This content originally appeared in the MSE weekly email on 19 August 2015.
Most comparison sites give the WRONG savings (as Ofgem tells 'em to). Now we're uniquely revolting...
The regulator Ofgem makes comparison sites use a system that's a nonsense for anyone with a fixed tariff ending within 12 months. We lobbied for change. It said no. So now with our Cheap Energy Club comparison we've decided to ignore it.
What's the problem?
Ofgem says comparisons must be based on "personal projections", which means your average cost over the next year. Fine normally, but baloney for fixes. Take this example, based on typical usage:
- Your current fix costs £800/year and ends in four months.
- After it ends you'll pay £1,200/year, as you'll be on the energy firm's standard tariff.
- The personal projection assumes a constant £1,066/year cost as it's averaged over 12 months.
Thus if the market's cheapest deal is £900/year the results will show you can switch and save £166. While correct if looking over a year, it's a bad move – switch now and you'll pay MORE for four months, so you should wait.
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New. Unique comparison that's correct for all.
Our Cheap Energy Club includes a WHOLE market comparison to find your cheapest tariff. And now those on fixes can toggle to see savings against your fix's current price, what it'll be after and the personal projection (if you're unsure it defaults to the most appropriate).
Nine quick need-to-knows about switching energy and Cheap Energy Club:
- Many people can compare and save £250/year.
- Your exact winner depends on where you live and your usage.
- A fix means the rate is fixed, but use more and you pay more.
- You can still compare, switch and save if you're electricity-only or prepay.
- Our top picks section shows easy pros and cons of top tariffs.
- Paying by direct debit is the cheapest way – just ensure you do regular meter readings.
- If you're in credit when you switch, they should pay you the credit back. See Energy Credit Reclaiming.
- If we get paid when you switch, you get roughly half as cashback, ie, £30 on dual fuel switch and £15 electricity-only.
- We'll keep your details and compare each month for you, then alert you when your tariff's no longer cheapest.
Did Cheap Energy Club give the wrong answer for fixes before?
Personal projections were introduced in 2014. We soon warned and campaigned about it, within the comparison, and quickly added a function to show your price pre and post a fix ending.
The new bit is being able to see savings based on the different prices.