Comparison with current provider

Hi just some feedback relating to your quote comparison against my current provider, I have this issue with all comparison websites, the comparison works out the savings based on 11 months at the standard tariff as my current tariff ends in a month.

This is calculated at £989/year for my current provider, however I’m not going to be stupid enough to stay on the standard tariff for the next 11 months, the cheapest tariff my provider will supply will actually cost me £848 in the next year, so the saving is actually £140 less than you state (not taking into account your possible price rises in the coming year).

Hence the reason every year I ignore comparison websites and create a big spreadsheet of exact tariff prices so I know exactly how much I will be spending/saving. Why can’t the comparison be done against the cheapest tariff my current supplier will provide me rather than their standard price tariff?

You are however still quite a margin cheaper than all of the comparisons I have made, the closest was first utility at £25/year more than yourselves so I look forward to joining you soon and love your ethos, Keep up the good work!

I find it strange that any comparison site would work out costs based on 11 months. The best approach in my view is to enter your previous annual consumption in kwh (not in £) into your comparison site wheel of fortune, the output comparison will show your saving for 12 months not the 11 months you suggest

All energy companies show details of your past annual energy, you can use this to enter into a comparison site.

Hi there @nath that’s something that we often get a bit surprised by ourselves, the way the comparisons work. It’s the standard across all comparison sites to calculate savings for the next 12 months (we can’t do it in terms of the savings you would have had in the last 12 months, since price rises and drops mean it wouldn’t really be a fair representation of the next year). These comparisons always treat you as going onto the standard variable tariff once your fixed tariff ends, for a few reasons. We can’t do the calculation using the ‘cheapest’ tariff as there are so many tariffs which are weighted towards gas, or electricity, or are two rate, or that start in different months and so on that it’s fairly tricky to work out which one that would be. We can’t do the calculation based on you staying on the tariff you’re on, as that one will be ending at some point so using it for the next 12 months wouldn’t be accurate either.

I believe we’ve looked at this a few times in the past, but we haven’t come up with a better way of doing it so far. You never know though, our tech geniuses might pull something out of their collective hat at some point in the future which will be a much more accurate way of comparing tariffs, but I doubt it’ll be soon (if it’s even possible). Really the best way to do a comparison is with the exact tariffs and and your usages and a spreadsheet or a bit of paper, but then you’re spending a fair amount of time doing it-that’s the trade off.

Hi @“David at Bulb” , thanks for your detailed explanation, I’m not saying to calculate it based on my current tariff going forward but the fixed tariffs that the current supplier have in the upcoming year, for example calculate it based on the fixed until June 2019 tariff etc. I do believe it would be a fair representation as energy prices always rise year on year and it would show the person the best fixed tariff for them to switch to in the next year rather than the more expensive standard tariffs which may not be representative of the best deal they can get .

I am thinking of doing my own comparison website to give a fairer comparison between all providers if I can gather the correct information. Yes the maths is a little more complex but I believe I can dump all of the information into a database and do the calculations with a little bit of effort. I’ll let you know if I do this, Bulb would still come out of this comparison as one of the best for value I’m sure. Every year the comparison websites say I will save £200 a year so after 5 years of £200 savings I should be getting my electric and gas for free! You know what I mean it doesn’t provide good clarity to customers. Maybe bulb would be interested in my calculations going forward if I manage to do a good job with the comparisons, you are right saying this would be time consuming I think so too. Thanks Nathan

Hi @nath

It would certainly be an ambitious project but I think @Allanr has a very valid point that using your previous supplier’s tariff and payment amount is a fairly inaccurate way of comparing tariffs. Your annual usage figure is built up over the years and usually gives you a very good idea on your annual usage and can be used in comparisons to avoid ambiguity about whether the tariff expires and what tariff you move on to.

The comparison sites, when using annual usage information, can then find the best tariff for your usage. As @“David at Bulb” mentioned, some tariffs are better for high gas/elec users compared to others.

Would be great if you did manage to find a way of optimising this information, but I think it’s fair to say that switching sites are always going to want to keep a comparison tool that will allow them to say that there can be a £200+ saving available. Despite it only holding truth in “do nothing” situations.

I started the “switching game” a few years ago, and quickly became disillusioned. Searching on websites, or asking on the phone, hardly anyone could/would tell me the cost per kWh and the standing charge, which was all I wanted to know!
And now we have a whole switching “industry”, with dozens of companies with multiple tariffs fronted by a plethora of comparison/switching sites. Oh for a bit of transparency!
All credit to Bulb for leading the way with your SVR, but how about taking it just a step further -
When a customer enters their postcode, include the option to immediately see the unit price and SC for each fuel.

@198kHz

What about: https://bulb.co.uk/tariff/

OK, fair enough, although the link is at the bottom of the home page (why not at the top?) and now displays the correct regional figures which weren’t there when I switched.
I note that there is now a tariff link below the green “Switch now” box, so things are improving. :slight_smile:

Hi @198kHz you can also see it once you’ve put in your postcode and answered the three basic questions (electricity only or both, house or flat, how many bedrooms) by clicking on see tariff details’ below the ‘switch now’ button, if that would be helpful to you