Scottish Power has announced the launch of a new tariff called PowerUp – which lets you pay for gas and electricity in bundles of days.
PowerUp is intended to simplify life for customers currently confused by “fancy tariffs”, according to the energy supplier’s chief executive Keith Anderson.
It hasn’t launched yet, but it will be available in October to existing Scottish Power customers only through a PowerUp app for smartphones.
The new tariff was inspired by the way we pay for petrol, and data bundles using a mobile phone.
Use Which? Switch, our free energy comparison site, to find a better deal. Or, if you’d prefer to call, you can phone Which? Switch on 0800 410 1149 or 01259 220 235.
How will PowerUp work?
PowerUp will let you pay for bundles of days’ worth of energy (from one day to 29 days) or months’ worth of energy (one month, three months or six months). The longer the package you choose, the more money you should be able to save, according to Scottish Power.
You will pay through the PowerUp app. The amount you pay will be calculated according to your actual energy use.
You’ll be able to buy bundles up to 180 days ahead. Using the PowerUp app, you’ll be able to track how much energy you’re consuming and how much you’ve got left.
Is Scottish Power’s PowerUp a good deal?
Until the PowerUp tariff launches, it’s hard to tell whether it’ll help save customers money on energy.
It has the potential to be good for people who are often away from home as you’d only pay for the energy you use, rather than a standing charge. But consumers need to be able to compare the PowerUp deal with other tariffs to find out if they would actually save money or if they’d still be better off going with a cheap fixed deal.
To get the best from this tariff, you’ll also need to be prepared to submit meter readings frequently to keep your usage alerts accurate.
If you don’t buy a new PowerUp package within 14 days of yours expiring, you’ll revert back to Scottish Power’s standard variable tariff. The standard variable tariff is usually a supplier’s most expensive, so this needs to be made clear to consumers, otherwise being transferred to this rate could mean a big unexpected jump in cost.
To find out how energy customers stack up on customer service as well as price, see our rankings of the best and worst energy companies
Best energy deals
Following the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) recommendations in March aimed at encouraging more of us to switch suppliers, several new-style tariffs have sprung up on the market.
Recently British Gas launched a tariff offering free electricity at weekends. With FreeTime, customers can choose to have free electricity between 9am and 5pm either on a Saturday or a Sunday. Unlike PowerUp, FreeTime requires a smart meter.
Looking for a good deal now? We’ve recently revealed the top five cheapest energy deals for September 2016.
Switching energy suppliers
If the prospect of PowerUp doesn’t tempt you, it’s worth finding out if switching your energy supplier could save you money.
The CMA found that 88% of UK households are still with the big six energy behemoths – British Gas, EDF, npower, EON, Scottish Power and SSE. That’s despite the fact that customers could save more than £300 by switching away from a big six standard variable tariff.
We recently found that 63% of people in the UK are worried about energy prices, with only a third of people (34%) saying they trust energy providers.
Worried about your energy costs? Find out how to save money on your energy bill.