Energy > Our Reviews

Budget Energy Review

Robin Bowman

Robin Bowman
Jul 14, 2016


Budget Energy has been around for five years and now supplies electricity only. 

So, while it’s one of the little guys, it’s hardly new. And it certainly claims to be cheaper than its rivals.

However, if you’re not in Northern Ireland, then stop reading now!

IS BUDGET ENERGY THE RIGHT CHOICE FOR YOU BUDGET?

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No matter how appealing you find its offering, if you’re not in Northern Ireland, Budget Energy isn’t available to you.

The company has over 61,000 customers and is based in Belfast and Derry/Londonderry. It is, it says, “dedicated to bringing a cost effective choice to the Northern Ireland electricity market.”

Profits have increased five-fold in a year to £3.6m; it now has a licence to operate in the Republic of Ireland and is reported to also be eyeing the UK market. So our Budget Energy review may be relevant to other members of the UK soon.

So, does it deliver?

 

Budget Energy Tariffs

The company claims it will supply you with low cost electricity and that by switching to them you could save up to 15.14% off your home energy.

And, if you do switch to them, they’ll offer you a £10 energy credit. Use our free tool to compare energy suppliers now.

Tariffs vary according to how you pay.  

E-billing

If you choose to manage your energy bills online, the company says you could save up to a 22% discount off your standard direct debit electricity tariff. 

With instant access to your account online at any time you also have no fixed contract.

Currently, Budget Energy is offering a 12.50p per KWH fixed-for-one-year deal.

Pay-as-you-go

The company claims you could save up to 13.4% a year on your electricity bills with its extra discount. PAYG meters and keypad top ups allow you to monitor your daily usage. 

This option means there are no monthly payments and no bills in the post. You just top-up when you need to with the 24/7 top-up service. You can also top up at any pay point or payzone or on the automated payment line.

Around 80% of Budget Energy’s customers are PAYG.

Direct debit 

The other option is to pay by direct debit, which allows you to pay fixed monthly amounts based on your electricity use averaged throughout the year.

It must be doing something right on price as it saw the greatest number of Northern Ireland customers switch to it in 2015.

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Green credentials

The company’s main focus appears to be on low prices, but even so, 14% of the electricity it brings to market is classified as “green.” Not as high as in our Flow Energy review but at least they're making the attempt.

Budget Energy website

We like the company’s website. It’s busy but clean and easy to use. Clear explanations in crisp sentences that should be accessible to anyone.

COULD A SWITCH TO BUDGET ENERGY SAVE YOU MONEY?

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Budget Energy customer service

Budget came top of the energy companies in Northern Ireland in the annual Which? customer survey.

It reviewed especially well for value for money.

Which? reported: “It also offers comparable tariffs for both bill-paying customers and keypad customers, which are priced differently depending on payment options (monthly direct debit, cheque, cash or by phone). Budget Energy saw the greatest number of Northern Ireland customers switch to it in 2015.

“As one Budget Energy customer said: 'As one of very few electricity suppliers in Northern Ireland, it is consistently the cheapest'."

Wse A Spokesman Said's free tool to make a complaint about Budget Energy.

 

Our verdict

The Northern Ireland market is more regulated than elsewhere in the UK, which means prices are more stable, but it also limits the level of competition in the sector. The number of people switching suppliers in NI tends to be far smaller than elsewhere.

Before you decide which supplier to go for, you might want to check out our review of SSE Airtricity

Pros:

* Highly competitive prices
* Good customer service
* Clear, transparent pricing

Cons:

* No reach outside Northern Ireland.


Find a cheap Northern Ireland energy deal using A Spokesman Said’s free tool


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