Derby City Council

RAM Energy : Can significantly overstate real savings – check the maths carefully before signing up!

The Council has previously back-tracked significantly on its claim that Ram Energy is the cheapest tariff.  It revised the position to state that, if someone has not switched before, then RAM Energy could be cheaper than the current tariff ( as confirmed by the Council’s Communications consultant – Matt Youdale).

 

Notwithstanding this, as someone who has recently switched, I decided to see if there would be savings against my bill.

Using exact usage data, against my current tariff, for gas and electricity, from First Utility. The quote for the best option “could save £140.10 per year”, which would represent a 15% reduction – not an insignificant saving. However, all is not what it seems….

 

Whilst the RAM Energy electricity rates are slightly cheaper, the gas rates are more expensive resulting in the annual bill actually being £28 more expensive.  The RAM Energy on-line discount of £22.50 pa per tariff tips it back into a saving of £17 – nothing near £140.

What is not made clear is the underlying assumption in the calculation.  As my current plan ends in September 2018 then the calculation assumes that it will roll into a Variable Plan, after September – the most expensive option.

If a like for like comparison is done, via USwitch.com, then it confirms that switching to RAM Energy is not cheaper than the situation of rolling into another fixed rate option with my existing supplier….and it does not support the claim of a £140 saving.

Comment

The claim that RAM Energy would save me £140 is based on the premise that I do not take action at the end of the contract period to get the cheapest follow-on option from my existing supplier. Whilst USwitch.com uses the same basis for the calculation, it does allow you to compare across dozens of options, including your existing one.

Whilst the small print does state the assumption it could be clearer. I’m sure that many, in this situation, would think that switching to RAM Energy would give a saving from their current bills when in fact it is a saving from a new, higher, tariff that no one, who is cost conscious, would sensibly sign up to.

It is potentially misleading in my opinion and could result in people having false expectations about how much money they will actually save from their current position.

I trust that the Councillors who are actively encouraging residents to sign-up to RAM Energy know how these “phantom” savings are calculated.

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