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Can we save on fuel bills by swapping energy companies?

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Chris Huhne claims UK energy prices are 'relatively good'

Post by astradt1 on Mon Oct 17, 2011 5:14 pm

The Energy Secretary Chris Huhne today claimed householders in Britain were enjoying 'relatively good electricity and gas prices' compared to other countries, amid fresh warnings that electricity bills are to soar by another £300.

Speaking ahead of a government summit with the 'Big Six' power firms, Mr Huhne also reminded consumers energy companies 'are not the Salvation Army, they are trying to make profits for their share-holders'.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2049916/David-Cameron-reads-riot-act-energy-giants-electricity-bills-soar-300.html#ixzz1b3WVUsgU

Right so the bloke who is meant to 'try' and get energy companies to help hard pressed customers a better deal thinks we already have quite good at the moment......

Ther government keeps going on about insulating homes but there must be a limit to how much we all have......the same with double glazing and with the possible offer of a grant which can be 'put towards' the cost of replacement will still mean that there will be a cost to the customer who is already cutting back on spending due to a lack of spare cash.........
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Re: Can we save on fuel bills by swapping energy companies?

Post by oftenwrong on Mon Oct 17, 2011 5:30 pm

Not my fault - I didn't vote for 'em!
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Re: Can we save on fuel bills by swapping energy companies?

Post by astra on Mon Oct 17, 2011 5:42 pm

Neither did I but we are stuck with them by edict of the Sheeple!


Please have a look at the ads for free Solar Panels - free fitting and nowt to pay.

Any feedback would be appreciated Thanks
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Re: Can we save on fuel bills by swapping energy companies?

Post by oftenwrong on Mon Oct 17, 2011 7:16 pm

Please have a look at the ads for free Solar Panels - free fitting and nowt to pay.


If something seems too good to be true ....................

Solar-panel installers collect the government subsidy when you allow them to play with your roof. Read the Agreement carefully as it could make the property unsaleable. Building Societies don't lend on property where the roof belongs to someone else.
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Re: Can we save on fuel bills by swapping energy companies?

Post by astra on Mon Oct 17, 2011 7:20 pm

If something seems too good to be true ....................


YUP! No such thing as a free lunch!

thanks.
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Re: Can we save on fuel bills by swapping energy companies?

Post by Mel on Mon Oct 17, 2011 9:44 pm

Cameron and Huhne have had discussions with the big energy suppliers on behalf of the consumer (ha ha ha!!!)to see if they can get them to make the various complex offerings made simple to understand.

That is about it folks and no possibility of pressure as indicated by Camercon being levied regarding the exorbitant increase in prices being reduced.

Huhne makes the point on behalf of the Energy Companies instead of the consumer that the shareholders must take priority. Typical Tory attitude.
All Camercon can say is that we must all reduce our consumption of energy to save ourselves a few quid. Back to the one bar electric fire I suppose or borrow from the bank that wont lend for financing double glazing, when at a time when people can least afford the luxury.

So much for Energy Company competition being good for the consumer. The pathetic Tory excuse as usual for privatisation of everything in sight.

They must really think the public are stupid and have no sense of reality whatsoever.
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Re: Can we save on fuel bills by swapping energy companies?

Post by oftenwrong on Mon Oct 17, 2011 10:51 pm

Turns out that it's all the fault of the British Public for living in draughty houses.
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Re: Can we save on fuel bills by swapping energy companies?

Post by astra on Mon Oct 17, 2011 11:25 pm

Back to mud huts, wode and Boedicca! xcuse spelling!! pale
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Re: Can we save on fuel bills by swapping energy companies?

Post by Mel on Tue Oct 18, 2011 9:51 am

Window dressing at its most pathetic.
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What you probably suspected is indeed true

Post by oftenwrong on Sun Jan 20, 2013 11:56 am

Foreign power firms charge British customers more for electricity

Sunday Times headline 20.01.13

A report of the VaasaETT think-tank reveals the mark-up on wholesale prices can reach 49%, which means that about ten million British households pay more for electricity from EDF and (German-owned) RWE Npower than the customers of those companies in France and Germany.
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Re: Can we save on fuel bills by swapping energy companies?

Post by boatlady on Sun Jan 20, 2013 9:22 pm

Met a chap last week who although he uses no gas has been charged 35 p per day for having a gas meter in his house - over a period of 5 years he has accumulated a debt of over £500.
That was those nice NPower people
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Can we save on fuel bills by swapping energy companies?

Post by bobby on Thu Oct 24, 2013 10:48 pm

More verbal bollocks from Herr Cameron and his followers. Any time the rise in energy prices is mentioned and a possible solution put forward, all we get from him is that the energy companies will simply hike their prices either before or after the price freeze, and he may well be right. Doesn't this go to prove just how privatisation of our utilities actually works? They are no longer in the public's interest but are only intent on making the shareholders (many who are probably sitting on the Tory benches) richer at the expense of the poor and industry.
Another extremely annoying load of shit spouted by them is when they say we will be better off if we switch, maybe we will, but only by coppers per week, the thing is they say to shop around and go with the cheapest company, but who is it that sets to prices for the cheapest company "yep you've got it, its the poxy energy company" and once enough people have switched you can guarantee they will raise their existing price.
  Herr Cameron and the rest of this Fascist Government have absolutely no interest in bettering the lives of the British population, but have negotiated a deal to build a new Nuclear Power Station at Hinkley Point. Why is it that the people who will benefit most from this build are the French and the Chinese? The Tories have absolutely no interest in Britain as a Nation just so long as they individually are OK.
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Re: Can we save on fuel bills by swapping energy companies?

Post by boatlady on Fri Oct 25, 2013 10:14 am

Just what I've been thinking.
The recent deal just further underlines that the privatising of utilities was a bad, bad idea.
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Re: Can we save on fuel bills by swapping energy companies?

Post by Ivan on Fri Oct 25, 2013 11:29 am

bobby wrote:-
The Tories have absolutely no interest in Britain as a nation just so long as they individually are OK.
 
And yet the hypocrites have the gall to wrap themselves in the Union flag at every opportunity.
 
Cameron keeps saying that he’s making the energy companies “put customers on their lowest tariffs”. What nonsense that is! The companies will just raise all their tariffs, or maybe have just one tariff "for the sake of transparency".
 
boatlady wrote:-
the privatising of utilities was a bad, bad idea.
 
Shadow minister Luciana Berger was arguing on Twitter yesterday that we need a price freeze to reset the market, separate the supply and generation side of energy companies, then create an open two-way pool and a new regulator with teeth.
 
If I took my neighbour's car and sold it, I'd have to compensate him, wouldn't I? I think the only solution is to renationalise the energy companies and to pass a law retrospectively making the Tories financially liable for selling public assets that were not theirs to sell. They should be made to use all the bungs they’ve received from private companies to repay the nation for their asset-stripping. If, in the process, the Tory Party went bankrupt and had to close down, that would be a great day for the UK.
 
The Liberal Democrats are no better. I see that energy secretary Ed Davey has been travelling in an EDF helicopter - after he promised the company double the going rate for electricity in return for building new reactors at the Hinkley Point energy plant.
 
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/minister-ed-davey-rides-edf-2528456
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Re: Can we save on fuel bills by swapping energy companies?

Post by Dan Fante on Fri Oct 25, 2013 11:34 am

I think 'Red Ed' should persevere with the price freeze thing as it's a popular policy with voters. If the government oppose it on the grounds that it's interfering with the market then they should be asked why it's ok to use tax payers' money to interfere with the housing market.
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Re: Can we save on fuel bills by swapping energy companies?

Post by Dan Fante on Fri Oct 25, 2013 12:44 pm

Quite a funny tweet from David Schneider:
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Re: Can we save on fuel bills by swapping energy companies?

Post by astradt1 on Fri Oct 25, 2013 3:28 pm

On Radio 4 yesterday when talking about switching energy companies they said that because so many were now following this governments advice it would take up to 3 months to get the switch and for many there would be charges to get out of contracts.........So as a double whammy people will have to pay the increase with their existing company and they pay extra to move......

Is this the Tory way to say money?
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Re: Can we save on fuel bills by swapping energy companies?

Post by oftenwrong on Fri Oct 25, 2013 5:27 pm

I'm reminded of Ted Heath's complaint about "The unacceptable face of Capitalism"

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Re: Can we save on fuel bills by swapping energy companies?

Post by Ivan on Sat Oct 26, 2013 3:53 pm

Is there any way to bring down our fuel bills?
 
Labour wants to freeze prices. The Tories say they will cut green taxes. Read this and see if the experts have any better ideas:-
 
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/is-there-any-way-to-bring-down-our-fuel-bills-8905133.html
 
Please note: The suggestion in this article by one 'expert' that the 5% VAT on gas and electricity should be removed is not possible. Under EU law, once VAT is put on an item it cannot be removed and can only be reduced to 5%.
 
The Tories put VAT on domestic fuel at the rate of 8% in 1994, and intended to increase it to 17.5% in 1995, but they couldn't get the measure through Parliament. On coming to power in 1997, Labour reduced it to its current rate of 5%.
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Re: Can we save on fuel bills by swapping energy companies?

Post by boatlady on Sat Oct 26, 2013 4:09 pm

The idea of reversing the tariffs (so the lower tariffs are available to those on lower incomes such as prepaid meters) sounds good to me.
I've always felt it's not fair that people who can't afford a monthly or quarterly bill not only have the enormous inconvenience of a pre paid meter, but also have to pay through the nose for it.
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Re: Can we save on fuel bills by swapping energy companies?

Post by oftenwrong on Sat Oct 26, 2013 5:54 pm

Swapping energy companies

Out of the frying pan ....
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Re: Can we save on fuel bills by swapping energy companies?

Post by Ivan on Sat Oct 26, 2013 7:37 pm

I notice that when the hypocrite John Major feigned concern for those suffering from fuel poverty, he didn't mention that it was his sleazy and incompetent government which put VAT on domestic fuel to help pay for his 'Black Wednesday' debacle.
Mad
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Re: Can we save on fuel bills by swapping energy companies?

Post by Bellatori on Mon Oct 28, 2013 5:12 pm

Ivan wrote:Is there any way to bring down our fuel bills?
 
Labour wants to freeze prices. The Tories say they will cut green taxes. Read this and see if the experts have any better ideas:-
 
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/is-there-any-way-to-bring-down-our-fuel-bills-8905133.html
 
Please note: The suggestion in this article by one 'expert' that the 5% VAT on gas and electricity should be removed is not possible. Under EU law, once VAT is put on an item it cannot be removed and can only be reduced to 5%.
 
The Tories put VAT on domestic fuel at the rate of 8% in 1994, and intended to increase it to 17.5% in 1995, but they couldn't get the measure through Parliament. On coming to power in 1997, Labour reduced it to its current rate of 5%.
Interesting post... I always thought you could not remove VAT but you could zero rate items... I thought I would have a look at this because it is something that I assumed to be true but never researched. What a mistake that was. Can you help with a reference? I tried HMG web site!! What a farce. Do they deliberately try and be opaque? Probably a silly question because the answer must be yes!

Anyway I will give a small round of applause for whomsoever reduced the VAT... Very Happy 

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Re: Can we save on fuel bills by swapping energy companies?

Post by oftenwrong on Mon Oct 28, 2013 5:40 pm

I don't think Cameron and Osborne initially realised just what sort of a time-bomb Ed Miliband had placed under them with his plan to freeze charges for energy. Now the Coalition can only agree with the principle or confirm themselves as champions of the Rich investor.

Quite took the shine off Gideon's boast of 0.8% growth.
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Re: Can we save on fuel bills by swapping energy companies?

Post by Ivan on Mon Oct 28, 2013 8:07 pm

Different rates of VAT apply in different EU member states. The minimum standard rate of VAT throughout the EU is 15%, although reduced rates of VAT, as low as 5%, are applied in various states on various sorts of supply (for example, domestic fuel and power in the UK). The maximum rate in the EU is 25%.
 
http://www.solarnavigator.net/venture_capital/VAT.htm
 
Under EU law, the standard rate of VAT in any EU state cannot be lower than 15%. Each state may have up to two reduced rates of at least 5% for a restricted list of goods and services.
 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Value_Added_Tax_(United_Kingdom)
 
Under European law, once VAT is levied on an item, it cannot ever be removed. It can however be reduced to the lowest chargeable VAT rate (which is 5%). A subsequent incoming Labour government did just that - reduced it down to 5% which is what we have now. But because it was levied in the first place, it cannot now be removed nor reduced any further.
 
http://citywire.co.uk/new-model-adviser/butler-scents-victory-in-vat-battle-after-hmrc-guidance/a537986
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Re: Can we save on fuel bills by swapping energy companies?

Post by Ivan on Fri Nov 01, 2013 5:40 pm

Which is the most successful country in Europe these days? Most people would say Germany. So can we learn anything from the way it does things?
 
The Labour Party has been having a look at Germany’s ‘Energiewende’ (‘energy transition’), its rapid growth in renewable energy, which has been the driving force behind radical changes to their energy market in the last decade.
 
“In Germany, a focus by the government on renewable energy and a willingness to take on the vested interests of the big energy companies has been the driving force behind radical changes in the market. Feed-in tariffs, coupled with grid priority access for renewables, have brought forward investment from different kinds of investors, not just the big utilities, meaning the big utilities no longer control energy supply in the way they once did. In fact, e.on has built more renewable assets over the last decade in the UK than in Germany, whilst companies like Bosch and Siemens have led the way in Germany, along with a revival of co-operatives.

The German government has also supported individuals and communities who wish to generate energy, through financial products offered by the Kreditanstalt fur Wiederaufbau (KfW). Today, 65% of renewable energy capacity in Germany is owned by individuals and communities, compared to 10% in the UK.

By contrast, the Tory-led government’s draft Energy Bill has nothing in it to protect the consumer or to support the kind of community and individual led generation that has been seen in Germany.”

 
http://www.yourbritain.org.uk/uploads/editor/files/LEARNING_FROM_GERMANYS_ENERGIEWENDE.pdf
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Re: Can we save on fuel bills by swapping energy companies?

Post by Bellatori on Sat Nov 02, 2013 10:51 am

Ivan wrote:Different rates of VAT...
Thanks for the links...


Last edited by Bellatori on Sat Nov 02, 2013 10:58 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : remove [i])

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Re: Can we save on fuel bills by swapping energy companies?

Post by oftenwrong on Sat Nov 02, 2013 12:29 pm

The spotlight widens to include the Water Companies, whose dividends are mostly destined for foreign investors. Thames Water have been told they can't add 8% to their charges this year by Ofwat. Pity that quango cannot influence the wishy-washy Ofgem.
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Re: Can we save on fuel bills by swapping energy companies?

Post by Ivan on Sun Nov 03, 2013 11:35 am

Aren’t we fortunate that Cameron kept his promise to “clean up Parliament”? What a sick joke that was! MPs don’t have to worry about swapping energy companies, or making sure they’re on the right tariff – they just charge us.
 
The following is part of an article by Dominic Herbert and Ben Glaze. It reveals that 340 MPs get their energy bills paid on expenses to heat second homes, and they’re not breaking any rules:-
 
Top of the heap is a millionaire Tory who claimed a staggering £5,822 in just 12 months – more than four times the average household energy bill – to power and heat his £1 million constituency home in a sprawling 31-acre estate. Nadhim Zahawi and his wife run a riding school and he is a director of a number of firms. He also owns a £5 million detached home in London. The Stratford-upon-Avon MP even boasts on his website of his “achievements” on the Energy Bill Committee at improving “energy efficiency measures to homes and businesses”. But what he was most efficient at this year was making sure he claimed £4,557 for electricity and £1,265 for heating oil in the year to March.

Then there is Alan Duncan, the international development minister and MP for Rutland and Melton. Last week he said he accepted that people “do not like paying high bills”, but he was against Labour’s energy price freeze. He branded Ed Miliband’s policy “as deceitful as it is stupid”. He described a policy to help millions as “a scam”. Energy bills are no worry for Duncan; he claimed £2,750 for electricity bills and £1,250 for heating oil at his second constituency home. Duncan, once filmed complaining that MPs “were being treated like shit”, also owns a £1 million mews house in Westminster.

 
For the full article:-
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/house-shame-340-mps-energy-2671053
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Re: Can we save on fuel bills by swapping energy companies?

Post by oftenwrong on Sun Nov 03, 2013 12:31 pm

To paraphrase Groucho Marx, "If you've got it - wallow in it!"
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Re: Can we save on fuel bills by swapping energy companies?

Post by astradt1 on Sun Nov 03, 2013 7:31 pm

Surely, for those MP's who have constituencies outside of London, their second home must be in London, with their main (First) home being where their voters live.

Second homes should only be occupied for a max of 4 days per week when the House is sitting so how can the gas and electricity bills be so much higher than most of the population who reside in their homes 7 days a week?
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Re: Can we save on fuel bills by swapping energy companies?

Post by oftenwrong on Sun Nov 03, 2013 7:43 pm

That attitude percolates down through the Parliamentary payroll right to the lowest echelon of Civil Servants, who are advised on joining to "make sure you take all the sick-leave you're entitled to!"
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Re: Can we save on fuel bills by swapping energy companies?

Post by tlttf on Mon Nov 04, 2013 6:43 am

Strangely no mention of Ed Milliband, Peter Hain or Margaret Beckett claiming their energy costs Ivan?

Bad bit of reporting really, anybody that can buy a Mews House in Westminster for £1million should snap it up, it would triple in value before the ink dries on the contract.

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Re: Can we save on fuel bills by swapping energy companies?

Post by Ivan on Mon Nov 04, 2013 8:46 am

tlttf. It beggars belief that a ‘Daily Mail’ lover can accuse anyone or anything of a “bad bit of reporting”. Rolling Eyes 
 
As those of us who stick to the rules only reproduce 14-15 lines of an article, it’s not possible to list all 340 MPs who claimed for energy bills on their second homes. However, the link (copied without the need to display an advert for the paper) allows everyone to read the whole story if they wish.
 
The worst offender happened to be the multi-millionaire Tory Nadhim Zahawi, who claimed £5,822 in 12 months, so that struck me as the part of the article most worth quoting. Of course we know you’re always desperate to smear Ed Miliband if you can, especially now your favourite ‘paper’ (for want of a better word) has told you that his father “hated Britain”, but his claim of £403 looks like small beer by comparison to Zahawi’s naked greed.
 
The scandal is that MPs get any help with their bills at all. Wherever they are living, whatever job they are doing, or even if they are unemployed, they’d have to pay for heating their homes. Yet all these claims are perfectly legal, showing how Cameron’s promise to clean up politics was just as meaningless as his promises not to raise VAT or close sure start centres or reorganise the NHS.
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Re: Can we save on fuel bills by swapping energy companies?

Post by tlttf on Mon Nov 04, 2013 5:20 pm

Simply trying to show a bit of balance to the story Ivan. Though I do agree wholly with the third paragraph regarding any of their bills. Personally I wouldn't allow any of the shysters to buy a second home within London on expenses, or if allowed 90% of any future profit (sale or rental) would return to the treasury.

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Re: Can we save on fuel bills by swapping energy companies?

Post by Mel on Tue Nov 05, 2013 12:18 pm

The latest statistics, from mid-September, show that the average profit margin made on the £1,315 bill is £65. This was £30 higher than September 2011 and September 2012. The buying figs do not add up as ofgem say that energy costs are much lower than these suppliers are saying. In that case, if they are lying the government should step in as ofgem have no teeth, or are on backhanders.

Aparantly Ofgem has no control of the prices that companies charge their customers. My question is WHY???. Otherwise what is the purpose of ofgem and where is the protection for the customer?


So much for the Tories talking about competition, a supplier might find that it is undercut by other firms if it puts up prices significantly, leading customers to switch. If all firms do the same, which they will, this competition argument is weakened.


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Re: Can we save on fuel bills by swapping energy companies?

Post by Dan Fante on Tue Nov 05, 2013 12:36 pm

In the UK you have the 'Big 6' companies (all of which have been around more or less since privatisation in the early nineties) who absolutely dominate proceedings. They control over 90% of the supply to domestic customers (96% of electricity supply). At the same time they control over three-quarters of the energy generating capacity in this country. There's something very rotten going on in what we were told would be a 'free market'.
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Re: Can we save on fuel bills by swapping energy companies?

Post by Mel on Tue Nov 05, 2013 1:22 pm

What happened to The Monopolies Commission. or it's forerunner?

"an independent public body" my a5se.
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Re: Can we save on fuel bills by swapping energy companies?

Post by Mel on Tue Nov 05, 2013 1:35 pm

As with ALL these toothless so called regulative bodies, none of them do the job they were
formed to do, ie protect the public.

There is absolutely no protection for the majority whatsoever. We are ripped off right left and centre
and nothing is done, because the operative word is PROFIT at any cost so long as it hits the majority for the benefit of the few at the top. These greed merchants become more and more greedy day by day, Overcharge, hide information, confuse us and con us at every quarter and are allowed to do so. The Tories say "this is business". Well, it's more than disgusting IMO and things certainly aint wat they used to be only a few years ago.
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Re: Can we save on fuel bills by swapping energy companies?

Post by oftenwrong on Tue Nov 05, 2013 5:23 pm

The Competition Commission is a public body established by the Competition Act 1998. Formerly known as the Monopolies and Mergers Commission, it came into being on 1st April 1999

The Competition Commission has two main roles

1. Reporting on referrals made by the Director General of Fair Trading, the DTI and the main utility regulators

2. Hearing appeals against prohibitions under the Competition Act 1998

European Competition Law

Articles 81 and 82 of the Treaty of Rome prohibits certain market practices deemed to be anti-competitive and which act against the interests of consumers:

1. Article 81 prohibits acts which damage competitiveness in a market

2. Article 82 prohibits the abuse of a dominant position.


The mechanism seems to be in place, so why haven't the government set the wheels turning?
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oftenwrong
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