Energy (with a focus on GB)

In Britain a market of sorts has been created for which supplier you buy energy from, where in theory the customer has a choice who they purchase electricity & gas from. It is a scam really but still better to play market than ignore it. For a long time you were most likely pay less if you switched from your existing supplier as well as often getting better level of service. Also you have option to choose to choose a contract that ensures more of money you pay goes to environmentally friendly generation of electricity. But for many years it seemed the amount of renewable energy produced will be determined more by government policy than green consumer demand. Care needs to ensure additonality.

Before changing utility supplier check out what Martin Lewis has to say at Money Saving Expert.

There are various price comparison sites. Citizen's Advice and before that Customer Focus and Energy Watch directed the public to these and Citizens Advice may still provide a list of them.




U Switch

Simply Switch

Cooperative Energy is a coop will give customer experiance like being a customer of Octopus Energy, as they now use Octopus for Customer Service as well as Billing; but the payments support community generators.

Another company using Octopus's systems is also marketed as an environmentally friendly company called Good Energy (spotted when it was previously Unit-E) was used by a local project I was involved with, which actually delivered savings for them as they were on unsuitable tariff with old supplier. But I think for most home users they won't save much over even the expensive previous monopoly supplier. And even pay slighly more than price cap as allowed due to OfGEM assessing that they provide the green value over companies subject to the price cap.

I returned to another company not subject to price cap as investing in new renewable supply called Ecotricity. I had been put off them many years ago when they made a mistake mixng up night and day readings and did not send me a new bill quickly enough before I got fed up and switched away to Ebico, who no longer has no-standing charge offer. That was a long time ago that I was put off by misbilling, but now willing to give them a go again predominantly due to ther support for Green Gas in the form of biomethane made from digesting grass without oxygen (anaerobic), as well as other positive activities by the company and supported by founder and owner Dale Vince. So switched just my gas for now, and will see how that goes. So far they missquoted me a lower rate than intended so I have put back switch to them till July 1st 2023 when the rates used in quote were intended to be valid from. They are just getting their own biomethane plant injecting gas into the Gas Network as I join them. So far not been able to get online nor app access with access in a credential reset loop, whihc tuirned out because they were blocking my ip address(es) I tended to use. In no rush as main thing is to get accurate billing, and hopefully update their system from opening read by email as well as Smart Meter readings. Had a visit from meter reader from Lowi Beck who said they were doing all Ecotricity customers in the area despite mine being a Samrt Meter that I assume is sending reading ok. On managing to reset password and accessing account I found out using readings read from the meter by a meter reader or myself and not those sent automatically by the smart meter.

If you want to try Ecotricity use code: Q9S4A7 to ghet 25 credit when you sign up with them.

Biofuel critic including biomethane

Another Green Gas supporting gas supplier to consider is 100Green previously know as Green Energy UK.

Many years back I have previously signed up with Powergen (now called EON which evolved into Eon Next) for their green option which has undergone several reincarnations now over the years, as they had a free light bulb and money back deal when I signed up. A friend had a long drawn out incorrect billing experience with them. Incorrect billing issues plague the industry. Eon Next uses the same Krakan IT software platform developed Octopus which is also used by Good Energy, and the Coop.

After PowerGen I switched to Scottish Hydro to save money.

After switching to some other suppliers including some that were greener and some that were cheaper but Scottish Hydro were only ones had a good customer service experience matching the low level complaints they get; they seem to be only company that produced a correct bill by not mixing up readings or getting address wrong. And good customer service is vital if you are not to waste lots of time having to deal with energy company. Looking back over past bills from many companies on some very unclear as to dates reading were from. This has improved in recent years especially with OFGEM new rules on providing more information on bills. But lots of improvements could be had in this area, especially with giving annual day/night split.

By 2021 when most people hit the price cap and then at end of 2022 the Energy Price Guarantee it is the government setting the prices in the UK. But made a real mess of it with Economy 7

Friends Of the Earth did a report on the supply companies: Another source of info is

An interesting look at effect of choosing green tariff was produced by ethical consumer.

It took a while for companies to start marketing their green options much. At start they offered them just for show and seems they don't really want people to take them up. The government can wash it's hands of problem and say look it is up to customer to choose. But as time went on an climate change has gone up agenda they are using them in marketing more, but now with harder government targets I think even less reason for customer to choose them. The market does not deliver, but my view is better to play it for best deal while it exists than not.

I have had long history of mis billing with many suppliers, that often took a long time to sort out. Do keep all communications from your energy provider and records to help if you need to complain. Complaints can be made with help of Citizens Advice, or Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) in Scotland.

If you don't have gas and wish to get a quote for a new connection then who you contact depends on area you live in. For Scotland it will be SGN or if in the North of England it maybe Northern Gas Networks, for elsewhere see list of Gas Transporters (and Utility Infrastructure Providers) via OFGEM's website

If you need to obtain the Meter Point Reference Number (MPRN) for your Gas supply then Xoserve provide a service to look it up call Find My Supplier or call them on 0870 608 1524.

Your electric (MPAN) can be obtained from your Electrical Distribution company.

If you are able do get on the PSR for extra help such as in a power cut.

Shifting demand from peak to off peak is rapidly developing opportunity. There are many sources of finding out the carbon intensity of the electrical grid at present and forecast. There is an app from National Grid ESO for GB and for whole of GB now grammes of CO2 (equivalent) per kiloWatthour:

live GB grid intensity gCO2/kWh

Also see Drax Electric Insights

Pretty wind patterns.

Winderful wind power in GB.

Sustainable Energy - without the hot air Sustainable Energy - without the hot air
by David MacKay

This book is full of interesting figures. I found what it presented about heat pumps of much interest.

Turn Down Your Boiler flow Temp

Energy Links:

If looking for off grid power to replace dirty generators the you may need Power Up Services.

Modal shift in travel links:

Upgrading & decarbonising transport

There is a debate about future ownership of energy companies, resourses and other utilities. See the campaign We Own It.

Phone Service (UK)