Friday, 19 October 2012

Very confused

With the cost of gas and electricity in the news at the moment, due to the imminent price rises, I thought I would have to at least make an effort and check if I can get a better deal. I am such a low user I can't see how I can get it any lower other than by not switching on any appliances and not putting the heating on. Ah well let's have a look at it, I haven't got time to be trawling through the comparison web sites, but you never know I might learn something.

I have to admit I struggle to understand all the different tariffs, don't know what a kwh is, don't understand how they convert metric units into kwh's, what is a metric unit anyway? First I need to know how much fuel I have used in the last year, that's easy, add up the total money paid on the last four quarterly bills. I get both gas and electricity from British Gas. Armed with these figures I can then go to the comparison sites and look for a better deal. Right, I spent £169 on gas and £179 on electricity. Total £348 for the year.

First stop was to check on the British Gas web site. They have sent me a letter saying I can freeze my tariff at the new rate, for one year from the date of the price rise in November. It's called Fix and Fall. They have 28 flippin tariffs listed, how flippin confusing. It turns out that I could save £12 per year if I went on to their new fangled Fix and Fall. Don't think I will bother.

Next, Uswitch said I could go onto the NPower Juice tariff and save £31 a year. Confused came up with Telecom plus for £259, saving £88 per year, and Tesco Compare said I could sign up with NPower on their Gosave dual fuel for £211 per year, saving a massive £136. How the heck can they get it down to that? Now my head is spinning, I just don't understand a lot of figures.

What confuses me is that not all companies have anounced their price rises, so who knows what they are going to be. The figures I have calculated for the last year are going to be lower anyway (at the old price), so the savings quoted now are going to look good. They won't look so good when they have all followed suit and put their prices up.

I always think of the saying, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is. Call me sceptical if you like, but I simply don't believe anything the utility companies tell me. I can see the point of families shopping around who may use a lot of fuel, but I don't think my current bills are too bad at all. Looking at my annual statement it suggests a Clear and Simple tariff might be better for me. The web site says one thing and the statement says another, what a flippin nightmare. I think I will give British Gas a ring. If they can save me a few bob I will go for it. I'm going to have to stop writing about this because I have spent enough time pondering about it today. The more I ponder the more confused I get. Help, let me out of here!

23 comments:

  1. Not sure how it works overseas but in the states many electricity providers have flat rate plans. All of which I decline in place of a variable rate plan which is based on the cost of natural gas. I can go online and check to see what the natural gas prices are and so far for the last year or two it has been considerably lower than the fixed rate plan. I agree that the way these companies determine their prices is way confusing. But I think that it the point so they can continue to make a hefty profit. LOL!

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  2. Do they have an AgeUK tariff at British Gas...we fixed ours today with Eon and got a £20 discount.

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  3. The fees, service charges, etc. on my electric bill are usually greater than the actual cost of the electricity I've used, more than doubling the bill. I try not to grind my teeth when I see the monthly bill, but it does tighten my jaw.

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  4. I've given myself a headache today too and still have no conclusions. I use Eon and when you take the Tesco points they give into the equation it gets more and more confusing. I think I may do my ostrich act ..... pass me the bucket of sand.

    I loved your car part art work yesterday, its a pity its a Ford Focus.
    It looks more like a Mond(eo)rian. lol

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  5. Like quinn, I agree that it's a bit unfair for low users to have to pay all the standing charges and fees, often more than the cost of the fuel used. This skews the cost unfairly in favour of the high user.

    And you're right, the tariffs are soooo confusing.

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  6. It is very confusing. Also, we have just changed suppliers and our old company seem to be taking an age refunding us our credit. Frustrating. The old system was much more straight forward, I wonder how older people manage who aren't online to check they are getting a good deal.

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  7. Hi Ilona, I agree with you completely, when it comes to utility bills; a complete nightmare figuring out which is the best deal. I changed my tariff, but not my company recently. They made a right pig's ear of it and after all the hassle, they now tell me that the Fixed Discounted tariff I thought I had secured until 2014 wasn't a capped tariff like I thought (going by the name of the tariff) so my rates went up mid October. They do everything they can to confuse and bamboozle. I'm tempted to phone them to tell them I want to pay when the bill comes in rather than they way I do it at the moment, but I know it would cost me more. Seems like sometimes we can't win. On the plus side, I reduced our mobile phone bill today and home insurance, so happy about that. Better in my pocket than in theirs. :-) Cheers for now, Christy.

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  8. I'm confused reading how confused you are:)

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  9. Where we live in a rural area in Canada, the delivery charge is higher than the actual electricity used on our electricity bill, it's crazy. We have oil central heating so it's hit and miss whenever we fill the tank, as it all depends on how much the oil is the day they deliver.

    The companies don't believe in making things user friendly!!

    Gill

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  10. It is a total duck shoot............our village here in the u.s. has given people the option of switching over and saving 38%, I have gone with it as it is tied in for two years but also it is the only thing I can understand. There should be a law..................

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  11. Use this for any conversions you wish:

    http://calculator-converter.com/converter_kilowatt_to_metric_horsepower_kw_to_hp_calculator.php

    If you want to convert meters to yards or Centigrade to Fahrenheit, the convertor is little more than typing in a blank. The same thing works for your conversion you wish to make.

    Anything that freezes your rate is a gamble. You are gambling that the rates won't fall, leaving you paying a higher rate than others. I have not see many energy rates dropping, so you would probably be safe!

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  12. I am just passing by Ilona. I am leaving a comment so you will be dead chuffed.
    I use calor gas.

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  13. Hi Ilona, Re converting your gas, this calculator is handy, just alter if the calorific value is different. http://www.energylinx.co.uk/gas_meter_conversion.html
    Cheers, Christy.

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  14. From the ASPCA--American Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JqvzFqdnwE0

    Google "ASPCA-Willie Nelson--Always on my Mind" That is what the video is about.

    You might want to share this.

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  15. Do try a quote from Eon, as stated above, they do a special rate if you sign up with them and ask for the AgeUK tariff.

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  16. I wouldn`t even try to switch energy companies. They seem pretty much all the same to me, just out to screw you over as much as they can get away with. But, you are right. It`s far too confusing. I`d stick with what you`ve got.

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  17. Another confused here.

    I have a relative who lives in a new Eco friendly house which has been very well insulated. She never seems to have to have the heating on.

    I would like to see most of the homes in britain bulldozed
    And new ones in there place as the majority are no longer viable.
    Hate my money lining the pockets of the utility companies

    Midlands annie

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  18. MQ This weeks Newsquiz on Radio 4 talks about how complicated comparing fuel prices is. It did make me laugh.

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  19. In Australia our charges for meter reading, supply charges etc are more then we actually use. Our quarterly bill was $115 and $70 of that was just charges!! i dont know how they get away with it!

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  20. I'm glad I'm not the only one who is confused with the pricing tariffs for utilities. I think the whole system stinks. Why are there so many different prices, why aren't we all paying the same per unit used. It's supposed to be the competition between suppliers which keep the prices down as they all fight for our business.

    I was listening to the Money Programme this morning, many people are not changing because they can't work out who to go with. Now the government is saying the companies should be forced to put all their customers on the cheapest tariff. Well if they do that the price would automatically go up. What they need to do is to limit the amount of different tariffs there are, and make them simple to understand.

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  21. Thanks for reminding me that I need to check out what a new supplier could do for us. I am so looking forward to it now.

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  22. I sometimes wonder what would happen if everybody told their supplier to take the meter out?

    I know it won't happen, but if we all wrote to the company and told them we no longer wanted their power, and to remove their equipment from our property, it would be the ultimate demonstration as to how pissed off we all are with their grasping ways.

    The government aren't much better with the VAT they collect from our power bills. If I remember correctly, this was introduced by the Conservatives and the then Labour party were up in arms about how terrible it was. But when they came to power they didn't remove it, too much of an earner.

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  23. Hi Ilona. The energyhelpline.com gives cashback of £15 for switching electricity suppliers & £15 for switching gas suppliers. All the information is available on the Moneysavingexpert website. They even help you select the best switch option. It's a genuine offer that I've used twice myself. The money takes several weeks to be deposited into your bank account, but there are no catches. Hope this helps.

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