Energy Switching

Has anyone got experience of using Energy Switching companies?

I’ve just had an email from Look After My Bills suggesting I switch - 2 months before my end date - to another supplier which will be £3.69 PER YEAR cheaper!!! Fixed for one year!

Some while back now, using USwitch, I swapped to OVO Energy as the total annual cost was around £100 a year than I was paying. They are an all online company and I find this works very well. There are the usual ‘pressures’ to have a ‘Smart’ meter, that goes nowhere with me and after ‘advising’ them of this I have few attempts by them now.

I set a reminder on my phone and each month, submit a reading online, no problem. Also if I do pay over and above on each monthly payment they pay between 3% and 5% interest on this. For the second time now I’ve signed up for a fixed for a two-year deal which suits me. Be aware of Exit Fees though, should you decide to change to another supplier, before contract end date. :wink: :slight_smile:

Thanks Baz

I used to use OVO and thought they were great. I didn’t realise they were still paying interest though. BUT their standing charges are .06p and .03p on Gas & Electric respectively per day.

I would only use an independent price comparison website like WHICH, most others work on commission and that feeds in somewhere .

I think the whole switching thing is a bit of a con and requires a lot of work for very little. Lower tariffs are often offered to ‘new customers’ in the form of a percentage reduction not applicable after the first contracted period ends.

Some newer cheaper companies quickly go out of business and customers find themselves transferred to another company.
Cheaper is not always better when it means customer service is poor.

I was with Ovo a number of years and they were great, then they took over a large number of customers from a failed company and the customer service deteriorated eg they started sending estimated bills even though I had sent in my own readings on time each month as usual and they kept raising my monthly payments in anticipation that I might fall behind and go into arrears though I never had in all the years I was with them. There were strange goings on when I left, the final bill was estimated and my reading ignored and the estimated bill greatly inflated :twisted:
Ovo also lost their high rating with WHICH and were find for overcharging customers.
I am with Octopus now, highly rated by WHICH no exit fees Octopus Energy: Switch to affordable renewable energy online

ok so far after a year but the price of my new contract has risen but I think energy prices have risen overall excepting new customer discounts.


When you submit your final reading take a photograph of the meter with a piece of paper stating the time and date.
I didn’t do that and this ‘loyal customer’ had all kinds of problems one being my final meter reading was not excepted.

…a quick word about smart meters, just heard on the radio when gas switches to hydrogen to comply with climate change regulations they won’t work :lol:. They may all have to be scrapped.

I have said all along they are a con nothing to do with ‘saving customers money’ but a convenience for suppliers.

I’m getting so confused with this! It seems the switching comparison doesn’t compare with your current tariff - it uses the tariff to which you will switched if you continue with that company!! :shock:

That’s about right Lindy :slight_smile: :roll:

:023: You are welcome. I only have electricity through OVO and am a very low user, the standing charges I have not taken too much notice of, it’s more the overall cost I concentrate on. As companies all have standing charges though, I will now check this out, thanks for the info.

I was not aware some of the negatives you state re: OVO, will bear all this in mind in future though, should it come to making a decision on switching again.

Problems with estimated bills were experienced once or twice but soon remedied, they said this was “due to a changeover between their older software and newly-developed software”.

The system, whatever it is, that controls ‘debit’ and ‘credit’ amounts and advising increasing the monthly payment I do experience. This month for instance, only yesterday, I was £23+ in credit, a meter reading was submitted and then I was £2.13 in debit, that meant my payment 'needs to increase by £5 a month or I will be £57 in debit by the end of the contract". Two day’s later though I know the account will be in credit as a payment will have been made! None of these figures add up to me, I believe all this relies very much on the date of meter reading and the date of Direct Debit payment. I did query this once and had it explained to me how this works but basically the advice from OVO was to ignore any increase required. :confused: :wink: :slight_smile:

Good advice about photographing the meter (an even better way of proving the date is with a dated newspaper).

I have a similar outlook on ‘Smart’ meters, no company invests all that amount of money for the good of the customer, there is an ulterior motive somewhere not to the customer’s benefit which I do not wish to be part of. :wink: :slight_smile:

A family member is with Octopus and finds them very good, perhaps I might give them a try next time round. :slight_smile:

A smart meter means that companies don’t have to pay people to make home visits to take an actual reading to check that submitted reading are honest.

A ‘smart’ meter also means the companies supplying electricity know exactly what everybody’s usage is. How long before ‘tiered’ electricity rates are introduced with the most used having an additional cost attached to them? :confused: :frowning:

The cost of checking meters is, I am guessing, way less than the cost of installing a ‘smart’ meter in every home. :wink: :slight_smile:

Which means that when the reading is wrong, you have a big problem trying to get it corrected!!

As far as I’m concerned, anything which gives control to someone else, leaves me out of control!!


2 years ago I signed up with look after my Bills. I saved £200 that year they changed me from southern gas electric to another user , my Bill’s were cheaper. I’ve now been switched for the last 8 months to utility point I’ve just upped my d d to £50 as suggested by the company from £38 dd . Each month I receive email asking me to send reading . I plug in the black box thing and read the numbers and send them up so no chance of wrong readings. I’ve had no issues at all . They will switch me again when this contract ends . It seems they are paid by the electric and gas companies not us . Fingers crossed it carries on like this because I am pleased. My house is a 2 bed terrace and I’m always in credit at the end of the contract and receive my money back

Edited to add I was told by southern electric gas that some companies do sell their energy cheaper as they buy cheaper

In the short run, but over time probably more economical.

Look after my Bills was on Dragon’s Den a couple of years ago.

The fact is they have quoted another energy tariff with the same company which will cost me quite a bit more. I have compared that tariff to others available and found another company (which I’ve used before and found them pretty good) which would be significantly cheaper.

“They are paid by electric and gas companies not us” - Yes - I agree. Some companies will no doubt pay them more than others…perhaps that’s why they haven’t recommended the cheaper tariff that has been recommended by WHICH and Money Saving Energy Club - neither of whom are commission based!!!

I’ve never changed my gas supplier since we moved here almost fifty years ago. I’ve heard so many horror stories of people being ripped off with incorrect bills and projected Direct Debit payments, I send my meter readings in every quarter and they email my bill which I pay by card and never had a problem. I don’t see the point of all the potential for hassle when you might save a hundred quid over the year…:102:

Smart meters are the devils spawn, and should be avoided at all costs…:twisted::evil::evil:

When our energy contracts come up for renewal, I do the searches on the tinternet and V handles the actual negotiations by phone. This works well for us and usually we stay with who ever it is at a rate at least equal to what we paid the previous 12/18months unless the quotes I come up with are more than £25/yr lower - then we change supplier.

Absolutely. Whenever I switch, I refuse to go with any company which insists on my having a smart meter. In fact, I now find that there are fewer and fewer of them, so the message may be getting through.

Incidentally, I have always used the Cheap Energy Club to find me a competitive quote when my current deal is nearing the end.

However, I believe that Look After My Bills is also good, but with the additional service that they automatically move you to another supplier without you having to agree! I’d rather make my own decisions, once having all the information I need.

True. A few months ago my last supplier asked me to take a photo of each meter when my next readings were due.
Obviously, I couldn’t ‘wind the meters back’, so I assume it was to prove that I wasn’t lying!

Bit of an update on this:
When Look After my Bills informed me that they had switched me - within 50 days of termination so as not to incur a penalty charge - they sent an email informing me of the new supplier and tariffs and also said: “You are in complete control of this switch. You can cancel up to 14 days from 21/07/2021. Just let us know if you’d like to do that… but if you stay with us, you’ll never be ripped off again!”

I responded and told them of the cheaper tariff I’ve found - with AVRO energy and got this response:
Unfortunately we aren’t able to switch you to a specific tariff, our system is largely automated and there is no capacity for us to switch a customer to a specific supplier and/or tariff.

I’m astonished…and have now received a request for a review!!!