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Wot a Bulb: Energy firms going bust

Started by Blue Jam, November 22, 2021, 02:55:35 PM

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Malcy

I'm with Utilita and pay fuck all so hope they don't go under.

If anyone does have a supplier that goes under and is looking for alternatives PLEASE don't go to SSE. Worked for them for a short period this year and they are fucking bastards. I've blocked it out so much that I can't even remember the other names they go under. SWALEC and something else but STAY CLEAR!

Shit Good Nose

When I said keep your eyes on Ovo and Octopus, I meant from the point of view as to how bad things would be if either or both of those went. Ovo is verging on the lower end of BIG 6 size, whilst Octopus are gradually and consistently growing.


Quote from: IsavedLatin on November 22, 2021, 06:33:03 PMHowever this thread is causing me to second-guess myself: are smart meters a bad thing?

If you never take your own reads AND you want to know how much you're using in real time, they are a good thing.  If neither of those apply, they're neither good nor bad.  They aren't that smart either, even the newer SMETS2 ones aren't as transferable as most suppliers make out, and the dual-fuel aspect seems to be a total mess.


Quote from: TrenterPercenter on November 22, 2021, 06:49:52 PMIf you haven't paid your bill and your supplier goes bust do you still have to pay them?

You will still owe the wholesaler for the gas and electricity and the meter operator for all the non-energy costs, but neither of them tend to deal with domestic customers directly, and wholesalers only deal with the end user directly if it's a commercial or industrial customer using a supply that wasn't registered when it went in (quite a common occurrence with gas, a lot rarer with electricity).  Tl;dr - you'll be paying a supplier sone way some how eventually.

Shit Good Nose

Quote from: Malcy on November 22, 2021, 07:03:26 PMI'm with Utilita and pay fuck all so hope they don't go under.

If anyone does have a supplier that goes under and is looking for alternatives PLEASE don't go to SSE. Worked for them for a short period this year and they are fucking bastards. I've blocked it out so much that I can't even remember the other names they go under. SWALEC and something else but STAY CLEAR!

And Scottish Hydro, but none of it is SSE now, it's been Ovo since about 2017/18.  And yes, they are abysmal.

Dr Rock

Quote from: Shit Good Nose on November 22, 2021, 07:06:03 PMTl;dr - you'll be paying a supplier sone way some how eventually.

Nah. Tell 'em you're suicidal and got no money and they leave you alone.

Blue Jam

Quote from: Shit Good Nose on November 22, 2021, 07:09:37 PMAnd Scottish Hydro, but none of it is SSE now, it's been Ovo since about 2017/18.  And yes, they are abysmal.

Ovo were a fucking nightmare for us too. Some issue with us having a weird non-standard meter which had a button to press to scroll through three or four different LCD readouts and it wasn't obvious which was the correct one to read, then us building up £600 in credit, then when we tried to claim it back being told we had been undercharged for months due to an incorrect meter reading and the £600 credit becoming a £20 debit overnight. It was confusing as fuck.

We switched, and then when we moved house and found ourselves with fucking Ovo again we made it a priority to switch again.

Shit Good Nose

Quote from: Dr Rock on November 22, 2021, 07:25:18 PMNah. Tell 'em you're suicidal and got no money and they leave you alone.

Or do that.

TrenterPercenter

Quote from: Shit Good Nose on November 22, 2021, 07:06:03 PMWhen I said keep your eyes on Ovo and Octopus, I meant from the point of view as to how bad things would be if either or both of those went. Ovo is verging on the lower end of BIG 6 size, whilst Octopus are gradually and consistently growing.

we've just moved to Octopus (why no squid? is possible?) have we done the right thing SGN? Have I won the lectrics?

Uncle TechTip

Uswitch are putting out adverts that say, "stick to your current supplier, don't use us for the moment, we don't want to take the blame mate"

Shame Bulb are gone as they seem like a decent company, espcially in comparison to the big 6.  We're a few hundread quid in credit with them.  Let see how badly the government do at running this company.  My guess is very badly.

Ignatius_S

Quote from: Mrs Wogans lemon drizzle on November 22, 2021, 08:44:55 PMShame Bulb are gone as they seem like a decent company, espcially in comparison to the big 6.  We're a few hundread quid in credit with them.  Let see how badly the government do at running this company.  My guess is very badly.

Bulb coughed up around £1.75m for overcharging customers, preventing people from switching to them and failing vulnerable customers over three years. It was found not to have sufficient processes for checking compliance and its IT systems were good enough - the failings coincided (what are the odds?) when the company with a rapid growth of customers.

Malcy

Quote from: Shit Good Nose on November 22, 2021, 07:09:37 PMAnd Scottish Hydro, but none of it is SSE now, it's been Ovo since about 2017/18.  And yes, they are abysmal.

That's what i thought too but as of this year it wasn't OVO. We were very much SSE. Even the SSE Hydro has only changed it's name in the past month or two.

canadagoose

Quote from: Blue Jam on November 22, 2021, 03:04:31 PMI just hope I can get my monthly payment amount knocked down again, £63 is taking the piss.
You must use a lot less energy than us (although our flat is electric-only so can be a bit high in winter) - our direct debit was £130 per month. It'll be up now though, but Shell Energy refuse to give us any login details and haven't set up a direct debit despite my protestations, so goodness knows how much it'll be. Useless contiau.

Edit: Shell Energy took over our supply because Green went bust. We were with Bulb before so we'd have been buggered either way.

JamesTC

I've heard that sometimes there can be issues with your credit when switching, so I would strongly suggest that anybody with Bulb (or any other at risk energy company) keep a screenshot of the page showing your credit at the very least.


These smaller companies just didn't seem sustainable, and this was inevitably going to happen when a sharp wholesale price rise happened.

Blue Jam

Quote from: canadagoose on November 22, 2021, 09:18:47 PMYou must use a lot less energy than us (although our flat is electric-only so can be a bit high in winter) - our direct debit was £130 per month.

We've got gas central heating and a gas cooker which keeps the leccy bills down. Our last flat was electric only and we paid a lot more then. It had electric storage heaters and our weird meter was Economy 7, so on top of the added cost the heating was also a bugger to control and we ended up using a fan heater during the day. It was a nice flat but I would never get a place with storage heaters ever again.

bgmnts

Has anyone lived without a fridge for a while?

That's presumably the biggest energy guzzler in the house, wonder if you could actually live without one and not have it be massive upheaval.

PlanktonSideburns

Knew they were in trouble when they started advertising on Richard Herrings podcast

Blue Jam

Quote from: bgmnts on November 22, 2021, 09:46:43 PMHas anyone lived without a fridge for a while?

That's presumably the biggest energy guzzler in the house, wonder if you could actually live without one and not have it be massive upheaval.

Our fridge is tiny, with a tiny freezer compartment. That probably also saves us a few quid, aye.

Quote from: JamesTC on November 22, 2021, 09:35:58 PMI've heard that sometimes there can be issues with your credit when switching, so I would strongly suggest that anybody with Bulb (or any other at risk energy company) keep a screenshot of the page showing your credit at the very least.


These smaller companies just didn't seem sustainable, and this was inevitably going to happen when a sharp wholesale price rise happened.

The general advice seems to be to take a screenshot but otherwise do nothing. I considered switching after Bulb got chekky and asked us to increase the direct debit but USwitch, MoneySupermarket etc all had disclaimers saying the market wasn't great now and we were unlikely to get a good deal anywhere as the small and struggling energy companies really didn't want any new customers.

Ignatius_S

Quote from: JamesTC on November 22, 2021, 09:35:58 PM...These smaller companies just didn't seem sustainable, and this was inevitably going to happen when a sharp wholesale price rise happened.

The whole set-up allowing the companies is questionable to say the least, but in more than a few cases, the people setting up the companies had very little idea about how to run it or put in the infrastructure needed to provide customer services. For example, in certain cases, it was a surprise that dealing with customers' queries might not be a doddle - one company I read about, had no telephone number and took weeks to respond to email queries.

At least two companies that I've read about were being run from someone's home - when one collapsed (the company, not the home), there were assets of around £10K and debts of £1.7 million.

touchingcloth

Quote from: bgmnts on November 22, 2021, 09:46:43 PMHas anyone lived without a fridge for a while?

That's presumably the biggest energy guzzler in the house, wonder if you could actually live without one and not have it be massive upheaval.

Fridges are relatively efficient, but depending on how much you cook and whether on gas or electric it could be your single biggest energy user. It's worth investing in one of those devices you can stick in a plug socket to measure what particular devices use - I've measured our full-size fridge-freezer as using a little under 5kwh a week, which is less than 50p a week on our rates.

That's based on the fridge using 80w while it kicks in and hums, and less than .5w when it's idle. Our washing machine draws that same 80w when it's in countdown mode ready to properly kick in overnight when the cheap rates start. Things like that, the kettle and the hoover use more electricity per minute than the fridge, but they get far fewer hours of use per week.

You'd potentially save more by switching off things like your telly/set top boxes/consoles/hi-fi at the wall, as if we kept our relatively minimal setup on standby all week it would use almost twice as much energy each week than the fridge does.

paruses

I am living without a fridge at the moment as it's died and there's a reasonable lead time on the new one. You (I) forget how quickly things go off. Having said that I rarely put milk in the fridge. Just realised that I drink so much tea during the day it doesn't have time to go off.

I noticed that almost all fridges/freezers are now energy rating F with a note saying "Under the old system this would have been A+". Makes me wonder which rating system is bullshit.

Johnny Foreigner

Our fridge with a freezer compartment uses hardly any leccy. The hobs and oven, washing machine and, in summer, the lawnmower are the greatest energy consumers. I should say we use about a pound a day, and when we are away for a week and only the fridge is on, putting a tenner on the meter is amply sufficient.

Some arse scum from Utilita forced himself into our flat during lockdown with some cobblers story about top-up meters being abolished and how we could save four pounds a year (I kid you not) by having one of their smart meters installed instead and opening a direct debit. He talked me into it (easy as he was wearing no mask), but I cancelled the next day. The bally cheek of some people beggars belief.

touchingcloth

Quote from: paruses on November 22, 2021, 10:53:27 PMI noticed that almost all fridges/freezers are now energy rating F with a note saying "Under the old system this would have been A+". Makes me wonder which rating system is bullshit.

Fridges improved in efficiency to the point that they were all A-rated, so to make differences more apparent they added an A+, then an A++, etc., so the new system is really just to make it more apparent what the relative efficiency of appliances are without you needing to count the plus symbols.

paruses

Quote from: touchingcloth on November 22, 2021, 11:08:44 PMFridges improved in efficiency to the point that they were all A-rated, so to make differences more apparent they added an A+, then an A++, etc., so the new system is really just to make it more apparent what the relative efficiency of appliances are without you needing to count the plus symbols.

So is the A-G rating within appliances types e.g. a C rated dryer isn't the same as a C rated fridge for example? Never thought about that before as pretty much everything was A or better - not that I buy that many white goods or TVs.

touchingcloth

Quote from: paruses on November 22, 2021, 11:31:02 PMSo is the A-G rating within appliances types e.g. a C rated dryer isn't the same as a C rated fridge for example? Never thought about that before as pretty much everything was A or better - not that I buy that many white goods or TVs.

It's separate within the types as well - a C full fridge-freezer might be different to a C fridge with a small ice compartment.

As in understand it, the point of the change was to make it so that modern appliances will run the full A-G range rather than all of them being shades of A+ thanks to nothing new being as inefficient as a B on the old system.

The Guppy

Our fridge doesn't use much, but it's less than ten years old. The shower is greedy as fuck.

mothman

At least Ovo have changed the video clip they used to sponsor the weather. The old one was weird - a two-second shot of someone hanging out laundry, followed by five seconds of a young girl staring at a lightbulb as if it was saying in a voice only she could hear: "Kill them. Kill them all."

Jerzy Bondov

Ages and ages ago I switched us to Ovo because the boss of it was on telly going "the big six are rip off cunts" and I was like hell yes pal. As with everything that gets popular it went shit

Uncle TechTip

One of those rare times when lazy inaction turns out to be the best course to take.

Rolf Lundgren

They've texted me today telling me they're installing smart meters in my area. You know, I don't think that's true.

touchingcloth

Anyone else exercised by the title not being "Watt a Bulb"?