Thursday, 16 June 2011

Just use less

There has been a lot in the press just lately of price increases for gas and electricity, causing great consternation as people are worried about how they will cope. Those who are keen to keep their costs down are naturally looking to change suppliers, in the never ending running around in circles to keep their heads above water.

I read Moneysavingexpert forum, and the posters in the utility section report of many problems when trying to change, the complicated tariffs and poor service from suppliers. Changeovers never seem to go smoothly.

I am all for searching out bargains as you know, a few pennies saved here and there and all that, but I really cannot face the disruption and uncertainty of changing my supplier.

I have looked at the tariffs offered, and I cannot fathom them out, they totally baffle me. Oh, I know there are compare websites that help with these matters, but even they baffle me. I cannot be arsed to faff about.

I have just received my first combined gas and electric bill from British Gas. Makes sense to put them both on one bill, eh :o) I have to pay a total of £85.60 for the quarter. The gas meter has been read because it's on the outside of the house, so the cost of £33.13 is correct. The electric has been estimated, because the meter is inside, but it's a good estimate, I know what I use and so do they, so £51.48 is ok by me.

I can't find any other supplier that can better that, and if there are any it will be such a piddling amount it won't be worth the hassle of changing. My simple logic tells me that to reduce your gas and electricity bills all you have to do is to use less.


  1. We changed to British Gas dual billing and they have been fine, so far.We get a better rate than we did with the previous provider.

    You are right about using less. I went to a neighbour`s house recently and was amazed to find nearly every downstairs light on in the middle of the day.

  2. and if we all used less, we'd be saving all those emissions going up into our lovely air too. great post!

  3. I'm with you on that Ilona. We've never changed supplier of gas, electricity or the telephone. I know too many people who've had nought but hassle after changeover. Okay, it probably would be cheaper, but peace of mind is more important to us. I could happily strangle the people who keep hassling us by phone or knocking the door - they do however look totally befuddled when I insist I'd rather pay more! One cheeky bugger even told me we didn't get a better supply for paying more - he left with a great big flea in his ear ;o)

  4. I changed to Ebico, the only not-for-profit supplier.
    Everyone pays the same per unit, however they pay.
    No standing charge, so the bills are easy to work out too.
    They also use your local supplier to do the paperwork and ,meter reading, so keeping local jobs too.
    Switching was easy, do the readings, give them a call, that was all!

  5. Last time I looked at a comparison site it told me that all the other alternatives would cost me more! I'm not sure rushing to change suppliers really works longterm - taking a capped deal works if you can find one. Meanwhile, we're sticking with what we have and unable to cut down because of 92 year old mother-in-law who practically threatens to phone social services if the heating isn't on ( we've cut it down to an hour or so early morning and a couple of hours at night an all other radiators turned off). It's frustrating and costly but .....

  6. I 'inherited' my provider when I moved house 8 weeks ago. I rang them before the move and was told that I had to stay with them for a month and then I could change suppliers if I wanted to. The young man on the phone was friendly, polite and helpful and I had enough to sort out with the move so I stayed with them. I have just submitted my first meter reads as my first bills are due. A total of just over £70 for gas and electricity, which I thought was ok considering there are 3 of us. You are right about using less- I am far more conscious of usage in this house than I was before. I also inherited a water meter ( not had one before) so I am also saving money there aswell - I make sure I check my meters regularly and keep a record of the figures so that I can keep an eye on usage.

  7. I must admit the rates confuse me too, but I have used comparison sites successfully in the past. I've been with Scottish Power online for about 3 years now and I'm fairly happy with them. I submit my own meter readings online which saves money. When those nice young men come round to try and get you to change suppliers they usually leave pretty quickly when I say I'm with Scot Power online because they can't compete with the prices. Even with Scot power raising their prices soon the online rates will styill be low, and tyhe other suppliers are boiund to follow suit pretty soon anyway.
    I'm afraid I wouldn't go back to British gas. I found them very pricey and when we moved to this house they couldn't just transfer all my details I had to cancel my old account and open a new one and set up a brand new direct debit. And then that got messed up. Plus my sister got billed twice in one quarter and they wouldn't admit their mistake for months.
    So I think I'll be staying with Scottish Power Online for the time being.

    As for using less, my DH and I try but I have 5 adult children still at home and trying to keep track of them turning off equipment etc. When they all leave home - eventually - DH and I will be quite happy to sit in the dark and not have the heating on.

  8. I hate that faffing about as much as you. Can`t grumble. Have a key meter for my electricity and a card for the gas. That way I can instantly keep track of how much I use. The lovely people that knock on my door to get me to change always leave with a flea in their ear. I hate paying bills by direct debit and much prefer my current way of payments. This way I am in charge of how much I can afford to put on the electric and gas. No chance of me changing to different suppliers at all.

  9. Our supplier wanted to increase our DD from £80 per month to £150. We have a 1 bedroom cottage with no central heating!

    I told them they could forget it and if we do use more we'll pay for it.

    Sft x

  10. I recently changed to a supplier that charges a single per unit amount so it's incredibly easy to work out what the cost is.

    Having a smart meter sends my usage automatically every 30mins so I can track exactly how much I use every hour and then pay for it online.

    Switching was a bit of a pain (the old company estimated the wrong final amount and sent that to the new provider), but once I did it, the savings made it VERY worth while.

  11. That's interesting gz, thanks for that info.
    Sft you have just highlighted why I wont go onto direct debit. I use it, they bill me, I pay it.

  12. I am not anonymous but have tried 6 times using my google account and although I am signed in to it as soon as I come back to this page it asks me to sign in again - ARGH!

    I have just renewed my contract with Scottish Power this week and despite the shock stories in the paper the unit rates I am fixed to for a year are slightly less than I was paying which is cheaper than anyone else quoted when I checked out Have also changed to B Gas for work (business is much trickier to change as you only have a short period each year to do it) and I should save about £300 a year - every little helps as they say :)

    Kate G

  13. I will never ever change suppliers again after the nightmare scenario I found myself in after taking the advice of MSE. It was definitely a case of better the devil you know. Long and boring story so I wont tell it. I am sticking with EDF!


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