Green Star Energy will let you use as much energy as you need for a fixed monthly bill, if you sign up to its new unlimited tariff.
The company uses your gas and electricity usage figures from the previous year to work out which of its fixed price bands you fit into. You then pay a flat rate over 12 monthly direct debits.
While this means your bill is based on how much you are expected to use according to past habits, unlike a traditional energy tariff, the price won’t change if you use less or more.
Unlimited energy: With a fixed price households can crank up the heating without paying extra
In theory, this means families could lock in to a fixed price to help stay on top of their budget. It would also mean, bill-conscious households would be able to turn the thermostat up over the coldest months without worrying about rocketing energy bills.
But remember the reverse could also be true, you could use less than the previous year and end up paying more than you need to.
Small print means there are limits to how much energy you will be able to reasonably use – you won’t be able to turn your home in to a sauna for free or under play your energy use to get a cheaper deal.
The energy company says in extreme circumstances if you have given meter readings significantly below industry held data on that property without explanation, Green Star Energy may transfer the customer to their standard variable tariff.
Smartmeters are also a good way of ensuring that you don’t get any unexpectedly high bills, because they tell you in real time how much energy you are using.
Both Scottish Power and Npower recently unveiled inflation-busting price hikes and EDF also upped bills in December last year.
Alongside these increases, the cost of the cheapest deals on the market are also drifting up – making fixing your bills to avoid a sudden jump in costs an attractive option.
Traditional fixed energy deals shelter households from rising energy prices by fixing the cost per unit of gas and electricity they use.
Green Star Energy is going one step further, promising to fix the amount you pay each month, full stop.
So is it the answer to bill uncertainty or could you actually end up paying more?
How does it work?
The new tariff is being offered both from Green Star Energy itself and comparison site Comparethemarket.
If you get it through the comparison site before March 5, it is running a promotion that knocks £10 off your bill.
But only some will be able to get the deal through Comparethemarket, as it is only offering the tariff to those who fit into five of the 25 usage brackets offered if you go direct to Green Star Energy itself.
The minimum bill bracket offered through the comparison site is £855, the largest of the five available bands costs £1,287.
If you fit into one of these brackets the tariff will automatically appear when you run a search on the site.
Those households not likely to fit into the middle pricing brackets will need go straight to Green Star Energy.
Example costs: Green Star Energy offers 25 pricing brackets if you buy directly.
How does the price stack up?
Of course the price you pay will be dependent on your previous habits and which bracket you fit into and whether you buy direct or via the comparison site.
An average household giving previous annual readings of 12,500kWh of gas and 3,100kWh of electricity when they sign up will pay £1,060-a-year (£88.33-a-month) if they take out the deal through Comparethemarket, or £1,071 (£89.25-a-month) through Green Star Energy’s own website.
This is a lot more expensive than the cheapest deals on the market.
IRESA’s Flex4 12-month fixed tariff would cost just £834. This means you would be paying £226 more for ‘unlimited’ energy via Comparethemarket.
This tariff may not offer a fixed bill, but the cost of each unit of gas and electricity is fixed for a year.
It is worth noting that the average standard Big Six dual fuel tariff – typically the most expensive deals – sits at £1,066-year, according to Ofgem figures.
BEST BUY ENERGY TARIFFS
Rank Supplier Plan name Average bill size Tariff type Cancellation fees 1 IRESA Iresa Flex4 12 month Fixed Direct Debit £834 Fixed – 2 Economy Energy Direct Saver 2017 (v3) £842 Fixed £25.00 per fuel 3 Tonik Energy Positive Energy v2 £880 Fixed – 4 Avro Energy Simple and Switch £887 Fixed – 5 So Energy So Hedgehog £891 Fixed £5.00 per fuel 6 Affect Energy Fixed Until February 2018 £893 Fixed £25.00 per fuel 7 Places For People Together – March 2018 – fixed 45 £903 Fixed £30.00 per fuel 8 Bristol Energy Bristol Energy 1 Year Fix Issue 9 £904 Fixed – 9 The Energy Deal Action £904 Variable – 10 Robin Hood Energy Robin Hood Energy Evergreen £904 Variable – Source: uSwitch,com, correct as of February 20