Absolutely appalling behaviour from a so called company. They grossly over exaggerate your bills and then take you to court when you cancel the direct debit. They ignore customer self meter reads and photographs, instead preferring to follow their true pattern of plucking numbers from the sky and billing you accordingly. I’m in the process of a court battle and have reported them to the ombudsman. I’ll await their stock reply of bullying on here. Stay well away from this company and go directly to a reputable one directly. Look after my bills placed me with this outfit, a decision I regretted from month one. I gave them 1 star because I wasn’t allowed to leave a zero or minus. They are absolutely crass, zero customer service and totally unapproachable.
Who's your electricity provider and what's your tariff?
Electricity tariffs are a key component of running costs when it comes to heat pumps. Please share who your electricity provider is and what tariff you're on.
I was with Bulb which was around 17p but switched to Octopus this month in preparation for my solar panel and battery storage system. The octopus tariff is currently their flexible at 17.07p/kWh and a standing charge of 23.63p/Day. Its high because Scotland and especially the highlands are always higher costs for electric. As soon as Octopus switch me over to a smart meter then i will be able to either go on their go or agile tariff which means i can store electric in my batteries at just 5.5p/kWh or under agile i can look for the cheapest half hour rates and use those times to minimise my peak hour costs by using the battery storage. I will also be exporting power to the grid from my solar panels .
@boblochinver I’ve never fully understood why electricity prices vary from one part of the UK to another. Has it got something to do with the infrastructure and the way DNOs are set up?
There are several reasons but we in the far north of Scotland pay the highest tariffs due to things like this
- No mains gas in the vast majority of remote communities means we can't benefit from Dual fuel tariffs.
- The cost of supplying electric over long distances over the grid, more cost to support that but less people to pay for it.
- As electric tariffs have a portion of their costs put aside for renewable energies, people that use purely Electric as their main fuel are paying more overall.
- The DNO’s will always charge what they can get away with and the economies of scale for remote small communities is just not always going to be a viable proposition.
Having said all of the above the prices are still the highest in UK and thats even with a £50 million fund to help offset the high costs (as of 2019). Theres a reason I got solar and it really is a factor to take into consideration when the tariffs are just not available. I’m hoping the Octopus go agile tariffs well help me select the timings to obtain the best costs for recharging my batteries and offsetting the expensive rates during peak times.
You can understand my concerns over the potential costs for air source heat pumps and how that could quite easily become a major cost during very cold weather.
@boblochinver I assumed there was a lot that went into it.
Your concerns are very valid. The effectiveness (by way of running costs) of ASHPs is based on electricity tariffs. It’s all about getting the lowest rates. If you can do that, running costs become very attractive.
I was with Bulb which was around 17p but switched to Octopus this month in preparation for my solar panel and battery storage system. The octopus tariff is currently their flexible at 17.07p/kWh and a standing charge of 23.63p/day. Its high because Scotland and especially the highlands are always higher costs for electric. As soon as Octopus switch me over to a smart meter then i will be able to either go on their go or agile tariff which means i can store electric in my batteries at just 5.5p/kWh or under agile i can look for the cheapest half hour rates and use those times to minimise my peak hour costs by using the battery storage. I will also be exporting power to the grid from my solar panels .
Hi Bob, I'll bet you can't wait to get that smart meter? What sort of batteries have you got?
You won't always be able to store at 5.5p but using the graphs, you'll be able to make the best of it. Despite my best efforts in January I only managed 14.3p/kWh but in February 10.42p.
You're going to have an interesting time figuiring how this all works and how you can capatilise on having batteries and solar. I've found there is a point about the end of February where I can transition from having the Heat Pump running chep rates all night with little solar input, to having the Heat pump runing all day on solar and a couple of hours at the cheapest rate in the morning.
When you get up and running with Octopus, theres a very interesting forum, which you have to be invited to join, send an email to email@example.com some of the more interesting things are the home energy management systems. But there's lots more.
Whilst you are waiting for Agile, which can take a few months, try asking them to switch you to the Tracker tariff.( My Mum in Shetland paid 17.37p/kWh in January and 14.45p/kWh and 21.11p a day last month and being a tracker it will go down from that. Last year in July she was paying 8p/kWh) The Tracker beats the standard tariff 17p/kWh 90% of the time and costs nothing to switch from and to.
When you move to Agile, there's also a good app called Octopus Watch which will allow you to see the proposed prices up to 48 hrs ahead which will alow you to see when you want to run energy intensive appliancies like washing machines and tumble driers. It also helps in the winter especially with the best times to charge the EV.
Do you already have an EV?
Hi Chris, Thanks for the really useful information very helpful, it will take time to get the smart meter installed but I will chase them up but I'll be sure to join the octopus group as I understand I can hook up a Rasb Pi to get the information to ensure I use the best most cost effective rates for charging batteries and using the electric. I have 4.8kWh Aoboet Batteries tied to a Lux tech hybrid inverter with 3.6. I'll post my full stats of my array and the setup on the PV segment of the forum so we dont go off topic 🙂 I always think its slightly sad that we in Scotland probably offer the most effective green renewable energy to the grid and yet pay some of the highest rates for that same energy. Incremental steps to everyone going green, we all start somewhere 🙂 as for an EV not yet but the plan is absolutely to go that way within the next year. Im thinking Tesla but maybe a Volvo as well ? I'm sure the market will look different then anyway.
We are with Symbio. They seem to have a bad reputation for customer service and their billing is hit and miss but they are cheap, 11.6 day and 7.6 night. I signed up for our NSHs and we're fixed until July. The ASHP will be in by then so we'll be looking for a different single tariff deal. No smart meter or solar but thinking about it.
@kev-m symbio does indeed look very cheap and when I entered my details it was about 12.5p which is cheaper than what I’m on with octopus. It’s another provider that people who are deciding which supplier to use can add to their list of potentials. Obviously different providers will offer features that make it more valuable than others. I’ll be sure to look into symbio a bit more. Thanks for info.
@boblochinver Hi Bob, Yes it is uinfair that a smaller population pays more to support the infrastructure, its anarchaic way of looking at the network and the cost should be spread evenly which would make a lot more sense. Especially as the transmission is now more and more coming from the windfarms in the North being generated for use down South. I'd agree with your Tesla idea. I got the Scottish loan last year and got my Model3. She's costing me about £2.00 a mile to run all in! including insurance, a set of winter tyres and wheels, the monthly payments, everything. (of course there's no servicing costs) If you just take electricity, she'll cost you almost nothing. I'm about 5p a mile up from 2.7p last year when the Aberdeenshire council electricity was free. If you need a referral, let me know.
The Tesla compliments the Xantia estate nicely 🙂
You've still got free charging in Lochinver by the village hall? and your panels and batteries will keep you going for most of the year.
We had a nice little run over there in the summer last year to visit a friend.
@kev-m Thats a very good price Kev especially looking at recent Octpus Agile prices. It's been an unusually calm winter with a few nuclear power stations off line so not quite the surplus of electricity as last year.
This time last year I was paying 8-10p and so far this year its averaged at about 13p, but I have the batteries to load shift and avoid the peak prices.
Unfortunately, when its calm and the prices are high and its below freezing outside, you have to "bie the bullet"
One thing I can say about Octopus is that I've found their customer service to be second to none.. I sent them an email last week at 0800 and by 0805 I'd had a reply and not an automated one either.
We're with Symbio too. They hiked our rate up from 11p to 14p. Still the cheapest we can find in the West Midlands. Their customer service is non-existent and you can't get hold of anyone - we're continuing to hunt for the next cheap rate.
Octopus have an excellent reputation and their founders are very proud of that. Fair play to them.
@chris-in-kemnay thanks for the reply and yes it is a little unfair with the additional costs especially when they talk about a National Grid but obviously not a fair grid !. I love Lochinver, I’d been looking for years for just the right place in the highlands and it is just perfect, the people are amazing and the scenery is just beyond brilliant. I know there are two charging units in the car park near the village hall. The EV is a definite its just deciding what to get. (I’m into my motorbikes so maybe a get an electric one). If you visited last year you may have seen the large red house on the other side of the small bridge 🙂 thats my view point 🙂
I'm currently with Symbio at 10.88p per kWh locked in till December this year.
I've just seen that Orbit Energy are currently offering 11.9p if someone needs a new supplier (I don't have any experience or info about them).
As long as Symbio keep my rate low and I get my meter readings in on time I will be sticking with them (unless they go under).
At the moment I am looking for a new gas and electricity supplier and had a look at Symbio after it was mentioned in the forum.
I also did a search for customer reviews and I'm afraid there are many that are not very complimentary as per the example below.