Advice Centre

New ‘simplified’ billing system not enough to help consumers, says Energy Advice Line

Changes designed to make energy bills simpler to understand were not enough to help consumers compare business electricity rates easily, according to the Energy Advice Line. A ban on confusing and complex tariffs, which came into effect on January 1st, was welcome but consumers would still struggle to identify the cheapest deals, according to managing director of the service Julian Morgan.

“OFGEM has moved to streamline a completely baffling system by limiting suppliers to just four core tariffs per customer for both electricity and gas,” Mr Morgan said.

“This is certainly a step in the right direction but consumers will still be scratching their heads when they look at their bills and try to compare the price they are paying with the tariffs offered by other suppliers. That’s because suppliers still use different methods to set their tariffs, and some include standing charges while others don’t, so it’s often like comparing apples and oranges. The other problem is that some consumers will miss out on good deals as a result of suppliers scrapping value tariffs in order to fall in line with the reforms.”

A Tariff Comparison Rate (TCR) will be introduced in April, along with other changes designed to allow customers to easily compare tariff rates. But Mr Morgan said the TCR system was based on average energy use, not the actual energy used by individual consumers, and therefore was inaccurate.

“What’s more, some consumers who use less than average levels of energy could end up paying more because the rates they will be using to compare prices will be based on a higher usage,” Mr Morgan said. “The government, OFGEM and energy suppliers need to put their heads together to devise an at-a-glance system so that consumers can compare what they’re actually paying against what they actually would be paying if they switched suppliers. It’s the only way to enable consumers to make accurate prices comparisons.”

Mr Morgan said monitoring the market and switching suppliers remained the best way to keep energy bills as low as possible, despite the fact that all the major suppliers appeared to be increasing their prices by similar amounts. “Not all suppliers are the same and it’s a volatile market so it still makes good financial sense to shop around and switch suppliers when you find a cheaper deal.”

Termination Notice

We have created a simple termination notice template for our customers

See the latest news

We keep track of the latest news that can influence the price you pay and term of your contract. All the the latest energy news is available here.

Contact us for advice

Please contact us today so we can help you make a decision and make sure you are on the best prices possible.

Our Supplier Panel

The Energy Advice Line is the UK's leading online price comparison and switching service dedicated to small and medium sized businesses in the UK.

Our online quotation engine has been designed to facilitate speedy but accurate commercial electricity and gas prices – all at the click of a button to allow you to search the market for the lowest prices from an extensive panel of suppliers and contract options.

Customers Love Us !

Say 'No' to cold calling on business energy

Unfortunately, business electricity and business gas customers in the UK are bombarded with unsolicited cold calls on a daily basis.

This unscrupulous approach does not offer the business energy customer an impartial view on the market and the price offered is more often 20-30% above the current retail price for electricity or gas.

At Energy Advice Line we strongly advise customers to not accept these offers and follow our simple steps to ensure that they are not locked into an uncompetitive contract.

Join our cold calling campaign here, and spread the word to say 'no' to cold calling on business energy!

Say No To Cold Calling on Business Energy