September 17, 2020

Think you’ve found a good deal? Make sure you read the small print…

There has been a lot of media coverage recently about the ‘great’ energy deals available from the Big suppliers and how these are winning them back customers. But are these deals all they seem? And could you do even better?

These ‘great’ tariffs are easy to find, appearing near the top of the results pages on the big Price Comparison sites and offer a saving of around £280 vs the annual cost of a standard tariff for a household with ‘typical’ usage. 

They are also promoted as being ‘Exclusive’ as, while you can find them on all the Comparison Sites, you can only apply for these rates via a Price Comparison site, they are not available directly from the energy supplier… no, we don’t understand why that is the case either. 

However, when you click through, the small print – in some cases very small print - includes a note that by moving to this tariff you are agreeing to have a smart meter installed in your property. Sneaky.

If you switch to one of these tariffs and then refuse to have a smart meter fitted then you’ll be put onto the suppliers standard tariff, meaning your bill will increase by the £300/year you thought you were saving - potentially even more depending what happens to the level of Ofgem’s Price Cap at the start of next year.  And in some cases the supplier will also charge you the £60+ exit fees for switching tariffs ‘early’! It’s all there in the small print.

Or, if you just decide to change tariffs again before this deal runs out – for any reason – then not only will you be hit with the £60+ of exit fees, the supplier will also charge you an additional cost to cover the installation of the smart meter. This amount varies by supplier, but none of them are cheap. 

Now, for anyone thinking ‘well OK, but I’ll just get the smart meter and stick on the deal’, how about if you could save even more with an energy deal that doesn’t have any of these caveats? Or bits of ‘Additional Information’ as the suppliers like to call them. 

Based on the market checks run by Flipper a Bristol Household with ‘typical usage’ – that’s 3,100kWh of Electricity and 12,000 kWh of Gas per annum - could save a further £70/year on their bill by moving to a deal with one of several smaller suppliers, none of which require a smart meter to be fitted:

Here at Flipper we would always advise that you only move to an energy deal that you believe is right for you, so please make sure you read the small print before switching – or get in touch, we’ll be happy to help.

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