MSE News: Ofgem confirms levels for prepayment price cap ahead of April launch

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  • That doesn't give SSE much time given any price change will take effect from 1st April. Wig - let us know if you receive something by Thursday.
  • WigWig Forumite
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    Hmmm, maybe I shouldn't have sent that email it might remind them they will have to do something soon. Too late now.
  • SystemSystem Forumite
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    If prices are reduced there is no Licence obligation to inform you. The '30 day' rule applies to price increases. That said, most suppliers would shout it from the rooftops.
  • Hengus - what if the standing charge goes up and the unit rate goes down (which is almost certain to happen here). Would the 30 day rule apply then? Or would it depend on the customer's consumption?
  • SystemSystem Forumite
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    Hengus - what if the standing charge goes up and the unit rate goes down (which is almost certain to happen here). Would the 30 day rule apply then? Or would it depend on the customer's consumption?

    Notification of increase in Charges for the Supply of Gas and other unilateral variations

    23.3 If, in accordance with the terms of a Domestic Supply Contract with a Domestic Customer, the licensee:

    (a) increases the Charges for the Supply of Gas to a Domestic Premises (including by making any reduction in the amount of a Discount that is applied to a Unit Rate or Standing Charge); or
    (b) unilaterally varies any other term of the contract in any other way that is to the disadvantage of the Domestic Ccustomer ("Disadvantageous Unilateral Variation"),the licensee must give Notice of that increase in the Charges for the Supply of Gas or Disadvantageous Unilateral Variation to the Domestic Ccustomer in accordance with paragraph 23.4.

    In the case that you cite, then it would appear that the Clause on Unilateral Variation of the contract would come into play rather than the section on a change to the unit price or standing charge.That said, it would be somewhat perverse if an Ofgem-imposed cap resulted in higher bills: then again, these policies are often brought in with the best of intentions but with little thought to the Law of Unintended Consequences.
  • WigWig Forumite
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    Hengus wrote: »
    If prices are reduced there is no Licence obligation to inform you. The '30 day' rule applies to price increases. That said, most suppliers would shout it from the rooftops.

    Hmmm, interesting, thanks

    But they would need to send me a new meter card, to program the meter.
  • SystemSystem Forumite
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    Wig wrote: »
    Hmmm, interesting, thanks

    But they would need to send me a new meter card, to program the meter.

    Have you tried asking them? You might get a better indication of what the cap means for your. Bear in mind that it is probably worth doing a full market comparison as there is nothing in the proposed cap to say that your cheapest deal has to remain your cheapest deal.
  • edited 27 February 2017 at 8:10PM
    WigWig Forumite
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    edited 27 February 2017 at 8:10PM
    Yes, I sent them an email, no response yet.

    Another thing, assuming they do change my tariff giving me at least 30 days notice and a new card to use.

    *If I wanted to stay on the current "no standing charge" tariff... I could, if I topped up my existing card now, credited my meter with say £300.

    My new tariff would only take effect from when I put the new tariff card into meter, which I choose not to do.

    If after topping up with say £300, and I choose to prefer the new tarriff , what happens to me £300 credit when I put the new card in?
  • footyguyfootyguy Forumite
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    Wig wrote: »
    Yes, I sent them an email, no response yet.

    Another thing, assuming they do change my tariff giving me at least 30 days notice and a new card to use.

    *If I wanted to stay on the current "no standing charge" tariff... I could, if I topped up my existing card now, credited my meter with say £300.

    My new tariff would only take effect from when I put the new tariff card into meter, which I choose not to do.

    If after topping up with say £300, and I choose to prefer the new tarriff , what happens to me £300 credit when I put the new card in?

    As I understand it, the change of Ebico's supply partner will be processed just like any other switch of supplier.
  • SwanJonSwanJon Forumite
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    Wig wrote: »
    Hmmm, interesting, thanks

    But they would need to send me a new meter card, to program the meter.
    If your supplier changes prices they don't need to give you a new card to change the prices on your meter, it is all done electronically through the top up system, with your card carrying the message the last step from the shop to the meter. Otherwise suppliers with a million customers would need to send a million cards. A few years back there were price changes at least once a year.
    If you change supplier (in this case to Ebico/RHE from Ebico/SSE) you will get a new card, usually for branding reasons.
    Wig wrote: »
    *If I wanted to stay on the current "no standing charge" tariff... I could, if I topped up my existing card now, credited my meter with say £300.
    ...
    If after topping up with say £300, and I choose to prefer the new tarriff , what happens to me £300 credit when I put the new card in?

    A lot will depend on how your supplier views this. Technically the meter is only a way to collect the money and help you budget - the calculation for how much you have used vs how much you have paid is still done on the same systems used for quarterly billed (or any other) customer. So in theory they could send you a bill for any difference in value - especially as this would be seen as a deliberate attempt to avoid the price change.

    (I think the meters are limited in how much credit they can hold so you couldn't get £300 on it)
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