The electricity markets have been open since 1990 when Margaret Thatcher’s government privatised the local electricity boards, which has given us much more flexibility in who we choose to provide us with our precious energy. The problem is, who do we choose? There’s so much choice and there is no clear sign towards whom any of us should choose! We understand, which is why we’re here to give you a hand and work through your options. We all have our preferred choice of electricity supplier for a variety of reasons; we’ll give you ours, but if you don’t agree, don’t worry, we’ll do everything we can to get you the perfect deal.
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What Are Your Options?
Well, if you’ve not already heard of them, there is a group of six energy suppliers collectively named the ‘Big Six’, consisting of EDF Energy, British Gas, Npower, Eon, Scottish Power and SSE. They’re named as such because they by far dominate the gas and electricity markets in terms of customers, profits and overall business. They currently hold a collective market share of around 85%, however this is changing quite drastically. In early 2011, the Big Six were at near 100% complete domination of the energy markets. This has changed primarily due to the progression of a handful of serious contenders, namely First Utility, Utility Warehouse, Ovo Energy, Co-operative Energy and a few more, who have clawed back a 15% portion of the market share. This has improved market conditions for consumers in a number of ways:
- Now that there is more competition, the big six are now having to be much more competitive with their tariff prices.
- Because of the smaller structure of the independent energy companies, their customer service abilities were much higher than those of the Big Six, meaning the Big Six have had to step up their efforts to compete.
- The Big Six can no longer assume they will always have masses of custom which means they’re having to get creative and attempt to reinvent their corporate, untouchable image.
You can find out more about energy suppliers in Great Britain by clicking on the below link.
Green & Low Carbon Electricity
As more and more pressure is being put on our straining fossil fuel reserves, renewable energy is becoming a hot topic. Producing energy in such a way that can be repeated sustainably without damaging our environment or using fossil fuel reserves is, and should be, a main priority for all of us worldwide. Most UK energy suppliers now offer part-renewable supply in a large majority of their offers; however, some are offering tariffs that will supply your home with 100% renewable electricity.
EDF Energy are the largest producer of electricity in the nation, accounting for around a fifth of all electricity in the UK. They are also the largest producer of low carbon electricity in the country. Their electricity mix is not 100% renewable, but their carbon intensity is considerably less than the UK average. As you can see in the image below their main generation source is nuclear, which is considered by many to actually be a renewable method.
The debate against nuclear energy is also quite a hot topic; however, the facts are these: carbon emissions are extremely low compared to fossil fuels and the main reason for not being classified as totally ‘renewable’ is that uranium deposits are finite, meaning their resource is not unlimited, not for the damage it does to the environment, which is very low.
As mentioned previously, there are also some energy providers who offer 100% renewable (wind, solar, biomass, hydro, geothermal) tariffs. These suppliers include Ovo Energy and Co-operative Energy. They do, however, cost quite a bit more than the average tariff, so if green energy is not your priority, you may wish to switch to someone like EDF Energy, who offer low-carbon energy regardless of the tariff.
Economy 7 is a differential tariff, which means that you have two unit rates depending on the time of day you are using your electricity. This kind of tariff is beneficial to those who don’t mind using their high output appliances, such as washing machines and dishwashers, in their off-peak time allocation, which is usually through the night. If you don’t already have an economy 7 meter fitted you’ll need to give your energy supplier a call to fit your home with a new, second meter. You can find out more about Economy 7 by click the link below:
One of the things you should bear in mind when you are choosing your electricity provider is whether their customer service is up to standard. One thing you do not want is to be going around in circles, pulling your hair out over horrible customer service. That said, however, because of the shear customer numbers and corporate structure of the Big Six, you have to give them a bit of lee-way in terms of review figures. This is not to say that you should go with a supplier that has a 1% customer satisfaction rating, but somebody like British Gas, for example, the most popular supplier in the UK, has a 4.6/10 rating on Trustpilot, which is definitely acceptable. You’ll notice that the independent companies will generally have higher customer service ratings, but this is because they need to pull out all the stops in terms of customer service to be able to get and maintain custom.
Our Recommended Supplier
We’ve all had good and bad experiences with energy suppliers. It’s pretty much impossible to find a company that is the unanimous choice amongst the whole population, but what we can do is choose a company that has consistently good customer service ratings and low prices. This company, for us, is EDF Energy. This company is in the big six for a reason, not only is it a huge player in the UK, but the largest supplier in France too. Not only will you save money by opting for an EDF Energy tariff, but you can have peace of mind knowing that your electricity is coming from a low-carbon source, with many of their tariffs being backed 100% by renewable generation. To get a quick and simple comparison with Selectra your best option is to give us a call, but if you’d like to get a better idea about the prices you’ll likely pay, click here and have a look at our regional comparison for EDF.
Send Us Your Bill
Ok, so it’s time to let the savings start rolling in. We’re thrilled you’ve chosen us to help you choose the perfect energy tariff. If you don’t want to give us call, don’t worry, we offer a service where you can send us your bill and have it assessed by one of our energy advisors. We’ll make a personalised tariff offer which you can accept if you wish, or listen to the other tariffs we may be able to give you. If you’d like more information on how the switching process works here at Selectra, click the below link to find out more.