Post by BrritSki Post by Derek Turner
Is Economy7 still a thing?
If so who pays to have the meter changed over?
Are smart meters everywhere as they are over here?
Dual-fuel always best or go for separate suppliers?
To answer more fully, yes, there is a lower tariff for electricity
between midnight and 7 I think. I have no real idea if thos requires a
different meter, but if it does, I would bet that the householder has
to pay for it to be installed.
I think some of them might have different "cheap times" - possibly even
changed at intervals (with you being told, I think). There has been - I
think still is - one tariff that gives you free on Sundays [other days
may be available]. I think if you have a "smart meter", you don't need
an extra one, as those meter by the hour anyway. (Actually, by much
smaller interval - I think between one and three minutes for electric,
otherwise the little gimmick box they give you wouldn't work; it's less
often - 15 or 30 minutes I think - for the gas meter, to make its
battery last longer.)
Post by BrritSki
Smart meters are being rolled out and I think you can ask for your
supplier to fit one. We haven't and one of the problems is that there
isn't a common standard for them, so if your house has one supplied by
A and then you switch to B, it probably won't work any more.
You can indeed (and aren't charged for that meter), though they may not
be available in all areas. Type 1 smart meters do indeed work only with
one (or a limited number of; one example includes Octopus and OVO)
supplier, type 2 will work with all. They'll switch you to a type 2, but
there may be a delay (they're not doing it at all at the moment). If you
don't have a smart meter at all, check with your chosen supplier whether
they're fitting 2s from the start (one would hope so!), or are still
trying to use up some type 1 stocks.
For me, the problem of switching supplier if you have a type 1 meter
wouldn't be the gimmick box stopping working: nice toy to have, but I
lived without it. It'd be the cessation of remote reading - meaning you
have to be in for a reader to call, and/or be back to suffering
estimated readings. (Though most - I suspect all - suppliers will
accept, in fact I presume are delighted by, customer-submitted
readings.) [You can still manually read a smart meter (though you have
to press buttons on the gas one).]
Post by BrritSki
No idea on pros and cons of separate suppliers. I and several otherrats
have opted for Bulb and we are happy with the prices and service I
think. Vicky and Sid are definitely with them.
It's _usually_ cheaper to get both from one. (Sometimes
broadband/telephone too, even TV subscription if you're into that;
conversely, it's eggs and basket.) Always check, though.
Post by BrritSki
If you switch to them, let us know as there's £50 for each of us in it
for a referral. I switched to them so they could handle my FIT payments
and have been very happy with the service. They tell you just before
your next DD is due and then you can send them the meter readings. I do
that every month for my own peace of mind, but I think hey send a
reminder if you haven't sent one for a while.
I've been with SSE-pretending-to-be-M&S, e.on, and
Octopus-pretending-to-be-M&S. I've found not a lot of difference between
them. (Irritating aspects of their websites in all cases.)
Direct debit more or less always cheaper, if you're OK with that. They
like to even it out over the year (so I get very cross they won't let
you pay by standing order), but Octopus-pretending-to-be-M&S did let me
pay exactly for what I use, when I asked.
Last time I tried a comparison site (start at
- and they do have their own "Cheap Energy Club"; but also give
uswitch.com and energyhelpline.com a go), I was surprised how many -
including most of the cheapest - were "100%-renewable" (for the
electricity of course, though some did claim - I'm not sure how - to
supply gas that had some green element!). Suggests the nation's supply
has quietly been greening after all. [I recently discovered that Drax -
which I'd always thought was a big coal-fired station, giving the lie to
greenness capacity claims - is now 80% running on biomass.]
J. P. Gilliver. UMRA: 1960/<1985 MB++G()AL-IS-Ch++(p)***@T+H+Sh0!:`)DNAf
So, Heresy be damned (well, it would be, wouldn't it?).
Radio Times 24-30 July 2010 (page 24)