as said by G Strutt and to add, my advice is although there are companies that offer such services avoid them like the plague.
Here's what I think you should do
1.When you get the quote from whoever you switch to, nominate someone to pay. (preferably the least financially challenged of you...)
2. It's likely that your annual estimate will be a bit loose so you won't know for sure how much energy you're going to use with any great accuracy.
3. Add 30% to the quote/DD amount for your own purposes and divide the "increased" DD figure by the number of people paying. *See below for caveat
4. Have each person set up a standing order to the bill-payers account dated a few days before the statement/payment date. With PP the statement date is every month after the switch date. The first payment goes out the day of your switch so payments would have to start then.
5. Draw up a simple contract which you will all sign agreeing to pay equal amounts for the energy.
If all goes according to plan once the final bill is issued (some weeks after you leave, if there is a surplus you can divide it equally, if you owe then you'll all have to pay equally.)
You'll get an email statement once a month, keep an eye on the balance to see if the usage is on-track, if it (the balance) starts going down a lot you'll need to up the DD and consequently the Standing orders will need to increase. Ideally the balance should always be around a month's DD amount average in credit, as it's paid up front.
One other thing to bear in mind, which does complicate things a little is that PP charge less in the Summer months than the winter months. You pay 40% of the annual estimate from April to Sept, and 60% from Oct to March. In other words if your annual estimate was £1200 (for example) you'd be paying £80 from Apr-Sept and £120 from Oct-March.
There are a couple of ways you could deal with that depending on when your contract starts and how long it's likely to run but being clever students you should be able to work out how best to accommodate (unless you're arts or media-study students in which case I retract that - that was a joke by the way...)
Personally I'd just divide it by 12 add 30% and divide by n.- it'll resolve in the end anyway.
If anyone leaves before the end of the course it'll get messy but not insurmountable. You'd need to recalculate.
Good luck with course! oh...and don't let this post deter you, PP are a great company.
Originally Posted by Fish12