Saturday, 6 September 2008

It pays to stay online as web-only tariffs prove the cheapest option ... but for how long?

Customers who pay quarterly could save money by switching to a little-known and relatively small energy supplier, Ebico - Britain's only not-for-profit power company. Ebico is currently appearing as the second-cheapest provider, with the average household paying £962 a year in bills, and could suit consumers who don't want to stay with giant utilities firms.

Ebico uses Scottish and Southern as its supplier but works on the premise that every customer pays the same rate, regardless of whether they pay by direct debit, prepayment or quarterly.

'Other companies give direct-debit customers discounts, but we try to give everyone discounts,' says Phil Levermore, managing director of Ebico. 'Even if energy prices are rising, we will still treat customers in a fair way.'

Since other providers have pushed their prices up, Ebico has shot up the best-buy tables, according to Todd - but that too might not be for long.

'Scottish and Southern Energy is expected to be one of the last companies to raise prices, and while Ebico is a good company, they too will be raising prices later this year,' he says.

Levermore adds: 'With retail prices heading upwards, it's quite likely our prices will be rising too. That said, we're the only not-for-profit energy company and we believe in offering the fairest deal in the market.'

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