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  • FIRST POST
    • Fyne
    • By Fyne 29th Jan 19, 11:13 AM
    • 11Posts
    • 3Thanks
    Fyne
    SSE THTC Monopoly
    • #1
    • 29th Jan 19, 11:13 AM
    SSE THTC Monopoly 29th Jan 19 at 11:13 AM
    Beginning of December 2018 I moved to a 3 bed bungalow in Argyll and Bute with electric mat underfloor heating, immersion hot water, 1 electric shower and 2 electric towel rails (all THTC, I think). I have 2 meters a standard tariff and a cheaper 24/7 Total Heating Total Control (THTC) tariff and SSE Hydro supply the electricity. The first 3 weeks we kept the house warm and I was horrified to find out when I contacted SSE Hydro to set up a direct debit that I had already used nearly 400 worth of electricity. we have since changed the way we operate our individual room thermostat/timers and have cut our usage by nearly 50%, but the house is chilly and we need to wear thermals. I tried to change supplier, but comparison websites do not recognise the THTC tariff, nor do any of the other energy companies, with the exception of Our Power, who have just gone bust as I was in the process of changing to them.

    I contacted Citizens Advice who referred me to Home Energy Scotland, who referred me to ALienergy (Argyll, Lomond and the Islands Energy Agency), an advisory service. after discussing how we use our electricity they recommended switching to Our Power, which I was already doing. We also discussed alternative heating , such as air source heat pumps and even oil and was then referred back to Home Energy Scotland for a home visit from a Home Energy Officer to give some advice on alternatives.This visit will be 11th February.

    I have read everything I can find on THTC and am shocked that where we live is classified as North Scotland and even on the Our Power tariff I was going to switch to it was 13% higher than South Scotland. Note, I estimated Our Power would have been around 300 cheaper than SSE Hydro. It seems immoral to me that areas which have limited choices in energy, i.e. no mains gas, are penalised at higher rates. North Scotland produces energy from wind and hydro, so why can't the people living there get a fair rate.

    I am aware I could get the THTC meter taken out, but would have to pay an electrician to rewire the heating and hot water to the other meter. Then I could access cheaper rates form the smaller companies, but I am reluctant to do this until I know what my annual KW consumption is, at the moment I am estimating 3.8KW on standard meter and 16KW on THTC.

    Now I am stuck with SEE Hydro supplying our electricity as I believe no other energy company will take on their THTC meter, please advise me if I am wrong here. Why does Ofgem allow such a monopoly ? I was even told by a SSE Hydro customer service rep that Ofgem agree the tariffs. I do not think Ofgem would knock back a fair tariff for the relatively few customers on this type of restricted THTC meter.

    Not sure where I stand with regards to the recent 'Energy Cap', my bills are going to be way over.

    Rant over any advice gratefully received.
Page 1
    • matelodave
    • By matelodave 29th Jan 19, 11:56 AM
    • 4,931 Posts
    • 3,227 Thanks
    matelodave
    • #2
    • 29th Jan 19, 11:56 AM
    • #2
    • 29th Jan 19, 11:56 AM
    The THTC is a legacy tariff and you cant get it anymore, however the supplier is obliged to retain it for those who dont want to change. I think that some complex metering tariffs were competitive when they were first introduced but suppliers dont want them any more so you get stuffed if you want or need to stay on them.

    Re the "energy cap" this is only a tariff cap on Standard Variable Tariffs (SVT) or default tariffs - ie the one you get put on when you dont bother to swap tariff or change suppliers and doesn't apply for any other tariff. This has had the unfortunate effect of raising all the other tariffs to compensate. You still have to pay for the energy that you use even though the price per kwh may be capped, so if you use more you still pay more.

    BTW I understand that the cap will be cranked up by the equivalent of 100 a year in April, with the promise of another review for October, so it's not really helped all that many people and probably disadvantaged quite a few more.

    Those on complex tariff's like yours seem to have been hardest hit.

    I suppose that the only advice is to try and maximise your use of off-peak energy but THTC was really designed for storage heating rather than electric underfloor mat heating (unless it's embedded in the floor slab to act like a storage heater). Have you checked that all your heating is connected to the off-peak circuits and that you aren't heating using peak energy.

    I'd be very inclined to keep a daily record of my energy use on each tariff/circuit for several weeks so I could get an idea of when it's all being used and hw much it's costing so you could try to evaluate whether it's worth going onto a standard E7 or E10 tariff.

    The problem with THTC is that the storage element is controlled by the supplier at random times to suit them based on the weather forecast but could be up to 12 hours a day.

    A standard E7 tariff will give you just 7 hours of off-peak overnight, so you need to evaluate whether you can store enough heat in one 7 hour hit overnight to avoid having to heat the place on the peak rate.
    Last edited by matelodave; 29-01-2019 at 12:12 PM.
    Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large numbers
    • wavelets
    • By wavelets 29th Jan 19, 3:34 PM
    • 1,161 Posts
    • 523 Thanks
    wavelets
    • #3
    • 29th Jan 19, 3:34 PM
    SSE THTC Monopoly
    • #3
    • 29th Jan 19, 3:34 PM
    Beginning of December 2018 I moved to a 3 bed bungalow in Argyll and Bute with electric mat underfloor heating, immersion hot water, 1 electric shower and 2 electric towel rails (all THTC, I think). I have 2 meters a standard tariff and a cheaper 24/7 Total Heating Total Control (THTC) tariff and SSE Hydro supply the electricity. The first 3 weeks we kept the house warm and I was horrified to find out when I contacted SSE Hydro to set up a direct debit that I had already used nearly 400 worth of electricity. we have since changed the way we operate our individual room thermostat/timers and have cut our usage by nearly 50%, but the house is chilly and we need to wear thermals. I tried to change supplier, but comparison websites do not recognise the THTC tariff, nor do any of the other energy companies, with the exception of Our Power, who have just gone bust as I was in the process of changing to them.

    I contacted Citizens Advice who referred me to Home Energy Scotland, who referred me to ALienergy (Argyll, Lomond and the Islands Energy Agency), an advisory service. after discussing how we use our electricity they recommended switching to Our Power, which I was already doing. We also discussed alternative heating , such as air source heat pumps and even oil and was then referred back to Home Energy Scotland for a home visit from a Home Energy Officer to give some advice on alternatives.This visit will be 11th February.

    I have read everything I can find on THTC and am shocked that where we live is classified as North Scotland and even on the Our Power tariff I was going to switch to it was 13% higher than South Scotland. Note, I estimated Our Power would have been around 300 cheaper than SSE Hydro. It seems immoral to me that areas which have limited choices in energy, i.e. no mains gas, are penalised at higher rates. North Scotland produces energy from wind and hydro, so why can't the people living there get a fair rate.

    I am aware I could get the THTC meter taken out, but would have to pay an electrician to rewire the heating and hot water to the other meter. Then I could access cheaper rates form the smaller companies, but I am reluctant to do this until I know what my annual KW consumption is, at the moment I am estimating 3.8KW on standard meter and 16KW on THTC.

    Now I am stuck with SEE Hydro supplying our electricity as I believe no other energy company will take on their THTC meter, please advise me if I am wrong here. Why does Ofgem allow such a monopoly ? I was even told by a SSE Hydro customer service rep that Ofgem agree the tariffs. I do not think Ofgem would knock back a fair tariff for the relatively few customers on this type of restricted THTC meter.

    Not sure where I stand with regards to the recent 'Energy Cap', my bills are going to be way over.

    Rant over any advice gratefully received.
    Originally posted by Fyne
    It is incorrect to assume there is any monopoly here - there isn't.

    The situation is that any other supplier could supply you, but they don't want to given your metering.
    I suspect SSE wouldn't want to supply you either with your current metering, but they have no option - you can thank Ofgem for that!
    • Cardew
    • By Cardew 29th Jan 19, 4:11 PM
    • 28,128 Posts
    • 13,956 Thanks
    Cardew
    • #4
    • 29th Jan 19, 4:11 PM
    • #4
    • 29th Jan 19, 4:11 PM
    To a lesser extent people in England and Wales suffer if they have Economy 10(E10) as there is a very limited choice of supplier.


    North Scotland produces energy from wind and hydro, so why can't the people living there get a fair rate.
    The electricity generated from wind and hydro goes to the National grid and the various energy distribution companies in GB strike contracts for xxMW. So why should they be forced to sell it at a subsidy.



    The other way of looking at this situation is why should the international companies that generate the electricity in Scotland be forced to sell to Scottish Hydro at a lower rate than they could achieve on the open market.


    If your argument was valid, then those living close to Nuclear power stations should have cheaper electricity?
    Last edited by Cardew; 29-01-2019 at 4:55 PM.
    • Fyne
    • By Fyne 29th Jan 19, 4:29 PM
    • 11 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    Fyne
    • #5
    • 29th Jan 19, 4:29 PM
    • #5
    • 29th Jan 19, 4:29 PM
    Thank you for the replies, I have been keeping a daily record of meter readings and sure that heating and hot water are on the THTC meter which is at a cheap rate 24 hours a day 7 days a week according to SSE Hydro, so I guess I'm stuck with them, at least until I have annual usage figures, as I suspect that I may be better off on a single cheap rate for both meters, if any company will take both on.
    • wavelets
    • By wavelets 29th Jan 19, 4:36 PM
    • 1,161 Posts
    • 523 Thanks
    wavelets
    • #6
    • 29th Jan 19, 4:36 PM
    • #6
    • 29th Jan 19, 4:36 PM
    Thank you for the replies, I have been keeping a daily record of meter readings and sure that heating and hot water are on the THTC meter which is at a cheap rate 24 hours a day 7 days a week according to SSE Hydro, so I guess I'm stuck with them, at least until I have annual usage figures, as I suspect that I may be better off on a single cheap rate for both meters, if any company will take both on.
    Originally posted by Fyne
    I'm sSure SSE will gladly charge you at full normal rate on all meters & registries, rather than give you any reduced rates on some. Just ask them
    • matelodave
    • By matelodave 29th Jan 19, 5:39 PM
    • 4,931 Posts
    • 3,227 Thanks
    matelodave
    • #7
    • 29th Jan 19, 5:39 PM
    • #7
    • 29th Jan 19, 5:39 PM
    I'm sSure SSE will gladly charge you at full normal rate on all meters & registries, rather than give you any reduced rates on some. Just ask them
    Originally posted by wavelets
    It depends how expensive the THTC peak and off peak rates are. I've heard that they can be as expensive, if not more thah a single rate tariff.

    E7 is probably the way to go if your heating system is compatible with it but you do need to do your sums.

    There's another thread on the forum where someone is try to evaluate whether it's cheaper to run his heat pump on the THTC tariff or a standard single rate one. Although he hasn't responded since his initial request for info

    See here - https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5955593&highlight=thtc
    Last edited by matelodave; 29-01-2019 at 5:44 PM.
    Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large numbers
    • Houbara
    • By Houbara 29th Jan 19, 7:17 PM
    • 4,891 Posts
    • 3,368 Thanks
    Houbara
    • #8
    • 29th Jan 19, 7:17 PM
    • #8
    • 29th Jan 19, 7:17 PM
    Ideally the answer would be to either ask the supplier to exchange meter and attached wiring ro Eco 7 or arrange your own qualified electrician to do the work There is a large number of suppliers who can match the best single rate tariffs with Eco 7..
    There was a poster last year with a very comprehensive understanding of the monopoly who could nt really live with Eco 7 only and needed the extra 3 hours up there in the colder highlands of Northern Scotland, but if you could then Eco 7 is the answer and get rid of these restrictive suppliers inflated tariffs.
    • Carrot007
    • By Carrot007 29th Jan 19, 11:07 PM
    • 2,931 Posts
    • 2,518 Thanks
    Carrot007
    • #9
    • 29th Jan 19, 11:07 PM
    • #9
    • 29th Jan 19, 11:07 PM
    I'm sSure SSE will gladly charge you at full normal rate on all meters & registries, rather than give you any reduced rates on some. Just ask them
    Originally posted by wavelets

    They will indeed. It is now a requirement to do that option for complex tarrifs - without a meter change.


    Other suppliers will still not touch you without a meter change (which may require work on your side in order to work).


    And you may lose the right to revert back to your old tarrif.
    • sashahampton
    • By sashahampton 10th Dec 19, 10:40 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    sashahampton
    I have the answer
    having battled with SSE for over 5 years, I have finally won my case,

    Since 2014 OFGEM ruled that no longer could SSE hold us hostage to THTC ( costing more than double other tarrifs). SSE have been wrongly advising customers about this for years. You DO NOT need to pay your own electrician to rewire your property ( I was also told this on many occassions when trying to get away from THTC). I have finally won my case and SSE have given me new meter ( took about 20 min to do the job ) with new tarrif ( economy 10 ) resulting in my new Direct Debit only costing me 85 per month when for the past 17 years on THTC has been costing me on average 185 month!!! Overcharged by around 100 per month simply by being held hostage to THTC by SSE. have received apology plus 500 "goodwill gesture" so far. Does not come close to the amount they have wrongly taken from me. I am wanting 100 per month refund from the date OFGEM ruled in 2014 totalling 6000 refund. Good luck to me. I have noticed their complaints handlers either dont have a clue OR are cleverly trained to put up smoke screens and cause confusion and complicate matters when really the facts speak for themselves. Might need a lawyer now to get my money back.
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