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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

First topic message reminder :

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

Post by Mel on Tue Nov 05, 2013 5:39 pm

"The mechanism seems to be in place, so why haven't the government set the wheels turning?"
 
A bloody good question ow. My question is who will demand this so called government get the "wheels turning"?
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Re: Can we save on fuel bills by swapping energy companies?

Post by Ivan on Thu Nov 07, 2013 11:01 pm

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

Post by oftenwrong on Thu Nov 07, 2013 11:50 pm

Only the little people pay taxes.
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96 pence saved

Post by astradt1 on Fri Nov 29, 2013 11:39 pm

It is expected that the government will announce measures to cut fuel bills by the 'astronomical' sum of £50 a year.........

This means that households will be a whole 96 pence a week better off...

What are you planning to do with your cash?
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Re: Can we save on fuel bills by swapping energy companies?

Post by boatlady on Sat Nov 30, 2013 9:48 am

I'm going to invest mine offshore
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Re: Can we save on fuel bills by swapping energy companies?

Post by oftenwrong on Sat Nov 30, 2013 1:10 pm

Go to the source - buy shares in the Companies that are ripping us off with such impunity. At least the dividend will provide a small rebate on the extortionate bills which Thatcher politics so helpfully made possible.
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Re: Can we save on fuel bills by swapping energy companies?

Post by Bellatori on Mon Dec 02, 2013 5:48 pm

Firstly I would comment that you can save money by swapping fuel companies. I have reduce my electricity only tariff (I am in a flat) from 15+p per kwh to 11+p per kwh and fixed that until 2015. Secondly I loved listening to the Tories telling me this morning that they were reducing the fuel bill by £50. It was finally pointed out (not by the BBC sadly) that actually they were merely reducing the rise from ~£130 pa to ~£80pa and the mechanism they were using would not cost the energy companies a penny and, in fact, would cost the country because there was an estimated 2000 jobs that would go.
You have to laugh, don't you?

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

Post by oftenwrong on Mon Dec 02, 2013 7:08 pm

In Iceland, free hot water is piped to households from the natural hotsprings.  Even Britain has volcanic temperatures not far beneath the surface, so what's the problem about tapping into that free energy with heat-pumps?
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Re: Can we save on fuel bills by swapping energy companies?

Post by Dan Fante on Tue Dec 03, 2013 9:03 am

oftenwrong wrote:In Iceland, free hot water is piped to households from the natural hotsprings.  Even Britain has volcanic temperatures not far beneath the surface, so what's the problem about tapping into that free energy with heat-pumps?
Laughing I would imagine cost is a consideration. We don't have quite the same levels of volcanic activity as Iceland either, do we?
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Re: Can we save on fuel bills by swapping energy companies?

Post by astradt1 on Tue Dec 03, 2013 10:12 am

Yesterday one of the big six power companies said they would not be raising their prices until after spring 2015...This move was welcomed by the Government......

Some three weeks or so ago Miliband said he would Freeze energy prices for 20 months....The government said it couldn't be done....

What a difference a month makes!
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Re: Can we save on fuel bills by swapping energy companies?

Post by oftenwrong on Tue Dec 03, 2013 5:19 pm

Ed Miliband cleverly positioned the Tories between scylla and charybdis with his energy-price freeze policy, but Cameron called in a few favours from his mates in the Industry in an attempt to defuse the situation. How many votes will £50 a year buy? Only time will tell.

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Powerless Christmas

Post by Chas Peeps on Thu Jan 02, 2014 11:36 pm

Debate has been raging about the power cuts that affected the storm ravaged UK over the Christmas holiday ever since David Cameron was ‘ambushed’ by an angry woman complaining about the lack of emergency response from any organisation.

Ofgem has launched its own investigation into the response of the Big Six electricity suppliers’ performance in restoring power supply to the stricken communities. Anyone that follows me will know that I am certainly no advocate for these oligarchic rip-off merchants but I think on this occasion, they are only part of a much bigger picture.

When power goes down in storms, specifically in this case severe windy conditions for a prolonged period, most people would accept that the safety of the power workers must take precedence and that in many cases, the high winds prevented the engineers from carrying out repairs as quickly as they could have done had the wind subsided after only a day or two which would be more normal for the UK. Therefore, although lack of preparedness by having too few engineers on standby for emergency work may have played a part but only the investigation can shed more light on this.

Sometimes in emergency situations, the cause cannot be cured in the short term and therefore the focus should be on minimising the impact for the people affected by way of immediate and practical relief. For example, affected communities should have been able to be moved to public buildings that had the ability to generate their own power and therefore heating. This function is usually the domain of the local council under their emergency contingency plans.

In my view, the far more serious implication of the very poor response to the power cuts is just how badly degraded the ability of local councils to respond to situations like these has become due to ongoing swingeing cuts in their budgets and staff levels. For most people outside of the public sector, this has largely been hidden from view but as a professional in this area of work, I am acutely aware of just how critical the impact of these year on year cuts is becoming. The lady without electricity or the ability to cook her Christmas dinner could be compared to the local council doing a very good impression of the emperor who lost his clothes.
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Re: Can we save on fuel bills by swapping energy companies?

Post by oftenwrong on Fri Jan 03, 2014 10:46 am

Episodes such as the afore-mentioned demonstrate how thin is the veneer of civilisation. Denied a supply of electricity and/or gas or water, we are instantly translated to the days of Charles Dickens - of oil lamps, a coal-fire in the grate and water from a well.

Television, smart phones and credit-cards cease to function, but who is to blame?
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Re: Can we save on fuel bills by swapping energy companies?

Post by Ivan on Sat Jan 04, 2014 9:38 pm

Can we save by switching energy companies? Not in my experience; soon after you move to one with a lower tariff, its prices usually go up.  Mad 

According to Labour, households may have paid £150 too much for their electricity over the past three years because energy companies bought their power for almost £4 billion more than the average market rate:-

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/jan/01/energy-firms-big-six-labour
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Re: Can we save on fuel bills by swapping energy companies?

Post by tlttf on Sun Jan 05, 2014 7:27 am

Might I suggest swapping to a company that has locked in the price for a set period. In my own swap case the cost was locked in until august 2015. After that I'll probably swap again as customer loyalty is very low in company priority ethos.

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

Post by oftenwrong on Sun Jan 05, 2014 2:40 pm

Ah yes, "Customer loyalty". Used to describe inertia in customers, but representing naked greed when exploited by suppliers such as telephone companies, banks and utility providers.

Their routine tricks are offering low initial rates which only last a year, impenetrable "explanations" of how charges are calculated, constant revision of the tariff and re-calculation of "budget" monthly payments to their advantage when rates change. Less obviously, but equally expensive for the consumer, are premium-rate phone lines for customer dis-service from automated systems and/or the employment of operatives whose first language is not the same as yours. "Customer loyalty" is encouraged by penalty charges for switching to another supplier within the (non-optional) contract period.

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

Post by Bellatori on Mon Jan 06, 2014 4:12 pm

tlttf wrote:Might I suggest swapping to a company that has locked in the price for a set period. In my own swap case the cost was locked in until august 2015. After that I'll probably swap again as customer loyalty is very low in company priority ethos.

I keep a spreadsheet to see how much electricity I am using. I used this to compare annual costs and swapped from EON who were charging 15p a unit to a rate of 11p a unit. The daily fixed rate went up which had to be factored in but so long as my average consumption was over 10 units a day there would be a saving. It transpires that I use about 19 a day. I estimate I am saving several hundred pounds a year until the fix ends in 2015. At which point I will have to do this all over again but hey... its fun.

Seriously though the whole market is rigged. A group of friends who live in a small hamlet in Cornwall tried to use group purchase to fix the whole village for a period and save money. They were treated very badly by the energy companies and when they had the inspiration of starting their own supply company it turned out that the transmission companies are owned by the competition supply companies. You can imagine the rest...

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

Post by Phil Hornby on Mon Jan 06, 2014 4:35 pm

Call me stupid, but I just stick to what I have, and pay up when told to do so.

I imagine such a strategy may not put me on top of the 'canny consumer' league table...       Shocked
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Re: Can we save on fuel bills by swapping energy companies?

Post by oftenwrong on Mon Jan 06, 2014 5:26 pm

Agreed. Sometimes masterly inactivity provides a quieter life. On several occasions I have been too late for some irresistible offer but have not suffered consequent loss.

Someone I knew well once remarked that you can never beat either the phone company or the Town Hall, but as long as you had enough money to meet their demands you could always get off by paying.
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Re: Can we save on fuel bills by swapping energy companies?

Post by Ivan on Mon May 05, 2014 7:36 pm

Cameron has let the energy companies pocket his £50 bill cut
 
Extracts from an article by Tom Greatrex MP:-
 
David Cameron’s timidity has left millions of customers with higher bills after his supposed £50 cut was exposed as a sham. Latest figures show that his trademark complacency has let four of the six large suppliers by-pass the supposed £50 cut he trumpeted in December - meaning many of the Big Six have pocketed the benefit from Cameron’s changes to green levies, rather than passing it on to the consumer. And with 400,000 people without help to heat their homes as a result of government cancelling energy efficiency measures, it is the hardest pressed of customers that are hit.

By failing to pass on the full reduction, Cameron has helped the energy companies to boost profits at the expense of the consumer. Once again, he has been caught out standing up for the privileged few, aided and abetted by a hapless Lib Dem Secretary of State whose boast that "consumers are the ones who are winning" seems, at best, ill-judged.

The UK energy market is in clear need of urgent reform, to make it clear, fair and transparent for the future.

 
For the whole article:-
http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2014/05/cameron-has-let-energy-companies-pocket-his-50-bill-cut
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Re: Can we save on fuel bills by swapping energy companies?

Post by oftenwrong on Mon May 05, 2014 8:06 pm

If you want to judge how helpful the Utility providers wish to be to their customers, just take a moment to actually read what a Gas or Electricity Bill actually says.

The intention to distract is comically apparent from the arcane way in which calculations are expressed.

Take as your starting point filling-up your car with fuel. The garage pump shows the price per litre, and records the number of litres flowing into your tank. What you pay is one unit (price) multiplied by the other measure which is total volume. Simple to understand.

Move on to the Utility bill, however and it's a whole new ball game - involving calculations of therms or Kilojoules at a quoted price reached by alchemy. Why am I so distrustful? Perhaps it is because the bill is "itemised" to show some Kilojoules/Therms at a high base-rate followed by more of the same but at a different rate. That idea came from the telephone industry.

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

Post by Ivan on Sat May 17, 2014 9:15 am

Maybe this answers the thread question:-
 

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BjvGSASIYAAe9kI.jpg
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Re: Can we save on fuel bills by swapping energy companies?

Post by oftenwrong on Sat May 17, 2014 12:27 pm

A good start would be to dismantle the toothless OFGEM. Paid a lot of money to roll over while the Energy conglomerates tickle its tummy.
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Re: Can we save on fuel bills by swapping energy companies?

Post by boatlady on Sat May 17, 2014 2:28 pm

Or renationalise utilities.

I treasure the memory, from the pre-privatisation days, of my mum going into the local Electricity Board to query a bill, and staying there, in person, embarrassing the shop manager, until the issue was resolved to her satisfaction - ah, the personal touch - can't beat it!!
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Re: Can we save on fuel bills by swapping energy companies?

Post by oftenwrong on Sat May 17, 2014 7:40 pm

Ah, the Electricity Showroom! You don't know how much you'll miss something until its gone.
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Re: Can we save on fuel bills by swapping energy companies?

Post by Phil Hornby on Sat May 17, 2014 8:45 pm

And it's not been the same hereabouts since those lamplighters were made redundant...
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Re: Can we save on fuel bills by swapping energy companies?

Post by oftenwrong on Sun May 18, 2014 5:22 pm

Not to mention the knocker-up. Priceless!
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Re: Can we save on fuel bills by swapping energy companies?

Post by boatlady on Sun May 18, 2014 8:45 pm

The point about the Electricity Board and its pal the Gas Board is that their representatives were right there in our High Streets, face-to-face with consumers, and could therefore be held to account when the service provided fell short of expected standards and/or proved unexpectedly expensive.

Compare and contrast with today's situation, where you can spend up to 30 minutes in the company of a robot before being eventually connected to a call centre, often in Mumbai, where the staff can't actually do anything about your problem.
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Re: Can we save on fuel bills by swapping energy companies?

Post by boatlady on Fri May 23, 2014 9:56 pm

I see a lot of people coming for advice who have switched utilities hoping to save money only to find, either the tariff they are on is not the best for them, or their prepayment meter is set high until their next reading, or (this week's problem) they make a mistake putting the credit on their meter and have to keep going back and forward to get the matter rectified ( no joke on a fixed income) - being able to go into a local office and talk to a human being would really help - and I guess the extra penny or so on the electric bill would be more than offset by not having to spend half an hour or so on the phone trying (and often failing ) to sort the problems
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Re: Can we save on fuel bills by swapping energy companies?

Post by stuart torr on Fri Sep 19, 2014 3:24 pm

Prepayment meters are a waste of time, pay by direct debit each month, with a paperless bill, over a set period so you can change to a cheaper supplier when that time is up. guarantee that payment so it cannot change, all is secure.
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Re: Can we save on fuel bills by swapping energy companies?

Post by oftenwrong on Fri Sep 19, 2014 5:53 pm

stuart torr wrote:Prepayment meters are a waste of time, pay by direct debit each month, with a paperless bill, over a set period so you can change to a cheaper supplier when that time is up. guarantee that payment so it cannot change, all is secure.

"guarantee that payment so it cannot change"

Stuart, that suggests that you may not be a customer of British Telecom, BT. Their tariff goes up when the wind changes (recent 25% increase for anyone renting a TV recorder from them) and will accelerate in December to cover the millions of pounds they have invested in the "FREE" BT Sport channel, whether or not you watch it.

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

Post by stuart torr on Fri Sep 19, 2014 6:48 pm

No I do not ow, but RENTING a tv recorder is hardly a sensible option is it not? tv recorders are so cheap these days, and BT are hardly the cheapest supplier either, so whoever does that is stupid.
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Re: Can we save on fuel bills by swapping energy companies?

Post by boatlady on Sun Sep 21, 2014 9:25 pm

Problem with paying by direct debit -- you have to be able to guarantee there will be money in your account every month to meet the payment, or pay bank charges for an overdraft - if you are at risk of getting benefit sanctioned for any or no reason, this is not an option - also many private landlords resell gas and electric, via card meters.

Paying b direct debit works for people with a regular income and/or a few savings - for those living week to week it's not an option
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Re: Can we save on fuel bills by swapping energy companies?

Post by oftenwrong on Sun Sep 21, 2014 10:24 pm

Not to mention the simple fact that people with cash-flow problems are not welcomed by the Banks as customers.
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Re: Can we save on fuel bills by swapping energy companies?

Post by boatlady on Mon Sep 22, 2014 8:05 am

Yes, getting a bank account is very difficult for many especially those on benefits.
I think currently, where I live, the only option is a Post Office simple account - just put it in and take it out - no direct debit facility, no overdraft facility, no chequebook.
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Re: Can we save on fuel bills by swapping energy companies?

Post by stuart torr on Mon Sep 22, 2014 2:04 pm

boatlady.
one) I am on benefits, I've had the bank account for 38years,
two) I still manage to save on my benefits?
three)All my bills get paid by DD
four) just depends how you manage your monies
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Re: Can we save on fuel bills by swapping energy companies?

Post by boatlady on Mon Sep 22, 2014 8:30 pm

Glad to hear you're managing things so well - not everyone does - and for those younger people on JSA (£56 - £72 pw) who get a four week sanction, life can get hard.

There's strong evidence where I am to suggest that sanctioning benefits is routine and that anyone on JSA can expect to have a sanction for up to 6 months every year, effectively maybe halving their expected income.

Some people haven't had a bank account prior to becoming dependent on benefits - once you are so dependent getting and keeping a bank account is a problem.

I suspect, in a country where the poor are being squeezed, you may be better off than many - a sad and sobering thought.
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Re: Can we save on fuel bills by swapping energy companies?

Post by stuart torr on Mon Sep 22, 2014 9:04 pm

Why on earth do they sanction their monies for 6months boatlady?
just because they have not found a job? that are taken up now by the ones that will take the very low paid ones like the immigrants illegal ones I mean.
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Re: Can we save on fuel bills by swapping energy companies?

Post by boatlady on Mon Sep 22, 2014 9:35 pm

Saw a lad today - we live in a very depressed area, and he has been trying unsuccessfully to find a job for over a year.
He got a sanction at the beginning of August and then another which will take him to the beginning of December - reason given - he has not been doing enough to look for work. He is applying for 6 jobs per week and is constantly updating his CV, but because in a depressed market he has not been able to find an employer that will offer him a job. Because of this, he will have to be without income until early December.
While sanctioned, he is expected to continue looking for work, including travelling within a 90 minute radius to look - if he does not do so, he is likely to be sanctioned again
Last December, I met a young mum of three, who got her benefit sanctioned on 20th December - imagine what Christmas was like in that house! I think she missed a meeting at the Job Centre in October because she went to a job interview.


It's difficult to avoid believing that the Job Centre are under instructions to sanction a certain number of claimants every week.
The stories of people being sanctioned for going to job interviews rather than their meeting at the Job Centre are quite true. You can be sanctioned for failing to look for work during the week you're waiting to start your new job. You can't get benefit if you're on a course to get qualifications to make you more employable (even a part time course). If you get sent on workfare and you miss a day's (unpaid ) work in order to attend a job interview, you will be sanctioned.
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Re: Can we save on fuel bills by swapping energy companies?

Post by oftenwrong on Mon Sep 22, 2014 10:56 pm

The newspapers are full of Tory propaganda saying that the number of claimants for JSA is falling. Now you can see why.
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