Every power provider I’ve tried (six in whole) has routinely overcharged me, estimating my utilization to be a lot larger than it really was yearly. Most of us prepay their power payments by direct debit within the UK, and power suppliers estimate your utilization and set your month-to-month invoice at a degree to cowl it. They solely calculate what you really used each three months. And they don’t refund the quantity they overcharge, preferring to maintain it for future payments. I’ve wasted hours of my life on maintain or arguing with suppliers to assert my credit score again and scale back my month-to-month funds, solely to see them elevated once more the subsequent month.
Because power use soars within the winter when it’s chilly, there’s a official argument for accruing credit score over the summer time, however even taking that into consideration, an Ofgem report revealed that in 2018, power suppliers had taken £1.4 billion greater than they wanted. The variety of suppliers peaked at 70 that very same yr, however many have been already dipping into this money. The regulators failed woefully to carry new suppliers to account, regardless of clear proof of monetary unsustainability (Avro was essentially the most egregious instance), and plenty of went bust, leaving taxpayers to foot the invoice.
Clear and Direct
When I first logged on to Octopus’ web site, I might see my power use and payments at a look or submit a meter studying. It could look like a low bar, however all my earlier suppliers had clunky techniques providing restricted information, to not point out frequent downtime and information breaches. With Octopus, you may submit a meter studying as typically as you want, which implies correct billing primarily based in your precise utilization.
Submit a meter studying each month and also you earn a spin of the wheel of fortune, the place you may win prizes from £1 as much as £512. This gamification of meter readings is a intelligent approach to encourage of us to submit them extra typically. Dibb-Simkin advised me that it doesn’t simply make billing extra correct, it additionally permits extra environment friendly balancing of the facility grid by offering perception into real-time utilization.
A number of months after becoming a member of Octopus, I acquired a sensible meter. It was put in without cost and got here with a wi-fi show that reveals my power use for electrical energy and gasoline. I don’t must submit meter readings anymore, as the information mechanically uploads to Octopus, however the firm nonetheless permits me a month-to-month wheel of fortune spin. Even its maintain music is healthier. When traces are busy, if Octopus has your date of beginning on file, it’s going to play the No. 1 music from while you have been 14 years previous. Your musical tastes cemented again then, and listening to a tune you want helps chill you out.
I’m not the one completely satisfied buyer. Octopus has scored constantly extremely for customer support and gained a coveted Which Recommendation 5 years in a row (it’s the one power agency to get one this yr).
Sense of Responsibility
Last winter, Octopus arrange a £2.5 million Assistance Fund for purchasers combating excessive costs. It gave away 7,000 free electrical blankets for the toughest hit, as a result of it’s far more inexpensive to warmth an individual than an entire residence. The fund has been elevated to £7 million this yr.
The firm additionally ran a Winter Workout problem that estimated your gasoline utilization over 12 weeks of winter and provided anybody who diminished their gasoline consumption the prospect to win a money prize. Aside from providing suggestions and an area for people to share concepts, there have been weekly and grand prizes, and everybody who was profitable shared in a £1 million pot. It was a sensible approach to scale back gasoline utilization, and it included an choice to donate your winnings to the Assistance Fund on the finish, with Octopus matching all donations.