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On 24 September 2016 at 00:22, Alfa2Evora said:

My current supplier, Scottish Power, wrote to me a couple of months back to advise that they were rolling out smart meters in my area and that, to avoid them just "turning up on my doorstep unannounced", I should contact them to arrange a date and time "convenient to me". I have 'conveniently' filed their letter under B for bin and will equally 'conveniently' not be in any time they should happen to call.

They've tried that trick round here - and most folks gave them short shrift.

The water companies also tried that one as well a few years ago writing telling everyone they can have an appointment to have a water meter installed as well.

There is no obligation to have your meter changed at all. Unless you have pv and your old one runs backwards. Even then - a smart meter is optional - and a lot of the smart meters do not work with houses that have pv installed.......

Only here once

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9 hours ago, Alfa2Evora said:

I also heard somewhere (I can't recall exactly where and haven't verified this - perhaps someone on here can?) that once you have a smart meter installed, it makes changing supplier a whole lot more difficult.

Apparently, they all use different systems to transfer the data so the meter from one company won't communicate with any equipment from another company. Therefore, if you want to change supplier, you have to get the meter changed too but as you already have a smart meter you no longer qualify for a free installation and so your new cheaper deal loses some of its attraction before you even start.

 

I have had this happen. Was with British Gas on a smart meter (business tariff) and changed to Eon - Eon can't read the smart meter. I wrote to the government minister and the reply was that they are setting up a "third party" that will interface with the meters and then the energy companies can then get the data from them. Don't know the timescales. So back to having the meter read until then.

Dave - 2000 Sport 350
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10 hours ago, Alfa2Evora said:

I also heard somewhere (I can't recall exactly where and haven't verified this - perhaps someone on here can?) that once you have a smart meter installed, it makes changing supplier a whole lot more difficult.

Apparently, they all use different systems to transfer the data so the meter from one company won't communicate with any equipment from another company. Therefore, if you want to change supplier, you have to get the meter changed too but as you already have a smart meter you no longer qualify for a free installation and so your new cheaper deal loses some of its attraction before you even start.

My current supplier, Scottish Power, wrote to me a couple of months back to advise that they were rolling out smart meters in my area and that, to avoid them just "turning up on my doorstep unannounced", I should contact them to arrange a date and time "convenient to me". I have 'conveniently' filed their letter under B for bin and will equally 'conveniently' not be in any time they should happen to call.

No. Not true. I have a smart meter from BG. Switched to Avro. True they cannot read the smart meter so now it works just like a dumb old meter and I take readings.

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  • 2 years later...

Have switched to Bulb(never heard of them) estimated saving of £300 on 1500 bill. Are solar panels worth installing now as price seems to have dropped.

hindsight: the science that is never wrong

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I did all this recently and with electricity only the best saving I could make was £70. TBH I couldn't be bothered especially as things like my Smart Meter wouldn't work with the new company.

Possibly save your life. Check out this website.
http://everyman-campaign.org/

 

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15 hours ago, pete said:

Are solar panels worth installing now as price seems to have dropped

No not really. We had them installed when the agreement gave a good return. Initial investment will be paid for in the first 6 years with an agreement that goes on for 25 years. Now they are talking about 18 - 20 years to get your initial investment back (I assume it is still a 25 year agreement).

There are a couple of issues I can immediately see (I am sure there are more) with the current funding 1. You have to stay in the house for a long time to get your money back 2. Solar panels do not last for ever and degrade each year.

If someone is in all day you can maximise the 'free' generated electricity by only having showers, washing etc.. when the sun is shining - but it does have it's down sides 🙂, in the end you never save as much as you think you will.

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I'm coming to the end of a fixed price contract with one of the Big Boys. I have always switched suppliers when the time comes to get the best deal for me (British Gas, E-ON, N-Power, EDF, Scottish Power) but the only way I can see me maintaining the previous price level is to switch to one of the multitude of tiny companies that seem to have come out of the woodwork in recent years. Is there any risk involved or other issues I should be aware of?

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I switched to avro 18 months ago.  Have to do a monthly meter read on the app ( takes a whole 30 seconds) .  So far no problems. They sent a meter reader round 2  months ago just to make sure were were not telling porkies.  Go for it.

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I'm with Avro too now, still the cheapest for me :)

 

88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

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I am looking to swap to Avro since Octopus have put there prices up (even though I thought I was on a fixed price agreement!) - Does anyone know if Avro do electricity only prices or are they only dual fuel only? (I have contacted Avro but they replied stating they would get back to me in 7 days)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Gas is gas. Electricity is electricity. All I want is gas in the pipes and 240 volts AC at 50Hz at a fair price and I'd be happy. But no we can't have that because competition. Competition in a market where everyone is selling identical stuff. Dozens of different companies with hundreds of different tariffs that you can't compare. Confusion marketing and false promises of savings. Price comparison sites taking kickbacks. Charges for paying one way over another and charges for leaving early. Greenwash tariffs. Whoever is the cheapest today will be expensive in a few months time once they've signed up enough suckers so remember to shop around at least twice per year. We all know that printing out and posting four bills per year really costs the companies £45 so it's absolutely fine for them to pass this on to the customer. Yes that sounds absolutely fair to me. And just wait until the swindlers start programming their smart meters to measure electricity usage in volt-amps instead of watts.

The sooner the lot of them get nationalised the better.

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3 hours ago, pete said:

Agreeing with everything then I came to last sentence

I agree. Ofgem, the EU and UK politicians through cheap political interfereing are costing the average customer at least 10% of their total annual bills. I still remember the blackouts from national ownership. Total chaos back then and so inefficient it was criminal.

Alcohol. Sex. Tobacco. Drugs. Chocolate.  Meh! NOTHING in this world is as addictive as an Evora +0. It's not for babies!    

The first guy to ride a bull for fun, was a true hero. The second man to follow him was truly nuts!   

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Nationalised, or regulated very much more strictly. You don't think that having dozens of different utility companies, each carrying the costs of having their own marketing budgets, billing systems, etc. isn't a huge inefficiency?  

Utilities are a natural monopoly and the question is who should control that monopoly. I wouldn't trust any private company not to exploit things for profits. Could the current government run things again without making a mess of it? Probably not. Maybe a not-for-profit co-operative would fit the bill?

Don't forget that under the current system, for every customer who thinks that they've found themselves a "good deal", there will be somebody else paying over the odds, effectively subsidising the good deal hunter. That person is likely to be a less well off or elderly utility customer. I was happy when we had the Yorkshire Electricity Board and that was all.

The blackouts in the 1970s were due to the oil crisis, caused by the Arab-Israeli war, and the coal miners striking: nothing to do with state owned utilities being inefficient. Ever since then, my mum still keeps a box of candles under the kitchen sink just in case it happens again!

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6 hours ago, RichardC said:

Utilities are a natural monopoly and the question is who should control that monopoly.

 

Difficult to agree that they are a natural monopoly as there are over 70 suppliers in the UK alone. The selling of electricity is not a monopoly at all. That's just hogwash. The main supermarkets, are they a monopoly? The main insurance companies? The main car manufacturers as there are less of them aren't there? Where do you draw the line?

Do we rile at them for being a monopoly because we view energy as essential?  So what about food? Transport? etc. Where do you draw the line.

There is a lot of hogwash re the cost of energy - a lot of emotion - a lot of political indoctrination - etc.

Look at the facts - if you look at the EU countries, the cost of energy in the UK ranks 6th!  So that is in the first quartile is it not. We are significantly cheaper than 20+ other UK countries. So there's the fact and there's a direct, relevant, independent benchmark right there. No emotion. And the figures from an independent source in the EU. Oh and by large our citizens are what, the 3rd or 4th richest in the UK so actually that makes our "cost" even lower in terms of affordability.

Ofgem and the politicians and the Eu pushed smart meters. Not the energy companies. At least £120pa on the cost of every consumers bill. Thank you. Lovely. Super smashing.

Messing about with tariffs. Price caps. Regulation on a whim to satisfy politicians. More annual cost of compliance, setup, running, marketing. Paid for by the consumer.

Renewable subsidies. Add around £75pa on to the bill of every consumer in the country. Forced through by eco warriors and greedy investment companies for their own financial gain.

As I have said, this is not as simple, nor as clean cut as just "it's too expensive, they're all bastards, and we need to renationalise blah de blah de blah..."

 

As for recommendations. Go with the cheapest at the time. End of. Simples. And don't tie yourself in for more than a year. At the end of the day their is sufficient choice and differentiation in the current open market.

Alcohol. Sex. Tobacco. Drugs. Chocolate.  Meh! NOTHING in this world is as addictive as an Evora +0. It's not for babies!    

The first guy to ride a bull for fun, was a true hero. The second man to follow him was truly nuts!   

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  • 1 year later...

British Gas have a very good deal available at the moment, I've just switched and my DD is reduced by £30/month which is nice! 

https://clubs.moneysavingexpert.com/cheapenergyclub/

 

88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

For forum issues, please contact the Moderators. I will aim to respond to emails/PM's Mon-Fri 9-6 GMT. 

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The only competition between the private companies is to see which fatcat can get the highest salary. It's a waste of my time and energy having to switch. When they were nationalised you always got the cheapest deal and you didn't have to fart around trying to get it. Re-nationalise them.

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1 hour ago, mg4lotus said:

The only competition between the private companies is to see which fatcat can get the highest salary. It's a waste of my time and energy having to switch. When they were nationalised you always got the cheapest deal and you didn't have to fart around trying to get it. Re-nationalise them.

Absolute nonsense. When they were nationalised you were paying too much for your energy as the companies were poorly run and you had no choice on who supplied you as they were a monopoly. Never held to account. Full of fat cats ( go and look at the national pension schemes they had and many old timers are still on). Jobs for life.

Zero accountability. 1st class train travel. Best hotels. Generous allowances etc.

Sometimes it's best to leave the rose tinted spectacles in the past where they belong.

Not saying the private companies are great, but your statements re the old are just not correct.

Alcohol. Sex. Tobacco. Drugs. Chocolate.  Meh! NOTHING in this world is as addictive as an Evora +0. It's not for babies!    

The first guy to ride a bull for fun, was a true hero. The second man to follow him was truly nuts!   

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Not nonsense. The boards of these businesses choose what they want to pay themselves and as a shareholder you can vote against it but that never makes a difference. They can even choose not to publish it and they can use other methods of remuneration including massive pensions. I think the bosses of these businesses are taking away a lot more than the managers of the nationalised utilities ever did.

Not nonsense. It is a waste of my time and energy having to find deal that suits my requirements.

Not nonsense. The nationalised utilities did give me the cheapest deal because I couldn't get it cheaper any where else.

Nothing that I said was incorrect.

If I was paying too much to the nationalised utilities why didn't my bills go down when they were privatised? And they didn't.

Zero accountability? Your wrong, of course they were accountable.

1st class travel, best hotels, allowances. Wow, that must have been a big drain of money, and you think that doesn't happen with todays executives?

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On 12/03/2020 at 00:51, mg4lotus said:

Not nonsense. The boards of these businesses choose what they want to pay themselves and as a shareholder you can vote against it but that never makes a difference. They can even choose not to publish it and they can use other methods of remuneration including massive pensions. I think the bosses of these businesses are taking away a lot more than the managers of the nationalised utilities ever did.

Not nonsense. It is a waste of my time and energy having to find deal that suits my requirements.

Not nonsense. The nationalised utilities did give me the cheapest deal because I couldn't get it cheaper any where else.

Nothing that I said was incorrect.

If I was paying too much to the nationalised utilities why didn't my bills go down when they were privatised? And they didn't.

Zero accountability? Your wrong, of course they were accountable.

1st class travel, best hotels, allowances. Wow, that must have been a big drain of money, and you think that doesn't happen with todays executives?

The large FTSE Energy companies have independent remuneration committees and are subject to intense institutional scrutiny re pay with transparency re executive pay. Salary, bonuses, pension contributions and share awards are all available to see. You might not like what they get paid but it is there to see. Twas never the case when publicaly run. 

 

If trying to find the best deal is a waste of your time and energy then just keep the deal you have. You'd be similar to the public utility in that you just paid the rate set. End of.

 

You argue the national utilities gave you the best deal because you couldn't get it cheaper anywhere else. That is fooking nonsense as the reason you couldn't get it cheaper was because they had a monopoly and so could charge what they liked, within reason, without the pressure of competition on prices. Give me one case that proves you get the best price?

 

The reason your bills did not go down when they were privatised was two fold. Firstly the costs of deregulation (mandated by the EU) and the significant energy network upgrade investments were passed on to customer and no longer subsidised through general taxation. Secondly, it took around 7 years for consumers to really start switching that then drove the introduction of more competitive pricing. 

 

I accept there may not have been zero accountability, but they were not accountable to their customers and not impacted by customer dissatisfaction. As long as they kept the lights on nobody cared about the cost, efficiency, environment etc. It was not an issue for them. 

 

Re the travel, it wasn't just the executives. That was my point. It was a gravy train enjoyed by the many. Actually, if you work with them now you would know that it definitely has changed from an expenses perspective. Dramatically.

 

As I said, not saying they are saints.

Alcohol. Sex. Tobacco. Drugs. Chocolate.  Meh! NOTHING in this world is as addictive as an Evora +0. It's not for babies!    

The first guy to ride a bull for fun, was a true hero. The second man to follow him was truly nuts!   

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