SSE and M&S Energy are ending their supply partnership in September – meaning all M&S Energy customers will officially move across to the big six supplier.
If you're one of the 10,000s of M&S Energy customers, technically you've always been with SSE – M&S Energy simply supplies the company's energy and customer service under its own brand.
The partnership has been going for nine years, but is now due to end on 29 September 2018. From then, the M&S logo will disappear from bills and other communication, to be replaced by SSE branding.
There'll be no interruption to your supply, as all M&S Energy customers are already supplied by SSE under what's known as a 'white label agreement' – where the energy and customer service is supplied by one provider but sold under another brand.
Check if you can switch and save £100s/year with our free Cheap Energy Club.
Martin: 'It is and always has been a bill from SSE'
Martin Lewis, founder of MoneySavingExpert.com, said: "This isn't just an energy bill, this is an M&S energy bill… er, except it isn't. It is and always has been a bill from SSE, just with the M&S logo painted on to it. Now that facade is due to end. Those customers who signed up thinking they were getting the M&S quality are now having a light shone on the fact that they're actually in bed with one of the big six energy firms.
"And certainly this should be seen as a clarion call for all those customers to check if they're on a good deal. The likelihood is most are paying £100s more a year than they need to – and could get higher rated customer service too.
"M&S isn't alone in doing this. Sainsbury's Energy is just British Gas in disguise, and GB Energy is Co-op Energy."
This isn't just any energy bill...
While there have been some good M&S Energy deals in the past, its cheapest tariff for new customers – now pulled following the announcement the partnership is ending – cost a typical gas & elec household an average £1,148/yr, while all tariffs it launched this year have been over £1,000/yr on average based on typical use.
In comparison, SSE's cheapest open-market tariff is currently £1,136/yr, so about £10/yr cheaper. Plus, there's an SSE deal for £953/yr available via our Cheap Energy Club (and certain other price comparison websites), though we've only a few thousand switches still available.
If you're on M&S Energy's standard tariff, you pay exactly the same as someone on SSE's standard tariff – currently a typical £1,121/yr, but set to rise to £1,196/yr tomorrow (Wednesday 11 July) after the supplier announced a 6.7% hike in May.
In comparison with the cheapest on the market, you're likely massively overpaying if with M&S Energy. For a typical user, the cheapest is currently £850/yr from Utility Point – nearly £300/yr lower than M&S Energy's most recent fixed deal, and nearly £350/yr cheaper than its standard tariff.
How M&S Energy compares
|M&S Energy||M&S Energy 1 Year Fix & Save (i)||£1,148|
|SSE's cheapest one-year fix (ii)||Collective 1 Year Fixed v6||£953|
|SSE's cheapest open-market fix||SSE 1 Year Fixed v15||£1,136|
|SSE/M&S Energy's standard tariff||Standard Energy||£1,196 (iii)|
|Utility Point – cheapest on the market||Just Up 18 Wk27 Direct||£850|
|Usio Energy – cheapest 100% renewable tariff||Green Lite 0.2||£857|
|Based on calculations from regulator Ofgem for medium usage. All tariffs assume dual fuel and monthly direct debit. (i) This tariff is no longer available. (ii) Only available on some price comparison websites. (iii) Price from Wednesday 11 July.|
I'm with M&S Energy – what does this mean?
Neither SSE nor M&S would tell us how many households M&S Energy supplies, but there are nearly 20,000 Cheap Energy Club members with the supplier, according to our details.
If on a fix with M&S Energy, your current deal will continue as normal until the fixed period ends – you'll pay the same rates and any exit fees will apply if you want to switch away early.
If on a variable tariff, you're free to switch away without penalty at any time as these deals don't have exit fees.
SSE has also told us it will honour the renewable commitment on M&S Energy tariffs, until 29 September 2018 for variable customers, or until the end of fixed-term deals.
What do SSE and M&S Energy say?
A joint statement from the suppliers said: "After nine years, SSE and M&S have taken the decision to end their relationship. SSE and M&S have achieved a lot as partners, supplying 100% green energy and supporting over 70 community energy projects under the M&S Energy brand.
"M&S Energy customers will continue to be supplied by SSE, with no interruption to their supply following this announcement. We will be writing to customers shortly to let them know about all the options available to them when the contract comes to an end in September 2018. SSE and M&S will work to ensure all communications are clear and transparent for customers."
On the future of M&S Energy, an M&S spokesperson said: "As we continue to transform M&S, we have invited energy suppliers to pitch for the M&S Energy supply. As this process is ongoing we wouldn't comment on the future of the brand."