OT Electricity standing charges

Just had electricity bill form another incarnation electricity company called e-on. I notice that the "standing charge" creeps up and up. Mine just now is 54,12 p /day.
5.43p/day for normal uinits 48.9p/day for heaters!!!!!!
As this is NOT (afaik) for energy it seems to me a back-door way of getting more profit from the customer by a charge unrelated to justifiable cost. Could I ask what your standing charges are - ie for co's other than e-on? (I know there are sites for that - but such cost are usually well disguised and I thought a quick survey here might be of interest to many).
I also wonder if such antics are worth bringing to the attention of the Elec. Watchdog(s)?
Thanks
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All of this is within the pricing model for the supply of electricity that you are buying and has nothing to do whatever with justifiable cost.
The standing charges do not relate to paying for anything unjustified or for making more profit from the customer - they are clearly spelled out along with the pricing for the units consumed.
The equations are fairly simple. The supplier is buying electricity on the wholesale market and reselling it. They have certain fixed costs in terms of delivery and measurement and variable ones in terms of energy consumed.
They then have to compete in the market, as they should, and to attract and retain customers - it being far more expensive to get new customers than to retain existing ones.
There is no point in trying to relate the standing charge to anything that can be labelled such as meter supply and reading or anything of that nature.
The fixed element of the supplier's costs can be split out and listed separately as a whole or in part or it can be incorporated in the price of the units consumed as a whole or in part. The units themselves can be tiered in price according to volume used or not.
In addition to the above, suppliers may offer products with a high level of customer service over the phone and others where the account is managed by the consumer on line. Some even sell energy on the basis of green-ness, although why anyone would pay more for that, I have no idea.
The purpose of all of this is to come up with a range of electricity (and indeed energy) products that address the target markets that the supplier wishes to pursue. Among this lot, there are certainly products where there is a high fixed charge which is reasonable for the large volume user but which becomes expensive overall if they are not using what they thought that they would use.
There is little point in conducting a straw poll survey in a newsgroup because factors such as pattern of use and location also have to be taken into account.
I have found that the most useful way to approach this is to use a couple of internet sites to identify a short list of 6 suppliers based on my pattern of consumption. I use a lot of electricity so there is a certain set of products that address that well. I then take a look at the published details of the tariffs for each and recalculate based on the pattern of consumption. Usually this is correct within a couple of percent, but I do look at variability as well - i.e. what happens if my consumption is 25% above or below the baselines of the quarters for the previous two years. As you can imagine, tariffs weighted to consumption sometimes show a large variation and suppliers positions in the pecking order may change on this basis.
For my pattern of use, tariffs with a higher base cost and small cost per unit for higher use work the best. It doesn't really matter whether whether the base cost is made up of high fixed charges and lower unit rates on the first N units, or a higher unit rate on the N units. I am going to use N units anyway, so what actually matters is the total price for that.
Having said all of that, it is important to watch the tariffs. I don't have the time to bother with this continuously, but do a review twice a year.
I have just switched away from E.on because their total package price had become more expensive than several others. That's a simple financial decision. They didn't help themselves by on the one hand showering me with letters (I have 20 now) trying to retain my business, while at the same time not arranging to have my meters read and then sending rude letters threatening legal action for non payment of a final invoice that they hadn't sent anyway.
However, none of this is really a matter for the Regulator. The standing charges are part of the product offering and don't relate to the fixed costs incurred anyway. If you don't like them, then take a look at a product offering lower standing charges. You will probably pay more per unit consumed, but perhaps feel better about it.
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I'm with Southern Electric.
I don't pay a Standing Charge as such but am presently paying though I hear they are due to go up in the new year in common with all other providers, so you may just be one of the first.
12.73p for the first 900 units/year and 8.57p for the remainder.
These prices include VAT
I use a spreadsheet to compare the different offerings rather than rely on comparison sites but I like Southern because their CS answer quickly and are UK based.
Andy
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On 01/01/2008 10:42, Andy Cap wrote:

Last time I considered moving suppliers, most of them had the option of a standing charge, or different primary + extra rates, the standing charge was almost exactly the same as the difference between the primary and extra rates multiplied by the number of primary units.
The only advantage I could see to choosing the differential rate would be for anyone using very little electricity.
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wrote:

Perhaps. As I mentioned, I use a spreadsheet to compare and it's ultimately down to everyone to do their own research, where one of the biggest problems is the phasing of rises across various companies.
Like many other markets, the pricing structure is now deliberately made so complex, that accurate comparison is very difficult. For instance, I get Argos points, worth a tiny amount but nevertheless they just bought me a new kettle.
Andy
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On Tue, 01 Jan 2008 10:51:56 +0000, Andy Burns wrote:

Anyone using very little power ought to look at Equipower, their single per unit rates are generally less than the primary rates of the "no standing charge" tarrifs.
But as has been mentioned several times what is "best" for any individual consumer is down to their particular useage pattern. Use the switching sites to find who they think are your best suppliers then get the tarrif details and do a real comparison yourself based on your real useage.
Note that there are only two or three databases behind the many web interfaces out there. By looking at the information provided and to some extent the presentation of that information you can tell if you are seeing the output of a different database.
--
Cheers snipped-for-privacy@howhill.com
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On Tue, 01 Jan 2008 12:33:49 +0000 (GMT), "Dave Liquorice"

Is there such a thing as a site for gas and elec in which you can put the actual meter readings and get a costing for either fuel ...
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The only way of doing a comparison between companies is by knowing your actual energy consumption for , say, a 12 month period. Some companies have a zero standing change but a higher price per unit while other companies have a charge and lower unit prices. You cannot compare costs unless the consumption is factored into the calculation,
In my experience, the comparison sites often lie. One of the companies may have deals not listed on the comparison sites and/or the pricing on the comparison sites does not match that shown on the suppliers own web sites.
--
Alan
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Indeed.
One thing that impressed my with Southern, was that I was paying 50/month but my spreadsheet had risen to 52.60 and within a couple of month, Southern e-mailed to say they were increasing the DD to 53.
They also refunded 170 from the gas bill without any prompting, the product of some upgrading, the fitting of TRVs last summer, along with a digital thermostat.
Andy
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I find these sites useless. They ask questions like how many rooms you have, are you normally in the house during the day... blah, blah, blah. Instead of promoting transparency they make it even more opaque.
I just need to know the tariffs available. I am quite capable of doing the maths.

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Well if you don't like uswitch's questions try simply switch which doesn't ask any daft or irrelevent questions. I don't find the sites useless, in fact the results on both these sites agree to the penny with my spreadsheet, then I can click for the tariff information. Just try getting the tariff on most energy utilities websites, IMHO that's where the real lack of transparancy is to be found.
Jim A
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No doubt. I had did have nice leaflet from Scottish Power with a list of all the tariff options. I would like to see the same thing on-line from all suppliers. Or an on-line spreadsheet of tariffs and key features from suppliers.

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Jim Alexander wrote:

Or http://www.ukpower.co.uk/ seems quite good.
--
Andy

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On 01/01/2008 23:00, Andy Wade wrote:

Looks good for not wanting acres of detail, but it won't accept my (correct) existing combination of supplier/tarrif.
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Andy Burns wrote:

Does that matter though, if you're only using the site to get absolute pricing, rather than looking at savings or switching? The best prices should come out the same, whatever you put in as present supplier and tariff.
--
Andy

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wrote:

Eh ?????

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On Tue, 01 Jan 2008 23:59:27 +0000, Stuart B <> wrote:

Yep, I screwed up by adding a bit in later.
However I suspect most readers managed to understand what had happened. ;-)
Andy
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On Tue, 01 Jan 2008 09:39:48 +0000, dave wrote:

Nearly 50/qtr for a standing charge are you sure? That is way, way over the top.
My Scottish Power online, no paper bills, paid by monthly DD has a standing charge of 12.39p/day and I pay 7.191p/unit (+ 5% VAT).
The Equipower E7 is 3.79p/unit night and 11.68p/unit day. Pay for only what you use at those rates, no standing charge. Equipower normal 9.81p/unit, again only pay for what you use. These are great for those that don't use much power.

Last time I looked at those sites you could quite easily find out the details of the tarrif used for their calculations. Just a simple click on the tarrif name normally.

It might show some that they are paying way to much for their power.
--
Cheers snipped-for-privacy@howhill.com
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I'm with a "non-profit" supplier called Ebico (originally set up to get cheaper electricity for churches, now opened up to the public). One of their last emails was to say they had 15k surplus for the year, which was being donated to a housing action group a few miles down the road from me.
Their tariff rates are here - no standing charge, but they might be a little more expensive depending on your usage.
They use Southern as the billing supplier (very slick in my experience), and the bills are the clearest i've ever seen - and I work in the electricity industry !
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Google found http://www.ebico.co.uk /
--
Si

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