Electricity Supplier ?

Joined
28 Jan 2011
Messages
50,463
Reaction score
3,400
Location
Buckinghamshire
Country
United Kingdom
Only the ones that offered unsustainable rates have gone bust - leaving others to pay for there irresponsibility.
I think that's probably a bit unfair. I would imagine that, in most cases, the companies in question had no reason to believe, or even suspect, that the prices they were offering were going to become 'unsustainable' at they time they introduced them - and, that, indeed, the ('smaller') companies were often 'praised' for 'being competitive' by not making excessive profits
Why cannot the ones with record profits reduce their prices?
I haven't really been keeping very abreast of all this, but have any electricity companies actually made 'record profits' (or necessarily even maintained their previous level of profits) following the massive rise in gas prices (which obviously impacts on the cost of electricity generation)?

Kind Regards, John
 
Joined
10 Mar 2007
Messages
10,452
Reaction score
2,166
Location
Poole, Dorset
Country
United Kingdom
Those energy suppliers which went bust were the ones who enticed customers with long term implausibly low fixed prices but at the same time only purchased wholesale gas and electricity on day pricing, and hoped that for the 12 or 18 months that they had signed customers up to that the day pricing they could buy at would remain low for ever.
When prices went up, they were unable to buy the cheap electricity and gas that they had already promised their customers.
In addition, some of those that failed had unsustainably low numbers of customers - fewer than 10000 in some cases. They would have gone bust anyway.

The cost of dealing with all of those failures and transferring customers to other suppliers has been added to the standing charge on electricity bills for everyone else.

Retail gas and electricity is not a high profit business, it relies on having large numbers of customers with a small profit from each.
 
Joined
28 Jan 2011
Messages
50,463
Reaction score
3,400
Location
Buckinghamshire
Country
United Kingdom
Those energy suppliers which went bust were the ones who enticed customers with long term implausibly low fixed prices but at the same time only purchased wholesale gas and electricity on day pricing, and hoped that for the 12 or 18 months that they had signed customers up to that the day pricing they could buy at would remain low for ever.
I agree with that, other than the "implausibly low' bit. Any 'fixed' deal is obviously a gamble on the part of those offering it, whether it is a fixed price utility/service contract, a fixed interest mortgage, an annuity-based pension or whatever - but it is surely always based on a judgement/ predication (based in part on past behaviour of the markets concerned) that changes in the future will allow it to be sustained? I find it hard to believe that the companies concerned believed that their offers would be unsustainable and that their business plan was to 'go bust' when it 'inevitably' became unsustainable.
Retail gas and electricity is not a high profit business, it relies on having large numbers of customers with a small profit from each.
Indeed, and I didn't think (perhaps wrongly) that the total profits made by electricity companies were ever particularly 'excessive' - which I questioned EFLI's comment about 'record profits'.

Kind Regards, John
 
Joined
1 Apr 2008
Messages
723
Reaction score
86
Location
Devon
Country
United Kingdom
Dynamic TOU tariffs are available to anyone with a smart meter.
...and yes I agree that they can and do exacerbate existing inequality, and that the returns will be diminished as they become more effective in helping to load shift, though it's worth remembering that supply varies, for example; wind, (not only demand), which doesn't have any feedback effect from load switching.
 
Last edited:
Joined
25 Apr 2016
Messages
1,501
Reaction score
291
Country
United Kingdom
I'm with E.on for both 3 phase and domestic.
3 phase meters were changed to a single remotely read meter some years ago - as there is no mobile coverage I have to read the meter and supply the readings once a month.
'Cause of that E.on don't wish to change to a 'smart' meter for domestic (and I don't want them to either). Am I paying more - I do not think so, I do a comparison on 6 monthly intervals. Biggest hassle is that can no longer speak to a 'person' to supply reading to and pay at the same time.
 
Joined
28 Jan 2011
Messages
50,463
Reaction score
3,400
Location
Buckinghamshire
Country
United Kingdom
Dynamic TOU tariffs are available to anyone with a smart meter.
That's obviously literally true, in the sense that such tariffs 'are available' to anyone with a smart meter who contracts with a supplier whop can provide such tariffs with their meter.

I was talking about how many suppliers are offering such tariffs. Maybe I'm way out of touch, but I've only heard much of two companies Green Energy and Octopus) who are providing truly dynamic TOU tariffs. A number of other suppliers (e.g. BG, OVO & Bulb, the latter still trading 'in Special Administration' after 'going bust') offer what they call 'TOU' tariffs but they do not appear 'dynamic', being essentially E7-like tariffs (I think bulb also offers/offered cheap rate throughout the weekend).

Am I completely out-of-touch, such a that a lot of companies are now offering dynamic TOU tariffs?

and yes I agree that they can and do exacerbate existing inequality, and that the returns will be diminished as they become more effective in helping to load shift ...
I'm glad you agree.
, though it's worth remembering that supply varies, for example; wind, (not only demand), which doesn't have any feedback effect from load switching.
Yes, I realise that. However, of the various current significant electricity sources, it's only really wind which suffers from large supply variations, but that tends to be day-by-day, rather than hour-by-hour, so one would really need dynamic "DOU" tariffs to address that - and I'm not at all sure that consumers would be all that happy to 'eat cold food' for a day or four because the tariff had made cooking prohibitively expensive when there was little wind around! In fact, I'm not sure that any of the current (or even contemplated) electricity sources (with the possible exception of wind) really suffer from a lot of within-day supply variation - so I'm not sure that there are many supply variations that could be addressed by dynamic TOU tariffs.

More generally, I do somewhat suspect that (unlike yourself), and particularly after the initial 'novelty' phase has passed, a fairly high proportion of consumers will not have the inclination (and, in some cases, not the ability) to constantly make 'manual' adjustments to their energy usage (and perhaps 'lifestyles') in response to changing TOU rates - such that the system may well only 'work as intended' if/when it can be largely automated. However, as I'm always saying, (with the possible exception of EV chargers) I doubt that it will happen in my lifetime, and may well take many decades, before 'smart appliances' (which can interact with 'smart' meters) become widely available and widely deployed. [ if that ever happens, I may take the quotes off 'smart' when referring to meters which, at present, I consider to be pretty 'dumb' :) ]

Kind Regards, john
 
Joined
30 Dec 2018
Messages
11,023
Reaction score
1,535
Country
United Kingdom
Maybe I'm way out of touch, but I've only heard much of two companies Green Energy and Octopus) who are providing truly dynamic TOU tariffs. A number of other suppliers (e.g. BG, OVO & Bulb, the latter still trading 'in Special Administration' after 'going bust') offer what they call 'TOU' tariffs but they do not appear 'dynamic', being essentially E7-like tariffs (I think bulb also offers/offered cheap rate throughout the weekend).

I am obviously out of touch, because the last I heard, only Octopus were doing the TOU and what I heard suggested the rates were quite dynamic on a a time and cost basis, the customer being advised of the rates and times the day before and including even negative charges (being paid to consume excess) at certain periods.
 
Joined
27 Apr 2008
Messages
8,697
Reaction score
712
Country
United Kingdom
Octopus allows me to read my own manual meters and enter readings then they calculate and supply the bill using their helpful app or the internet.

I still don't understand precisely how stephens smart meter helps him save money by putting the dishwasher on at low cost times?
Surely there has to be something more than a smart meter in operation here?
 
Joined
30 Dec 2018
Messages
11,023
Reaction score
1,535
Country
United Kingdom
I still don't understand precisely how stephens smart meter helps him save money by putting the dishwasher on at low cost times?
Surely there has to be something more than a smart meter in operation here?

I cannot find where he said so, but I would guess that he gets some sort of message through to advise him when a cheap supply will be available, Stephen then just sets is washer/drier/ dishwasher to come on at those cheaper times. No doubt eventually, once we have Smart appliances, the appliances will be able to decide for themselves when energy is cheapest and opt to come on at those times unattended.

Just having a Smart Meter installed will not directly reduce your bill - it needs some effort on the part of the customer, to make use of the information more easily available and decide what you are doing which could be improved upon.
 
Joined
28 Jan 2011
Messages
50,463
Reaction score
3,400
Location
Buckinghamshire
Country
United Kingdom
I am obviously out of touch, because the last I heard, only Octopus were doing the TOU and what I heard suggested the rates were quite dynamic on a a time and cost basis, the customer being advised of the rates and times the day before and including even negative charges (being paid to consume excess) at certain periods.
That makes two of us, then - since, as I had, I'd only heard of the two I mentioned, albeit the vast majotirty of "what I've heard" has related to Octopus. However "Green Energy" were certainly the first, since they introduced a dynamic TOU tariff back around 2017, long before anyone else.

However, as I said in my reply to Stephen, maybe he was talking literally when he said that dynamic TOU tariffs were "available to anyone who has a 'smart' meter", since anyone with a 'smart meter' is free to switch to Octopus (or Green Energy).

Kind Regards, John
 
Joined
28 Jan 2011
Messages
50,463
Reaction score
3,400
Location
Buckinghamshire
Country
United Kingdom
I still don't understand precisely how stephens smart meter helps him save money by putting the dishwasher on at low cost times?
Surely there has to be something more than a smart meter in operation here?
Since he presumably does not have a 'smart dishwasher' (I doubt that such even yet exist), the meter obviously does not help him to switch it on (at low cost times), per se, since he has to ascertain when the low-cost periods are each day and then manually switch on the appliance appropriately.

However, I presume his point was that without a 'smart' meter, such dynamic TOU tariffs are simply not possible, since a supplier cannot know from a traditional simple meter how much electricity was used at which times of day.

Kind Regards, John
 
Joined
28 Jan 2011
Messages
50,463
Reaction score
3,400
Location
Buckinghamshire
Country
United Kingdom
I cannot find where he said so, but I would guess that he gets some sort of message through to advise him when a cheap supply will be available,
I believe that, at least with Octopus, the cheap (and expensive) periods for the next day are available on a website, but it's possible that there is also a way one can be 'sent messages', or maybe even get this information from the meter itself.
Stephen then just sets is washer/drier/ dishwasher to come on at those cheaper times. No doubt eventually, once we have Smart appliances, the appliances will be able to decide for themselves when energy is cheapest and opt to come on at those times unattended. Just having a Smart Meter installed will not directly reduce your bill - it needs some effort on the part of the customer, to make use of the information more easily available and decide what you are doing which could be improved upon.
Exactly. As I wrote yesterday, I do suspect that (particularly after the novelty has worn off!) a lot of consumers will not be inclined (or able) to expend that "effort" every day to make decisions about when to ('manually') switch on various appliances, so that the system is only likely to work well if/when there is widespread deployment of 'smart appliances' (few, if any, of which currently exist) that can interact directly with the meter without human intervention - but, as I also wrote, I strongly suspect that (with the possible exception of EV chargers) such a day may well be many decades into he future, unfortunately beyond my credible lifespan!

Kind Regards, John
 
Joined
15 Nov 2005
Messages
77,460
Reaction score
4,840
Location
Crossgates, Europe
Country
Cook Islands
a dishwasher is not a good example because the amount of electricity it uses per day is so low that any savings are trivial

a tumble drier is more meaningful, but for real savings, you would need to manage the charge of your electric car, heat store, or storage heaters.

and if you are lucky enough to have a gas supply, you would use a gas boiler, not electric heating.
 
Joined
30 Dec 2018
Messages
11,023
Reaction score
1,535
Country
United Kingdom
Exactly. As I wrote yesterday, I do suspect that (particularly after the novelty has worn off!) a lot of consumers will not be inclined (or able) to expend that "effort" every day to make decisions about when to ('manually') switch on various appliances, so that the system is only likely to work well if/when there is widespread deployment of 'smart appliances' (few, if any, of which currently exist) that can interact directly with the meter without human intervention - but, as I also wrote, I strongly suspect that (with the possible exception of EV chargers) such a day may well be many decades into he future, unfortunately beyond my credible lifespan!

Smart plugs and a bit of programming should be able to take care of that without waiting for the Smart appliances to appear.
 
Joined
28 Jan 2011
Messages
50,463
Reaction score
3,400
Location
Buckinghamshire
Country
United Kingdom
a dishwasher is not a good example because the amount of electricity it uses per day is so low that any savings are trivial a tumble drier is more meaningful, but for real savings, you would need to manage the charge of your electric car, heat store, or storage heaters.
I agree, and I only talked about the DW because that is the appliance mattylad had mentioned in the post to which I was responding. In keeping with what you say, the only one of our appliances which I am particularly concerned'/fussy about is the dryer/drier.

Kind Regards, John
 

DIYnot Local

Staff member

If you need to find a tradesperson to get your job done, please try our local search below, or if you are doing it yourself you can find suppliers local to you.

Select the supplier or trade you require, enter your location to begin your search.


Are you a trade or supplier? You can create your listing free at DIYnot Local

 
Sponsored Links
Top