Can you haggle with your energy provider?

Options
ratechaser
ratechaser Posts: 1,674 Forumite
First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
Possibly a newbie question from an energy standpoint, but I do this all the time with TV/Broadband/Phone suppliers with plenty of success.

Really just wanted a steer on whether it's worth calling my current provider, Scottish Power, and telling them that I'm moving at the end of the month if they won't match the best 'major player' rate I can find with NPower, which would be about £20/month less than the best tariff they are currently offering me.

Anyone had success with that approach?
«1

Comments

  • ratechaser
    ratechaser Posts: 1,674 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    Options
    I called them anyway and the answer is 'no' as they are apparently very tightly regulated and not allowed to deviate from their published and approved tariffs. Couldn't even get a statement credit out of them.

    Where's the fun in that, eh? :p
  • footyguy
    footyguy Posts: 4,157 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post
    Options
    You can haggle with anyone that is selling
    Try this MSE guide to haggling
    http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/utilities/you-switch-gas-electricity

    But as you have found, you won't get anywhere with a domestic energy supplier. Typical profit on say £1000+ p.a is only about £50

    Now if you were a huge business that consumed many Megawatts per day, you could certainly haggle that cost. In fact, any medium sized business upwards usually ends up haggling (or they refer to it as 'negotiating' ) the price they are to be charged. But commercial terms are much more onerous than domestic terms of supply.
  • System
    System Posts: 178,104 Community Admin
    Photogenic Name Dropper First Post
    Options
    NO you cannot haggle whatsover,dont even try.You would nt stand at the till at Sainsburys and try and knock the price down.Maybe you have heard that its possible to haggle a bit with suppliers from a business user. They can, and do haggle .The more energy they use the better position they are for a bit of haggling ..don t try it on domestics though.The published prices for your area are all on the comparison websites if you get an accurate yearly consumption for your property from your supplier
  • Jbo6450
    Jbo6450 Posts: 1 Newbie
    Options
    Hi there,
    I was about to switch through Martin Lewis from Scottish power to economy energy via the price comparison site to save over £300 a year and to get my £30 cash back. I needed my meter reference number to do so, so I called Scottish power for this and to let them know I was switching. Economy energy was a 12 month fixed at about £71 per month but Scottish power ended up offering me their beat cancer fixed until June 2018 for £68 a month which I went with. I'm now wondering whether they priced matched me?? Is that possible? Or am I signing myself up for hidden costs and been tricked into something that's too good to be true? Should I have gone with economy energy? It just seems like I'm getting a cheaper deal. I just plugged my new deal into Martin Lewis comparison and it still says I can save over £300 a year!!? Massively confused as to whether I've made the right decision. Any light shed would be great :)
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 1,655 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Options
    @jbo6450
    Go back to the switching site you used (you said Martin Lewis so I assume you mean the cheap energy club)and run your comparison again. Please make sure that you have entered your actual energy used for the last 12 months in kWh, never enter how much you pay as that will lead to errors. Scottish Power can give you your annual usage or just look at the bills for the last 12 moths and add it up yourself.
    Then go down the results list and try and find how far down Scottish Power is for you. You may find it takes a while to find.
    Now you can see exactly how much the Scottish Power will cost you and how much you could save by going elsewhere.

    As others have said energy companies CANNOT offer consumers special rates nor price match. All SP have done is reduce your current direct debit payment which might not match your real energy use.
  • ARH_2
    ARH_2 Posts: 109 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Options
    In 2013-14, as part of the 'Retail Market Review' the energy regulator, ofgem, decided that haggling was anti-competitive as astute customers got the good deals whilst less engaged customers paid for the cheap deals. In the old days a supplier could add a credit to a customer's account to close a deal or stop a customer leaving. Nowadays, a credit can only be applied as compensation.

    There has been some relaxation of cash credits in the for of switching site cashback. The best deals can be found on switching sites.

    Whilst haggling is generally very productive, doing it with a residential enrgy supplier is a waste time as they are regulated in what they can and can't give away.
  • glennevis
    glennevis Posts: 653 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    Options
    Haggling the tariff is not possible, as discussed. However I was able to haggle with EDF for quarterly variable DD instead of monthly fixed DD without changing tariff. I had complained because every month when I submitted a meter reading via their app they produced a new bill.
  • System
    System Posts: 178,104 Community Admin
    Photogenic Name Dropper First Post
    Options
    Excellent advice from ARH .Cashback is available from some switching sites including the best, thats the CheapEnergyclub.. I personally switched suppliers and tariffs with the same supplier twice last year, with BG/Sainsburys Energy and received £120 in switching fees..That is a form of haggling, you re getting a big discount for being smart. OFGEM have stopped that because they have stopped suppliers using "white label " suppliers to offer cheaper tariffs. Cashback is nt normally available with the smaller suppliers and at the moment they rule the roost occupying the top 30 places.. Scottish Power were up at the top last March with some cracking yearly fixes They will pay cashbacks so keep an eye on something new from them.
  • footyguy
    footyguy Posts: 4,157 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post
    Options
    Jbo6450 wrote: »
    Hi there,
    I was about to switch through Martin Lewis from Scottish power to economy energy via the price comparison site to save over £300 a year and to get my £30 cash back. I needed my meter reference number to do so, so I called Scottish power for this and to let them know I was switching. Economy energy was a 12 month fixed at about £71 per month but Scottish power ended up offering me their beat cancer fixed until June 2018 for £68 a month which I went with. I'm now wondering whether they priced matched me?? Is that possible? Or am I signing myself up for hidden costs and been tricked into something that's too good to be true? Should I have gone with economy energy? It just seems like I'm getting a cheaper deal. I just plugged my new deal into Martin Lewis comparison and it still says I can save over £300 a year!!? Massively confused as to whether I've made the right decision. Any light shed would be great :)

    1. What supply region are you in (or what is the first part of your postcode)
    2. What is your anticipated annual consumption in kWh for each fuel
    3. If you are on E7, what percentage of the total electricity figure do you consume at low rate?

    Hopefully with this detail, someone will take a look at the best available deals currently available for you.
  • Cardew
    Cardew Posts: 29,040 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post Rampant Recycler
    Options
    Jbo6450 wrote: »
    Hi there,
    so I called Scottish power for this and to let them know I was switching. Economy energy was a 12 month fixed at about £71 per month but Scottish power ended up offering me their beat cancer fixed until June 2018 for £68 a month which I went with.

    Economy Energy 'fixed' only means that the unit price and daily standing charge is fixed for 12 months NOT that the £71 monthly is fixed.

    Likewise that applies to the Scottish Power quote! They could have quoted £10 a month and it would be no indication that their tariff was cheaper or more expensive!
This discussion has been closed.
Meet your Ambassadors

Categories

  • All Categories
  • 343.8K Banking & Borrowing
  • 250.3K Reduce Debt & Boost Income
  • 450K Spending & Discounts
  • 235.9K Work, Benefits & Business
  • 609K Mortgages, Homes & Bills
  • 173.4K Life & Family
  • 248.5K Travel & Transport
  • 1.5M Hobbies & Leisure
  • 15.9K Discuss & Feedback
  • 15.1K Coronavirus Support Boards