Bills and payments
My old supplier has offered me a better deal to stay with them – should I take it?
It‘s common for your old supplier to offer a better deal to try and stop you from switching. Before accepting, ensure it‘s as good as they say by asking the following questions:
1. What are the unit rates and standing charge?
Check your old supplier‘s unit rates and standing charge are cheaper than ours, as some suppliers may reduce your monthly Direct Debit without reducing the actual price of your energy. This could result in you building up a substantial debit with them.
Your old supplier might also divert your attention from unit rates to the standing charge, especially if theirs is cheaper than ours. But please bear in mind that standing charges have a much smaller impact on your energy cost than the unit rates.
2. Can I have full tariff information, including the annual usage estimate?
Not only will this show unit rates and standing charge, but you‘ll be able to see what annual usage estimate they‘ve calculated savings on.
We use the estimate you gave us, or Ofgem‘s Low, Medium, High values (as indicated by you). Your old supplier‘s usage estimate might be different, meaning your payments might not be enough for your usage.
3. What tariff will I default to once the cheap deal ends?
Many suppliers will move you to an expensive tariff once a cheap one ends, in the hope you‘ll forget to switch. Octopus Energy covered this on their blog and on the BBC's Money Box program. This might be alright if you‘re a regular switcher, but if you‘re after long-term value you‘re better off with M&S.