Scottish Power will allow its existing customers to buy gas and electricity by the day when its new ‘Power Up’ dual fuel tariff is rolled out next month.

Instead of signing up to expensive standard variable tariffs or to yearly – and longer – fixed-price deals, Scottish Power will soon let its existing customers buy their energy in bundles of days or months.

Scottish Power says the new tariff (which goes live in early October and will only be available on dual fuel for the time being) is an attempt to simplify energy bills – rather than paying per kWh (kilowatt hour), you buy between one and 29 days of gas and electricity, there is also the option of purchasing one, three and six month packages.

To find the best deal for you now you can use MSE’s Cheap Energy Club. Meanwhile, we’re currently running a collective switch, where we’ve got three leading tariffs – to get them you had to have registered for our weekly email or the Cheap Energy Club before 8pm on 12 September.

How does it work?

To get your daily price, Scottish Power uses what it knows of your past consumption to get a personalised forecast of how much energy you’d use in a day, taking into account the time of year – so a daily package in winter, when you typically use more energy, would cost more than in the summer.

If you use more energy than it forecasts, you’ll have to buy more, but if you use less you can roll that over to the next day or beyond. To keep track of what you’re using, the supplier has developed a ‘Power Up’ app for iOS and Android. With this, you can buy new packages, give meter readings, and track how much energy you’re using.

The 'Power Up' tariff will only be available to dual fuel customers at first, but Scottish Power is considering making it available to those on individual gas and electricity deals in future.

Is it a good deal?

Scottish Power has yet to say how much it will cost for a day of energy based on typical use - we will update this story as soon as we know more - but in the meantime the company has assured us the new offering will be based on its most competitive tariffs when it launches next month.

While it’s unlikely to be cheaper than the market-leading fixed tariffs, it could be a good deal for some, and offer greater convenience. There are no standing charges with this tariff, and the daily and monthly packages mean you can just buy what you need, so if you’re often away from home, this could be a great deal.

It could be also be a good option for prepay customers, allowing greater control and convenience when topping up your energy.

Martin Lewis
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Can I get it?

Initially, only existing Scottish Power customers can get this tariff, but if it proves successful, the firm says it will open it up to new customers.

It’s available for any meter types, so you can get it if you’ve a standard or a prepay meter – you don’t need a smart meter. You will need to give regular meter readings though.

Also, it's only available direct from Scottish Power, so you won’t be able to see the tariff on any comparison sites.

What happens if I use less or more energy than forecast?

Every time you enter a meter reading on ‘Power Up’, Scottish Power will update your forecast. So if you bought 10 days, but used no energy at all for a week your forecast would drop to 3 days. But once you enter a meter reading it would jump back to 10 days.

Similarly, your number of days could fall if you’ve used more than your forecast when you enter a meter reading.

What if I forget to top up

Once your package of days and months runs out, Scottish Power will send you reminders via phone, but if you do forget, the supplier says you will have a ‘grace period’ of 14 days in which to buy a package.

If you a buy a new package during this period, you’ll be charged at your new ‘day’ rate for any days you didn’t pay for. If you don’t buy a new a package, you’ll be placed on a standard tariff, and will be charged those rates for the 14 days.

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