Month: January 2014

Do you pay twice as much as us for electricity?

Whilst chatting with a customer this morning about his electricity tariff, I had to check I'd heard him correctly. 

We like to check that our customers can make the most of our efficient electric heating systems, and save money wherever possible. The customer’s electricity tariff often comes up in conversation.

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This gentleman seemed happy enough with his dual-rate tariff, which he used to run a washing machine and tumble dryer during the night. The night-time "off-peak" rate that he pays is just five and a half pence per kilowatt hour.  His main heating system is gas-fired, but as he works from home, he needs an efficient way to heat an office separately from the rest of the house.

This very low "off-peak" rate of five and a half pence looks great, but, as I advised the customer, there will always be a downside. On checking his bill, this downside came in the form of a massively inflated standard rate, which we prefer to call "the premium rate".

"An eye-watering 23 pence per kilowatt hour - that's the downside"

The premium rate in this case, was an eye-watering twenty three pence per kilowatt hour. To put this figure into perspective, we currently pay just under twelve pence per kilowatt hour for our electricity, in the Electric Heating Expert offices. This means that using every light bulb, and every electrical appliance in this particular property, costs almost twice as it should.

The energy supplier responsible for this customer’s bills is one of the “Big Six”. Clearly they have not only sold their customer the wrong tariff, but also an extremely over-priced tariff. My advice to him was to look online, and try one of the small UK-based energy suppliers. They aren’t involved in the alleged price-fixing scandal, and usually offer more affordable and more suitable tariffs.

If you'd like some impartial advice on how to choose the best tariff for your needs, we're here to help. Visit www.electricheatingexpert.co.uk and speak with an advisor online.

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Are you happy with your electricity tariff?

Just as another series of rules from OFGEM come into force, to protect us from the questionable practices used by some energy suppliers, customer satisfaction looks to be at an all-time low.

electricity-billIn the news this week, we read that there were a total of 3,600 complaints made to the Energy Ombudsmen Service during October and November of 2013. This shows a marked increase of 1500 complaints on the same period of 2012.

Complaints focused on the purposefully confusing tariff plans, which are deemed to be unnecessarily complex, as well as costly billing errors and unfair contracts. It is thought that the number of complaints would be increased greatly, if consumers understood how to make a complaint, and where to direct it.

Last week, a new OFGEM ruling came into force, which prevents energy suppliers from over-complicating tariffs, and reduces the number of tariffs that they can offer. Other rules which came into force last year include a ban on suppliers increasing prices for consumers who have opted for a “Fixed price deal”, and a ban on suppliers automatically renewing customer’s contracts when they come to an end.

All of the recent steps that have been taken by OFGEM are extremely positive. They are there to protect consumers from the questionable practices that some suppliers use, to increase their profits. OFGEM encourages consumers to shop around, and has now made it easier for some smaller suppliers to take on the “Big Six”. This is especially important in the light of the recent allegations concerning price-fixing.

Though many customers believe that they are tied into a contract, so can’t change supplier, it’s often possible to pay a fee, and still save money. In some cases customers have even found that their supplier has not played by the rules, so they can simply walk away.

When you speak with an Electric Heating Expert advisor, we won’t simply sell you a heating system. We will help you to decide on the radiators and control system that best suits you and your property, and offer first rate technical support if you need it. We will also be pleased to help with any questions you may have regarding your electricity tariff.

Websites such as http://www.ukpower.co.uk make it easy to compare prices. It’s easy to do, and could save more than you think.

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