water and energy

How to take charge of your energy bills

I just want to show you the importance for, and ease with which, you can and should look at switching your supplier on a regular basis.

The consumer has to take some responsibility. I don’t mean for the hikes and the apparent huge profits that the big 6 make. I mean to be proactive and take a short time to look for a lower price. If more of us did this then perhaps there would be some more competition and less complacency in the energy market. For those of you who don’t just let your car or house insurance renew each year, it is the same principle. If you do just let your house and car insurance just renew let me tell you, it is costing you hundreds of pounds a year. Never has a renewal been the cheapest quote for me in over 25 years of driving and only once for the house!

Why Switch?

Because you would be daft not to do so. If you haven’t switched for many years, chances are you are paying way over the odds for your energy. You’ll be on a standard tariff the most expensive you can have. The company you are currently with will have had other offers, fixed tariffs, promotions etc., and you have missed them all, to say nothing of the other companies.

I look to switch every year and think there was only one year when I didn’t change and that was a tariff where I was informed by the company if they could put me on a cheaper tariff. That offer was only on for a few weeks.

Is It difficult?

Not really. Since 2010 energy companies have to send you an annual statement which will have all the information you need, i.e. consumption over the year. Even if you don’t have this you can still use the information from old bills. You can usually sign up to look at your account online, so you can also use that if you don’t keep your paper statements. Go to any of the switch sites, type into your favourite search engine “Switching energy” suppliers and take your pick. Always worth checking more than one. Use more than one comparison site. Name, address, postcode and consumption and away you go. Remember that just because your mate 200 miles away uses the same amount of energy as you, it does not follow that you should have the same energy supplier.

Can you make make further savings?

Sometimes. Remember paying by direct debit, same supplier for gas and electricity will also bring the price down.

Look at comparison sites. The best for returns in my opinion is Topcashback* but there are others. Occasionally you can get some cashback by going through another switch site and getting the same offer and then also trying direct as the supplier may offer a cashback after three months.

What if you have no Internet access?

Well you do have access, clearly! Of course you may know someone who doesn’t but I would hope that if you care that much you would look up on the Internet for them! (One can look at changing using other methods but they would annoy me I have to say but then I’m anti social.) More details here about how and when you can change your mind and what to expect from the company. (This is particularly relevant for a company you’ve invited into your home etc.)

What else do you need to know?

Switching is now quicker. It used to take anything around 6 – 8 weeks but now it should be around 17 days. (You have 14 days when you can cancel with no penalty). So now is the perfect time to be looking to switch. (The companies may not be allowed to raise prices but there will be offers and if you haven’t switched recently you will more than likely be able to make a saving.) Remember switching in December isn’t the best time, by the time it has all gone through the most expensive part of the year has gone.

You may be on, or choose a fixed tariff which may have early exit fees. It is still possible that it will be cheaper to pay this fee and switch. I truly believe that very few companies and certainly none of the big 6, have consumers at their heart. They have profits!

Electricity pylon Everything you need to know to complain about energy problems


See All you need to know to make a complaint about energy for links to masses of information and stories about your rights and how to complain effectively.




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Templates for complaining about utilities



The importance of switching energy suppliers and telecom providers on ITV News

How to sort out gas and electricity problems without draining your energy: 20 tips from our Consumer Fightback column – my column in This Is Money.

*refer a friend link so I’ll get some pennies if you sign up as will you when you get welcomed!

By Helen Dewdney, The Complaining Cow

Consultant | Author | Speaker | Blogger | Presenter | Journalist
Helping to make, prevent and deal with complaints

7 replies on “How to take charge of your energy bills”

Great advice Helen and I can say that working for an energy supplier, we are working hard to reduce the time it takes to switch and have already made some significant improvements.

Dear Helen Dewdney,

Could you please help to expose this outrageous extraction of £8 billion/ year, from the supply of Domestic Energy by the big six.

I put my SSE bill four years ago under the microscope.

Established SSE take all component parts of the bill, then factor in 6% under Looking after our customers.

Calculation indicated this 6% ‘extracted in the region of an additional £1 Billion pounds/ year.

Stayed with SSE, to ‘fight’ from within to no avail for a further year

Selected E.on as an alternative supplier, on receipt of the first Bill, was ‘incandescent’ with rage when I ‘discovered’ E.on factored in 15.00% ( Then 15.2% now) of the total bill ( excluding vat)
This outrageous 15.00% extra charge, was not listed on their web site.
Complained to E.on, the response was, if you don’t like how we bill you, just leave we will waive the leaving fee,, .I left, and chose OVO supply my energy without the 6% AND 15.00% outrageous ‘add on’ factored in!

Calculation indicated £1.4 Billion additional revenue is ‘extracted’ year on year with this Unique Billing System.

Verifiable proof of this extraction is available, SSE & E.on ( Assume the ‘big four’ use the same / similar system) & extract collectively about £8 billion/year additional revenue, from the supply of Domestic Energy!

Kind regards

Anthony Porritt ( YO167JH 84) M 07963199454.

It is not an additional charge. When getting quotes when comparing providers it is all calculated in the costs. Therefore they are not in breach of any laws or Ofgem guidelines. The breakdown of costs is justbadditional information.

Dear Helen

Thank you for your reply regarding SSE ‘s Domestic Energy Billing System

I have now put a previous E.on Domestic Energy Bill under the microscope, this is extractionis more outrageous
than my previous post regarding SSE.

My findings are below, which in my view clearly and unequivocally, verify that the bill is in my view
far from legal

What you Pay

E.ON COST BREAKDOWN OF £100.00 ( Excluding VAT)
Cost to buy energy £45.30
Getting energy to customers £25.40
Helping ‘needy’ customers £3.60
Supporting cleaner energy £6.10
E.on profit £4.40

Sub total £84.80

Looking after our customers £15.20

Total £100.00 ( excluding vat)

Can it be lawful E.on add £15.20 to a bill where the customer pays all component parts totaling £84.80
which should include vat at 5% = £4.24 however the £15.20 increases the bill to £100.00 plus 5% Vat
increasing the vat to £5.00 which in my view with in the region of 6 million reported customer’s
extracts on vat alone additional £0.76p per £100.00 paid by the consumer!, extracting additonal countless millions of pounds from Domestic Energy consumers

NB ( My previous post SSE have a ‘similar system’ which includes VAT, but ‘only’ inflate the bill by 6%) !

This cannot be lawful / acceptable, and must be ‘exposed’

Where does our customers’ money go? | Understanding your bill – E.ON

Kind regards

Anthony Porritt

Eon New Domestic Energy supply Costing Update

E.ON New COST BREAKDOWN OF £100.00 ( Excluding VAT) Discovered on 15 September 2017

* Now indicates 15 September 2017
Cost to buy energy £45.30 now £40.40 * Reduction of £4.90p

Getting energy to customers £25.40 now £27.00 * Increase of £1.60
Helping ‘needy’ customers £3.60 now £3.40 * Decrease of £0.20p
Supporting cleaner energy £6.10 now £7.00 * Increase of £0.90p
Looking after our customers £15.20 now £15.70 * Increase of £0.50p
E.on profit £4.40 now £6.80 * Increase of £2.40***

***54.5% profit increase!

Based on the new figures above, to note that Eon now buy the energy for a £4.90 reduction, increase the
getting energy to the consumer by £1.60, Increase supporting cleaner energy, £0.20p
Increase Eon profit by an additional incredible £2.40, just beggars belief!

These verifiable figures clearly indicate that the ‘new billing’ will raise an additional £5.20 per £100.00
(excluding vat)

So Eon will now extract in the region of ( On top of the £1.4 Billion/year)

£5.50 per £100.00 x reported dual fuel average or £1280.00 = £5.20 x 12.8 = £66.56 per Eon customer.

So based on these figures in a 7 day period Eon have increased the known £1.4 billion/ additional revenue extracted, with a new figure of 7 million customers x the increased amount of £66.56/year

Is an incredible further + _ £465.92Million pounds! ( So Eon will extract about £1.9 billion pounds/ year, with the ‘new’ billing system!
additional income?

Previous best estimate was £26.9 Million/ week, new 12 month forecast:from 7 million customers at least £36.54 million/ week!

In closing I am unable to calculate how much in favour of Eon, with the new buying the energy price reduction was £45.30 now £40.40 !

Can Eon Justify the ‘new’ self awarded increase of £2.40 profit per hundred, to be paid by the consumer!

I also note that the Standing Charge of about £100.00 per customer per fuel used, is noticeably ‘missing from the old and new Eon percentage costing! Transparency who is kidding whoom in the necessary supply of Domestic Energy LOL, However it is no laughing matter, when people in this country in the winter months have to choose|: Heat or Eat!

7 million reported customer’s so at the very least: 7 million x £100.00 = 700 Hundred million pounds, probably more but we do not know how many are ‘dual fuel’ customers!

So transparency/ Trust, still not available to the hard pressed millions, it appears based on this latest old /new comparison, Eon, can change the figures at will, buy the blasted energy at a reduced cost, then inflate the bill as described in detail above, with absolute impunity!

Question if a Domestic Energy supplier buys the energy at a lower cost , should this saving be reflected in a reduced Domestic Energy Bill, well no with Ofgem. Gemma and the Chief Ombudsman
protecting the Big Six, no Eon raise the Domestic Energy supply additional extraction!! Just beggars belief!!

In the unlikely event someone other than Ofgem Gema, The Chief Ombudsman with an ounce of caring for his fellow human beings, Consumer TV Program maker, Watchdog, Rip Off Britain, ( All of the above have been contacted to no avail)
the URL of Eon,s old and new costing can be forwarded by request

Yours sincerely

Anthony Porritt

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