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Switch from restricted meter to single rate?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Energy
6 replies 559 views
RebTechRebTech Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Energy
I'm advising an elderly relative on Scottish Power ComfortPlus Control who I believe would be better off on a single rate but I thought I should check with the knowledgable people here before doing anything. She is in rented sheltered housing, over 80 with various health issues, both mental and physical.

Probably the main point is that she doesn't use the storage heaters. She can't get her head around how they work, and when used as recommended (input on full, controlled by Weathercall) they make the place far too warm for her.

At the moment she has no choice of tariffs. SP say that due to the meter setup only the standard variable rate is available. I questioned this at first, knowing that cheaper fixed rates were previously offered, but apparently due to the Ofgem cap this is now genuinely the case. (Which is scandalous, but it's where we are.)

Her current standard rate is 17.448p. A single rate fixed deal from SP would reduce that to 15.973p, with a lower standing charge as well. Her current control ("cheap") rate is 15.896p, so her water heating after a switch would be slightly more expensive, but due to disability she can't have baths anyway.

I think that's all the relevant info but if not please ask, and in any case thanks for reading so far.

Replies

  • edited 15 May 2019 at 5:09PM
    mac.dmac.d Forumite
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    edited 15 May 2019 at 5:09PM
    Someone more knowledgeable on this will hopefully be along soon, but in the meantime have a look through this thread on the Bulb community forums for someone asking about changing from this complex meter set up to a single rate with Bulb - be aware, its not straight forward.

    Edit, and I should add that other suppliers often don't have the right knowledge of these complex meter set ups. The wiring may need changed, the meter certainly will as you will pay two standing charges for two MPAN's otherwise. I'd say you also need to think about how the house is heated (as its still going to be all electric no matter what meter set up you use) and using storage heaters should be cheaper, as you are getting the heat at a reduced price - but I assumed it was much cheaper than 15.896p :eek:.

    https://community.bulb.co.uk/discussion/2065/comfort-plus
  • edited 16 May 2019 at 9:47AM
    RebTechRebTech Forumite
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    edited 16 May 2019 at 9:47AM
    mac.d wrote: »
    Someone more knowledgeable on this will hopefully be along soon, but in the meantime have a look through this thread on the Bulb community forums for someone asking about changing from this complex meter set up to a single rate with Bulb - be aware, its not straight forward.

    Edit, and I should add that other suppliers often don't have the right knowledge of these complex meter set ups. The wiring may need changed, the meter certainly will as you will pay two standing charges for two MPAN's otherwise.

    Thanks, but that case seems a bit different. What I have in mind is asking SP to charge a single rate without changing metering, simply adding the two readings. I believed that would also allow supplier switching but that's not essential.
    I'd say you also need to think about how the house is heated (as its still going to be all electric no matter what meter set up you use) and using storage heaters should be cheaper, as you are getting the heat at a reduced price - but I assumed it was much cheaper than 15.896p :eek:.

    Indeed. As it happens I'm on the same arrangement (SP CPC) but on a fixed rate setup a while back and with 12 months to run, and my standard rate is more than 1p less than my relative's control rate. And the storage heaters are so over-rated that I believe I could well save by switching them off, relative to using as recommended, under Weathercall control. Trying to second-guess that, as well as the next day's actual weather, is not easy for me, and would be impossible for my 85 yr old cousin.
  • JStewerJStewer Forumite
    41 posts
    RebTech wrote: »
    I'm advising an elderly relative on Scottish Power ComfortPlus Control who I believe would be better off on a single rate but I thought I should check with the knowledgable people here before doing anything. She is in rented sheltered housing, over 80 with various health issues, both mental and physical.

    Probably the main point is that she doesn't use the storage heaters. She can't get her head around how they work, and when used as recommended (input on full, controlled by Weathercall) they make the place far too warm for her.

    At the moment she has no choice of tariffs. SP say that due to the meter setup only the standard variable rate is available. I questioned this at first, knowing that cheaper fixed rates were previously offered, but apparently due to the Ofgem cap this is now genuinely the case. (Which is scandalous, but it's where we are.)

    Her current standard rate is 17.448p. A single rate fixed deal from SP would reduce that to 15.973p, with a lower standing charge as well. Her current control ("cheap") rate is 15.896p, so her water heating after a switch would be slightly more expensive, but due to disability she can't have baths anyway.

    I think that's all the relevant info but if not please ask, and in any case thanks for reading so far.
    RebTech wrote: »
    Thanks, but that case seems a bit different. What I have in mind is asking SP to charge a single rate without changing metering, simply adding the two readings. I believed that would also allow supplier switching but that's not essential.



    Indeed. As it happens I'm on the same arrangement (SP CPC) but on a fixed rate setup a while back and with 12 months to run, and my standard rate is more than 1p less than my relative's control rate. And the storage heaters are so over-rated that I believe I could well save by switching them off, relative to using as recommended, under Weathercall control. Trying to second-guess that, as well as the next day's actual weather, is not easy for me, and would be impossible for my 85 yr old cousin.

    As this is a restricted traiff, you can ask the existing supplier to charge you based on one of their generally available single rate tariffs instead.

    The supplier is obliged to do this. I'm not sure they are obliged to change the meter though (unless you order a new meter for which a charge may apply)

    Only with a different meter will all other suppliers accept switches without issue.

    You may wish to check carefully with the supplier before making any finalk decision; some suppliers will not accept customers onto a restricted tariff once that supply address has been taken off it.
  • RebTechRebTech Forumite
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    JStewer wrote: »
    As this is a restricted traiff, you can ask the existing supplier to charge you based on one of their generally available single rate tariffs instead.

    The supplier is obliged to do this.

    I just got their response, they say the heating system would have to be removed.
  • Be_HappyBe_Happy Forumite
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    The simplest way would be to use the storage heaters more cost effectively. I'm on comfort plus with weathercall and ignore the recommendation to keep at full input. I adjust the input to suit me - never need to have above half. I don't adjust often, only when there is a spell of hot/cold weather and switch off completely during the summer usually start of May. Remember to keep the output at lowest setting.

    I was lucky to get a fixed rate to 2021 before prices increased last year, so although my standing charge is high at 25.8, my standard rate is 16.1 and control rate is 9.1. (all include VAT). Make sure that if the main storage heater is a combination one - storage and convector - that the convector is not kept on. This can be used if necessary, but is not on a timer, however control rate runs 24 hours a day, so convector is still on cheap rate.

    My monthly DD is £40 and my spreadsheet shows that this will easily cover my annual usage.
  • RebTechRebTech Forumite
    151 posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    Be_Happy wrote: »
    The simplest way would be to use the storage heaters more cost effectively.

    I'm sure I can do that, though it's a matter of degree of course, unfortunately it's not within the capacity of my cousin.
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