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Ask An Expert: ENERGY

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Deceased Estate energy service charges

I'm executor for a deceased estate, and empty apartment is costing us a fortune every month until we can get it sold. Minimal electricity being used (viewings only and fridge) yet costing £50/month in fixed charges; and no heating/water, but equally high bills for this too. 

Can we move to a new tariff with cheaper costs for our usage, when we've no "account holder" or idea on timing before it's sold?

Also paying £700+/month for management service charges (retirement apartment)...but that's a whole other extortion that needs it's own investigation! 
1
1 votes

Ask An Expert: Answered · Last Updated

Hi Charlie-Otter,

There is currently one supplier (Utilita) offering a ‘no standing charges’ tariff. It’s a little more complex, but essentially, you get charged a higher rate for the first two units of energy (kilowatt hours) you use – which acts as the standing charge – then a lower, standard rate for all other usage that day. It works out about the same as Price Cap tariff for a typical user, but if you’re not using any gas or electricity at all for an extended period of time, it could be worth considering.

Utilita are a prepay specialist, so if you pay by direct debit or on receipt of bill it may be harder to get a quote. It did tell us it is offering a no standing charge option to these customers, but you may have to call – just make sure to get a quote and compare it against what you’re currently paying to ensure it’s right for you.

For more info on standing charges, see Martin’s Why are standing charges so high? blog. You can also check out our Stick, switch or fix? or Should I fix? guides for more info on all the other options around whether it’s worth changing tariff.

Thanks

MSE Andrew

This question and answer came about during the MSE Forum 'Ask An Expert' event in Sep 2023. It won't be updated so may no longer be correct at time of reading. This info does not constitute financial advice: always do your own research on top to make sure it's right for your circumstances.

Comments

  • Hi Charlie-Otter,There is currently one supplier (Utilita) offering a ‘no standing charges’ tariff. It’s a little more complex, but essentially, you get charged a higher rate for the first two units of energy (kilowatt hours) you use – which acts as the standing charge – then a lower, standard rate for all other usage that day.It works out about the same as Price Cap tariff for a typical user, but if you’re not using any gas or electricity at all for an extended period of time, it could be worth considering.Utilita are a prepay specialist, so if you pay by direct debit or on receipt of bill it may be harder to get a quote. It did tell us it is offering a no standing charge option to these customers, but you may have to call – just make sure to get a quote and compare it against what you’re currently paying to ensure it’s right for you.For more info on standing charges, see Martin’s Why are standing charges so high? blog.You can also check out our Stick, switch or fix? or Should I fix? guides for more info on all the other options around whether it’s worth changing tariff.ThanksMSE Andrew   
  • Robin9
    Robin9 Posts: 12,091 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Name Dropper
    Is this a apartment that has a central boiler rather than its own ?  Do you pay the landlord rather than the supply company ?

    The electric also seems high -  s/c are about 54p + VAT - that is under £20.   Again do you pay this direct to your landlord?   What is the actual unit consumption ? - in kWh not £.

    Never pay on an estimated bill
  • Charlie-Otter
    Charlie-Otter Posts: 21 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    edited 27 September 2023 at 11:00PM
    Thanks both...I will look into Utilita, and see if we can switch although it is an "Executors for" account. The electricity we do have some control over, but the heating/water we have none. There is a central boiler for the building, then smaller tanks in each apartment - actual usage is virtually nil currently (will look out readings), but the supplier and tariffs we have no say in. We have a contract direct with the company they have chosen, so have to pay them direct.
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