Scottish Power has launched a new energy tariff that caps gas and electricity prices until November 2013.
Called Unifi November 2013, the tariff offers a free energy monitor so you can keep tabs on how much energy you’re using.
The Unifi monitor lets you set a daily allowance for your electricity use, and you can switch appliances on or off from the energy monitor or your iPhone using devices called uniplugs – though only one is included with the monitor, so others would have to be bought separately if you wanted to remotely control more than one appliance in your home.
Free energy monitor
You’ll need to meet several conditions to be able to use the energy monitor, such as having a spare port on your broadband router to be able to connect the monitor to – click here for a full list of conditions.
Which? Switch’s Charlotte Berry says: ‘While we welcome the opportunity for consumers to monitor their energy use more closely, the long list of requirements for those wishing to switch to this tariff could serve to make the switching process more confusing.
And you don’t have to sign up for a special energy deal to get hold of an energy monitor, you can buy one no matter what deal you are on – our energy monitor review reveals the models we recommend as Which? Best Buys.’
Capped energy tariffs
A capped energy tariff guarantees that the unit price (often called the kilowatt hour price – kWh) you pay for electricity or gas won’t rise beyond a certain level for a fixed period, protecting you from price rises.
The unit price for capped energy is usually higher than a supplier’s standard tariff, but it can go down if your energy supplier cuts its standard energy prices during the period the cap is effective.
For more information on the different types of gas and electricity tariffs available, read our guide to understanding energy tariffs.
Watch out for cancellation charge
The new Unifi tariff is 4% more expensive than the tariff it’s replacing, Unifi April 2013, and there’s a charge of up to £152.06 if you switch or cancel before November 2013.
Which? energy spokesperson Jenny Driscoll says: ‘This tariff is interesting in saying you can use it to budget your use on a daily basis and even switch off appliances left on standby.
‘You will need to make sure that your home is suitable, in particular whether your broadband connection is geared up for the Unifi system.’
The Unifi tariff is only open to dual fuel customers willing to pay by Direct Debit.
Lower your gas and electricity bills
You can compare energy prices and switch to a new gas and electricity supplier on Which? Switch. People who switched with us between 1 October and 31 December 2013 are predicted to save an average of £234 a year on their bills.
Which? RSS and Twitter news feeds
For daily consumer news, subscribe to the Which? consumer news RSS feed. If you have an older web browser you may need to copy and paste http://www.which.co.uk/feeds/news.xml into your newsreader.
Follow @WhichNews on Twitter for the latest news, or @WhichAction to see how we’re campaigning for consumers.