50,000 consumers switch suppliers after energy price rise

  oresome 16:20 14 Oct 2013

This is the figure claimed by one of the comparison sites since SSE raised prices by 8.2% last week.

On the face of it this is competition at work and will ensure an efficient market and the lowest prices for the consumer.

On the other hand, think of the administrative effort and cost involved in transfering those customers and the commission earned by the comparison sites. Consumers are being constantly churned between the various energy companies for short term gains at an enormous cost that is ultimately borne by the consumer.

I say short term because the other suppliers will follow with price rises as sure as eggs are eggs and the only long term winners will be the comparison sites through commission and the suppliers through higher prices.

I wonder how much all the churning adds to the typical bill?

  spuds 19:00 14 Oct 2013

What's the point in changing, because no sooner does one energy supplier change their rates and terms, the others follow. Yet there is constant talk about competition and fair trading.

It might be interesting to watch the BBC Watchdog programme on BBC 1 this Wednesday at 8pm. Watchdog sent out invitations to all the major energy supplier's, asking if their CEO's would like to attend so as to give their company's views. Apparently two CEO's have accepted, and will be interviewed this Wednesday?.

  Mr Mistoffelees 19:55 14 Oct 2013

I switched to a fixed price contract in anticipation of the Autumn price rises, just a week before SSE announced their rise. I'm with E.On, no doubt they will soon catch-up.

  oresome 20:25 14 Oct 2013

I've researched a new fixed price contract with EDF, my present supplier.

The unit prices are up to 38% higher than with the present tariff, but fixed till 2017.

It's anyone's guess whether this would be turn out to be cost effective or not but I won't be taking it on.

  Dragon_Heart 02:02 15 Oct 2013

I understand George Osborne has promised investment from China for our power industry ........ but don't let's forget they will want a return plus on this investment .... who pays for that ? Joe Public

  spuds 09:28 15 Oct 2013

When you see a joke paper showing a large Russian figure, who looks warm and content, turning the handle on a stopcock on a pipeline leading to the UK. And seeing pictures of the UK go into darkness, you might begin to think who as the real power and say on UK energy?.

  fourm member 09:42 15 Oct 2013

Though now corrected, it is worth remembering that that animation (part of the opening credits for 'Have I Got News for You' for anyone wondering) originally showed the stopcock being opened not closed.

An accidental metaphor for the level of understanding of many of those who claim to be able to talk about the energy market.

  rickf 17:23 15 Oct 2013

It's all a con at the end of the day as you have pointed out. Now chop my head off!! It's the same idea as teaser bank savings rates.

  T0SH 18:53 15 Oct 2013

If half or more of SSE`s customers switched just after they made the price rise announcement how many other suppliers do you think would rush to join them ?

Cheers HC

  TopCat® 19:00 15 Oct 2013

I recently 'signed up' for Southern Electric's one year fixed price contract, to take effect before their price increase. Initially, I started to do it online, but when it came to the final page I saw that they required me to pay much more monthly for my gas and electricity.

The reason for this, I noted, was it was assumed that my total bill for duel fuel would amount to around £1,368 and they had divided it equally by the 12 months. As we currently use only about £748 worth of energy annually I cancelled the online application and rang them up.

I explained to the guy my reasons for not doing it online, inasmuch as it would mean over one hundred pounds leaving my bank monthly and I would have to ask them several times in the coming year to refund my over-payments. I don't see why my excess money paid in should lie in the company's account rather than mine!

He agreed with that and assured me I could continue my usual monthly payments with no increase for the 12 months, provided of course my energy usage stays roughly the same. On one occasion when my account went in to debit I made credit card payment to cover it.

So it pays to be extra careful when signing up to any contract online. TC.

  BT 08:22 16 Oct 2013

Is there any real advantage in switching as it seems to me that when one supplier makes a change eventually they all make a similar change so nullifying any short term advantage.

Checking my bills over the last three years the like for like quarterly bills haven't varied by more than a very small amount, not necessarily higher.

As to paying by Direct Debit it seems to me that there always seems to be an over estimate of the amount you need to pay so that they always have more of your money than they are entitled to. I realise that it helps some people to spread their costs equally over the months but it would be just as easy to put away a similar amount yourself into a separate account to cover the bills when they arrive.

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