don't have the confidence to look for one myself. Can anyone help?

Replies

  • SystemSystem Forumite
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    It's not that difficult. You need to look at your past bills and work out how much electricity and gas you have used in kWhs over a 12 month period - based on ACTUAL not ESTIMATED meter readings. Enter these readings into a switching site - like MSE CEC or Which - and it will give you a list of suppliers starting with the cheapest at the top. As you are on EDF's standard variable tariff, the savings shown will be accurate as will the annual cost. Shout for more help if you need it.
  • If you are on EDF's 'standard variable' tariff, then you are almost certainly paying that company's highest price. The advantage of a standard variable tariff is that you don't have to pay a penalty if you decide to make a change. But EDF's alternative tariffs have no exit fee, so you can only benefit by switching to one of their 'Blue' tariffs. The September 2017 tariff is slightly more expensive than the September 2016 tariff, but the prices of both are 'fixed' until their expiry dates (rather than 'variable' at any time). So you have to decide whether you prefer a cheaper but shorter-term price fix or a dearer but longer-term one. Don't forget that if 'standard variable' prices fall, then the Blue 'fixed' price tariffs will remain the same - but, since they have no exit fee, all you would have to do is call EDF and ask them to switch you onto a cheaper tariff.

    You also have the option to switch to a different supplier altogether, and sometimes the savings look extremely attractive, but switching supplier is not as simple as it should be, and it frequently generates all sorts of problems. Switching energy suppliers is not for the faint-hearted!

    Whatever you do, always make sure that you understand what prices you are being asked to pay (and it is not always easy to get that information). On all tariffs, there is a daily standing charge (which can be as low as zero!) and there is a price per kiloWatthour for the energy which you actually use. Generally speaking, the price per kWh will be higher if the daily standing charge is lower. This means that the cheapest tariff for any individual user will depend to some extent upon whether they are high users or low users. You can only do the sums properly if you know how many kWh's you used over the previous year.
    mad mocs - the pavement worrier
  • edited 26 June 2015 at 8:10PM
    ConsumeristConsumerist Forumite
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    edited 26 June 2015 at 8:10PM
    BML wrote: »
    . . . I expected a straight answer and don't have the confidence to look for one myself. Can anyone help?
    Unfortunately, there is no "straight" answer to your question.

    For my usage, using a comparison site :-

    Blue+Fixed Price September 2016 my estimated annual cost is £998

    and

    Blue+Price Freeeeze September 2017 my estimated annual cost is £1,049 pa

    Now, the first is cheaper but the second fixes my prices for a year longer - a hedge against prices increasing before Sept 2017.

    So I might prefer the cheaper tariff and then take my chances on the prices available in Sept 2016 or I could pay the higher prices now in the knowledge that those prices won't change until Sept 2017.

    Only you can make that choice, not the supplier.

    The upside of using a comparison site is that there may be a tariff from another supplier which is cheaper than either of those from EDF.

    If you're not sure how to use an energy comparison site then post again for help.

    Hope this helps.
    >:)Warning: In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.
  • footyguyfootyguy Forumite
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    BML wrote: »
    I contacted EDF and asked them if I am on the most cost effective tariff and they replied.
    " Having checked our records I can see that you are on standard(variable) tariff. I would like to inform you that we have introduced two new Blue products. Currently we have Blue+Fixed Price September 2016 and Blue+Price Freeeeze September 2017 available."
    I expected a straight answer and don't have the confidence to look for one myself. Can anyone help?

    Consult a comparison site to find the best deal for you.

    If you still feel you lack confidence, then most comparison sites have a phone service too where you can discuss things.

    Beware when calling, as the comparison service may only suggest suppliers/tariffs that they can switch you to rather than the whole of market, but if it saves you some money, it's surely better than doing nothing.
  • JJ_EganJJ_Egan Forumite
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    Comparison its not the estimated dd or annual usage that counts .
    Simply go by the tariff costs per kwh and standing charge .
  • footyguyfootyguy Forumite
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    JJ_Egan wrote: »
    Simply go by the tariff costs per kwh and standing charge .

    The annual cost is what is important to compare.

    Trying to compare unit costs & standing charges will only serve to confuse the OP even more (and let's not even mention possible discounts/oncosts)
  • ConsumeristConsumerist Forumite
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    OP, if you would post the first part of your postcode (i.e. just the characters before the space) then I'm sure that any one of us would be pleased to run the numbers through a comparison site based on Ofgem's "typical" annual consumption. The results won't be accurate in terms of annual cost but should provide a reasonable guide in terms the cheapest tariff (from EDF or any other supplier).

    If you post your annual consumption (kWh) for gas and electricity then the results should be more reliable.
    >:)Warning: In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.
  • JJ_EganJJ_Egan Forumite
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    footyguy wrote: »
    The annual cost is what is important to compare.

    Trying to compare unit costs & standing charges will only serve to confuse the OP even more (and let's not even mention possible discounts/oncosts)


    But this annual cost is just an estimate and basing a swap on that is why so may post here help my my bill was supposed to be x pounds a month and now its x +y pounds a month .
  • SystemSystem Forumite
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    JJ_Egan wrote: »
    But this annual cost is just an estimate and basing a swap on that is why so may post here help my my bill was supposed to be x pounds a month and now its x +y pounds a month .

    1. The projected annual consumption figures put into the comparison site were wrong.

    2. The customer failed to monitor actual usage compared to projected.

    or

    3. The energy company's algorithm over assesses past annual usage (and thus increased future payments) to ensure that there is a credit balance on the account on the annual review date. (Why? ... mitigate potential bad debts; increased cash flow etc etc)
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