nPower just doubled our electricity bill

Well just short of doubled. Up until the 5th December 2008, here at Singletrack HQ we were paying 9.56p per unit for our electricity. Then from the 6th December we’ve been charged 17.15p. We now have a £777 bill for the last 2 months of electricity.

Now looking into this a little closer, while I wait for a sales representative to call me back to see if they can, ‘get you a more competitive price’, I’ve come across the whole issue of ‘Rolling Contracts’. This means, that according to the small print of the contract (yes we perhaps should have read it closer) we have to give nPower 90 days written notice BEFORE the end of our annual contract that we want to switch suppliers. If we don’t do that then the contract is automatically rolled over for another year at a more expensive rate. Lovely!

Apparently they can get away with enforcing this because OFGEN doesn’t cover Business tariffs. This situation with the notice period before the increased rate has apparently been covered in several national newspapers and been highlighted as an ‘issue’ on sites such as www.moneysavingexpert.com and some small business association websites. They all sadly seem to report that loads of companies are being caught by this and that the contract is pretty water tight. In short, unless nPower customer relations agree that it’s a bit of a crafty way to get a hell of a lot more money out of small businesses at a time when small businesses are desperately trying to keep hold of as much of their cash as possible in order to just stay in business, there’s not a great deal we can do. We should have read the small print and written to them in September to let them know that 3 months hence we would be switching to a new supplier apparently. 

So, I’m still waiting for that call from nPower. I’ll report back here just as soon as they have and we’ll see just what sort of company they are.

Anyone else using nPower as their provider?