Wednesday 30 June 2021

Day 471 of self-isolation - Electricity


My electricity contract (with EDF) runs out on June 30, so it was time to look at the market again. I have an email from EDF, offering me a rate of 17.76p per kwh if I take a three year contract (which I prefer, because prices tend to rise) but I thought I'd have a look around.

I also had a phone call from "Bionic Services Ltd" offering to find me a supplier. That came about because a few years ago, I contacted one of the comparison sites (I forget the name), and there's been various mergers and transfers within the comparison site industry ... anyway, I brushed off that phone call because it felt to me like a cold call.

So I had a look at other suppliers besides EDF, and there seemed to be either no difference (or more expensive). Hmm.

So I called Bionic back, to see what they could offer. They offered me 17.7p per kwh, which is a tidge less than EDF, and that was for a contract that is also with EDF.

Wait, what? I pay slightly less if I don't go directly with EDF?

So I dug into how Bionic get paid - by asking them. They get between £50 and £600 per meter per year, if I sign up to EDF via them instead of directly.

 They also offered an automatic service whereby seven months before the contract ends, they check all the suppliers to see if I ought to switch. This can be opted out, provided I do so before that seven months, but as a general rule, I don't like contracts that last for ever until I opt out. It's too much of a temptation for whoever the contract is with, to treat me as a "locked-in" customer, and maybe I'd not get the best deal. So I declined that.

But the renewal with EDF looked like a no-brainer, so I've gone with that.

Electricity prices, at 17.7p, are 29% higher than when I first went with EDF - I was paying 13.7p.

I get a 7% discount for paying via direct debit (it's less work for EDF), but then I add 0.775p per kwh for the CCL (climate change levy), and another 20% for VAT.

So I signed the contract using Docusign (they already have a slightly wobbly version of my signature on file).

Which leaves me slightly puzzled. Since EDF are paying Bionic to sign me up, wouldn't it make sense for EDF to offer a slightly lower price if I simply renew the contract? 


1 comment:

  1. I am with OVO Energy, dual fuel, paid by Direct Debit:
    Unit rate 15.59p per kWh
    Standing charge 23.33p a day
    Contract start date 25th January 2021
    Contract end date 24th January 2023

    Readings by smart meter.
    Been with them for years now and have found customer service very good.
    They used to do an incentive to refer friends but unsure if that's still current.