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Which is the Best Energy Comparison Site

(27 Posts)
jeanie99 Sat 18-May-19 18:40:49

Our energy supplier Extra Energy closed down while we were on holiday last November.
Ofgem moved us to Scottish power while we were away.
Having looked at our first bill it does seem that we are paying way too much.
We have decided to check out the comparison sites, BUT who do we use.
Recommendations please.

gangy5 Sat 18-May-19 19:00:00

Beware of the small companies. I've just left one (don't think I'm allowed to name them). I signed up for duel fuel and agreed £80 per month. It wasn't long before they were asking for more money so I cancelled the direct debit and left them. I've now discovered that I'm with another bad one - at least according to the reviews on 'trustpilot'. I changed over before my son told me about trustpilot,

FlexibleFriend Sat 18-May-19 19:00:02

List of Ofgem accredited comparison sites, Think I used energylink

www.ofgem.gov.uk/consumers/household-gas-and-electricity-guide/how-switch-energy-supplier-and-shop-better-deal/compare-gas-and-electricity-tariffs-ofgem-accredited-price-comparison-sites

Charleygirl5 Sat 18-May-19 19:11:35

I have been with Octopus for over a year now and they never keep asking me for money. I pay around £67 a month for dual fuel.

It is so easy to email that company and no nonsense of 10 working days before a reply. I am more than happy and although small, they have had good reviews.

jeanie99 Sat 18-May-19 19:20:19

Our bill came in at £616 and it only covers just over 4 months we were away for 2 months.
Do you think that is expensive we do.
I will check out what you suggest

MamaCaz Sat 18-May-19 19:39:02

I like U-Switch for comparisons, though my latest switch was done via the MSE Energy Club.

As already said, be very wary of some of the small companies. Like your last supplier, a number of these have failed in the last year, and more are expected to go the same way in the near future.
I personally, in common with thousands of other customers, it would seem, had a lot of problems with one called Outfox the Market, which seems to be marketing under various names now, including Foxglove Energy. I recently 'escaped' from them, and based on my own experience, my advice would be to avoid them like the plague

Check out review sites, but be very wary of any companies who appear to be having a lot of customer reviews removed from these, or where nearly all great reviews are based purely on the sign-up process rather than longer-term customer service issues.

Be aware that the best deal for you depends where exactly you live, so you definitely need to do your own comparisons based on your address and postcode. What's on offer on one area will not necessarily be available in another.

I have just started the search for my mum's next supplier today, so I know what a palaver this process is and sympathise with you. smile

Grannyben Sat 18-May-19 20:04:00

I've actually changed mine this afternoon. Have been with Scottish Power and found them excellent but my fixed rate is due to end and I personally felt that their new deals were a bit too expensive.

As in previous occasions, I used the Martin Lewis website. Just make sure that you put your actual yearly energy usage in as opposed to how much you pay, It gives you a much more accurate result. You can find your usage on your previous bills.

I didn't go with the biggest saving, I found a good 2 year fixed rate which suits me better as I need to budget

Charleygirl5 Sat 18-May-19 21:41:29

jeanie99 I think that bill is way OTT and you should look around.

MamaCaz Sat 18-May-19 21:59:22

I presume that you were put on a standard tariff by Scottish Power when your account was transferred over to them, which is generally quite expensive.

On top of that, you have been with them over the winter period, which is when the average consumer uses most of their energy.
Most of us have now got used to our bills being spread out across twelve month into twelve equal monthly payments, with these only changing if our company thinks that we are showing signs of using more or less fuel than predicted over that time, This probably won't have been the case with Scottish Power - they will almost certainly have billed you for your actual usage over that period, hence a much higher than average bill.

Have you checked exactly what unit prices and standing charges you are being charged, and have you been giving actual meter readings rather than letting them work on 'estimated' usage?
You almost certainly need to change supplier (as most of us need to whenever a fixed-term contract ends), but you really need these details before you can begin to make an accurate price comparison

jeanie99 Sun 19-May-19 00:01:28

I've haven't had an actual detailed bill only told the amount I owe on the phone.
Have asked for the details but nothing been sent, I'm getting really irritated by the company. The opening reading are wrong I have told them that, it's like talking to a brick wall.
Extra Energy I believe owe me money but the Administrators haven't been in touch either, as anyone else had the same problem? I was only with EE for about two years but had so many problems with them, I'm not even going into that.

MamaCaz Sun 19-May-19 01:06:28

Are you paying them a monthly direct debit amount? If so, contain paying it, but don't pay them a penny more until they provide a proper bill that shows exactly how they have calculated the amount they claim you owe.

I have read that when a company goes under, and its customers shifted to a new supplier as you were, it can take quite a long time before any credit that you had is refunded, so you will just have to be patient on that score, I'm afraid. It's a double whammy really, isn't it - hit by higher prices and deprived of your own credit at the same time.

Actually, the MSE forums (more specifically, the energy forum) are a great place to get answers to your questions and advice in how best to proceed. I came across them when my previous supplier started messing customers about, and found the advice given on there invaluable! I recommend you take a look.

Grannyknot Sun 19-May-19 07:20:46

I haven't used Look After My Bills, but I was intrigued when the two tech-savvy young men who started it were on Dragon's Den - it was the only time in the history of the programme (I think) when all the Dragons invested a few years ago, and they are still around, so it must be a good business:

lookaftermybills.com/

As I understand it, you sign up once, and the programme automatically looks for the best deal for you

Grannyknot Sun 19-May-19 07:22:06

Meant to add, not used them yet, because so far my OH hunts for the best deals... I keep meaning to explain about Look After My Bills to him, so shall do that today. smile

gangy5 Sun 19-May-19 09:40:20

A PS to my first post. I can't explain why, I did something which I would never normally countenance when a man at the door persuaded me that he could greatly reduce my energy bills. My advice is don't do this and sign up this way.
As I stated before, my first supplier was crap and I'm not sure that the 2nd one isn't going to be the same. If OK I shall continue with the current one until the year's contract is up and the transfer to an ofgem accreditd supplier.
If you find that you need to change in a hurry, immediately cancel your direct debit before informing the company of your departure before they take a greatly inflated final payment. I had the sense to do this although I am still being hassled for more money. I worked out what I owed them, plus 2 exit fees and sent a cheque as final payment.

jeanie99 Mon 20-May-19 07:51:23

Thanks everyone for all your suggestions.
I've tried using the comparison sites but can't see it through as they are asking for my usage which of course I don't have.
I am getting so irritated by all this.
Must go have an appointment I'll try and sort something out today by again ringing my supplier. I am going to try and keep cool when on the phone if I can, last time I think I was talking to a concrete block.

MamaCaz Mon 20-May-19 09:25:29

jeannie99

I know this is a long shot, but I don't suppose you ever downloaded or kept a final bill from a previous supplier, did you? They often give an indication, sometimes a very specific one, of your annual usage.
Another, even longer shot,but worth a try if you still have the necessary logging -on details, is to try logging in to an old energy account (assuming you had an online account). Some companies, apparently, are very lax about closing these when a customer leaves, meaning it might still be possible for an ex customer to access it - and the information on it, such as usage - long after they have left.

It's amazing what you learn once you have found yourself with a bad supplier, whose angry customers create a Facebook group where they can share information and help each other fight the company!

Buffybee Mon 20-May-19 10:25:52

I was with Extra Energy jeannie and like you was transferred to Scottish Power.
I don't rely on the comparison sites but work out costs by finding different energy firms unit prices and standing charges then comparing for myself.
The "Winner" on price was So energy, I have now transferred to them and have an easy to understand online account with them.
Another plus, you can phone them and be answered by real people.
All my family have now moved to them, they always leave the comparison "slog" to me. smile

jeanie99 Wed 22-May-19 23:57:15

Mamacaz
We were away when the company finished trading and by the time we got back the website had been closed so I didn't a chance to see what the summary was.
I rang SP and gave our readings.
I have a record of reading though going back to when the meter was installed..
I disputed with EE their readings and these reading were passed on to Scotish Power, I spoke to a manager and he understands that these have been entered incorrectly.
I rang SP yesterday and asked how it was that they are capable of telling me how much I owe them but that capable of providing me with an itemized bill.
The response was thousands of people have been move to them that they haven't had the time to provide bills. My account on their website as nothing for me to see.
Buffbee
How have you managed to move from SP I can't even get detailed costs of what I am being charged. What did you do.
With the D/D I have now paid just over £700 for 5 months. Alright it was the coldest period so I guess I need to take this into account although SP told me I was on their least expensive tariff.
I am stuck with this as I can't use the comparison sites because I don't have any usage, the database wouldn't just accept the cost I have paid.
Very Very fed up at the moment.

Buffybee Thu 23-May-19 00:37:00

jeannie you don't need to look at any Comparison sites, just Google So Energy and there is a join up website.
I didn't have any usage information either but you can bypass this by answering some questions about the size of your house, how many bedrooms etc. At this point you also set up your online account with them.
They do everything from there on, .i.e. Deal with moving you from Scottish Power.
They keep in touch by emailing and I had to provide meter readings, also as I mentioned they also have a call centre.
At this point I cancelled my Scottish Power Direct Debit as I didn't want to be paying twice.
The changeover was completed recently, I received a bill through the post from Scottish Energy, which I paid, ((never did get an itemized bill), then they sent me a cheque this week as they decided I had overpaid.
You might actually owe Scottish Power quite a bit as when they took over from Ee, it took them a while to sort out a Direct Debit and for at least two months there were no payments made to anyone.

MamaCaz Thu 23-May-19 04:20:28

Jeannie

As bad as this situation is, I am not sure that you can move company until this is sorted out with Scottish Power.

Off the top of my head, I think that a company can normally block a switch away from them if there is outstanding debt that is over a month old. It sounds rather like this would be the case (or at least that SP think it is) with regard to your account with them.
Although, as SP is your Supplier of Last Resort (a company appointed by Ofgem to take over a failed supplier's customers), there may be different rules in place.

Also, because things are already complicated because of the collapse of Extra Energy, you would be adding yet another layer of complication if you were to try to move on before resolving this.

My advice is to keep pestering them for an itemized bill. I could be wrong, but I think you have a legal right to one!

ayse Thu 23-May-19 09:55:31

I use two or three of the switch sites that come up on google. Then I compare these results with each other. I’m still with Octopus as their prices for staying with them were cheaper than most of the switches. I also look for suppliers who are noted for having good customer service. I haven’t been with any of the big six for ages and avoid them like the plague. I currently pay £60 per month for 2 bed flat, dual fuel.

jeanie99 Fri 24-May-19 08:15:06

Mamacaz
I agree and I will not try and move before all this mess is sorted. I am so annoyed and frustrated by not being able to receive the information I want.
There seems to be no urgency with this company after 6 months.
I don't think it is unreasonable to receive up to date usage information but they seem to think I am being unreasonable in expecting this under the circumstances.
I do not owe them anything I paid the amount they said I owed foolishly because I hate debt accumulation.
What I should have done is just allowed the increase in the D/D monthly payment.

Pittcity Fri 24-May-19 08:23:56

I second checking the advice given on the money saving expert website.

MamaCaz Fri 24-May-19 08:43:49

You certainly have my sympathy, jeannie.

I know first hand just how frustrating - not to mention time-consuming- it is having to deal with this sort of thing.

The only explanation I can offer, (again, based purely on things I have read while dealing with my own now -ex supplier - is that it seems that in many cases, the Supplier of Last Resort (SoLR), Scottish Power in your case, often receives very confused/patchy records from the failed supplier, meaning that they have to go back many months checking figures before they can work out how much 'credit', if any, a customer is due.
Not surprisingly, it takes a long time to do this for every individual customer.
No consolation whatsoever when you are one of those people.

In your case, if you really can't get them to give you even the basic details of the tariff they have put you on, I would take things further now.

Take a look here at something that you might find useful:
www.resolver.co.uk

MamaCaz Fri 24-May-19 08:47:50

But i suggest sending them an email first, saying that you intend to take things further if they fail to supply the information you require within, say, 48 hours. Sometimes that is all it takes to get things moving. Always do it by email though, and keep it plus any replies safe so that there is a paper trail in the future.