Unlimited energy tariff launches: but how does it stack up?
Households worried about racking up hefty energy bills can lock into a new deal that promises unlimited energy usage.
The ‘Unlimited 12M’ tariff, which is available for dual fuel and electricity-only customers (excluding prepayment customers) until 5 March, is provided by Green Star Energy and only available from comparison website Comparethemarket.com.
It’s a one-year fixed deal with tariff prices calculated depending on your previous year’s usage.
Prices are banded, starting at £855 for the lowest dual fuel users and rising to a maximum cost of £1,287 a year for the highest users – although Comparethemarket wouldn’t tell us the other price bands.
When getting a quote, potential customers need to enter their usage on the Comparethemarket website. If your usage fits into one of the tariff’s chosen bands, you’ll see the option of the Green Star Energy tariff.
You’ll also need to pay by monthly direct debit, as well as manage your account and bills online. If you want to switch before the 12 months is up, you’ll have to pay £30 in exit fees per fuel type – unless you switch to another Green Star Energy tariff.
The comparison website believes the tariff offers “complete certainty” for customers such as the elderly, where almost a third (32%) ration their energy usage to keep bills down, and to shared households struggling with high and fluctuating energy bills.
An unlimited usage tariff is an interesting concept, but while it sounds like a fixed deal – there is a difference. Fixed energy tariffs see the price per unit of energy fixed – meaning the unit price can’t rise if providers up prices – but bills will still depend on your usage.
In terms of price, the cheapest deal on the market for an average dual fuel energy user was £834 as of 22 February.
So if you’re in the lowest price band, £855 may seem a reasonable price to pay for certainty. However, if you’re in the highest price band, you’re paying £453 more than the average. Use a comparison website to calculate what tariff is best for you and check how it compares to the Unlimited 12M tariff – if you’re offered the choice of one.
If you’re worried about your energy usage increasing, also check your last few years’ worth of bills to see how much they’ve fluctuated by in reality. Plus, see if you can save energy by making your home more efficient. See our Tips on energy proofing your home.