.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Consumer power

It seems that Energy Secretary, Chris Huhne was as shocked as me by the decision of Scottish Power to raise its gas prices by 19% and electricity tariffs by 10%, adding 48p a day, or £175 a year, to the average daily combined gas and electricity bill of its 2.4 million customers.

He has suggested that consumers should hit back by shopping for cheaper alternatives, something that is actually quite easy to do. The problem is that very few people do it. Only about one in six ever switch suppliers. If you want to do that then here is the place to start.

There is also quite a high level of ignorance about the social tariffs that are available. If you are on a low income many energy companies have schemes that can help you pay for your gas and electricity and pay off arrears. Go onto the company's website and search for it.

The last time I shopped around I managed to almost halve my energy bills with the same supplier. That was a real shock and underlines how these companies are ripping off their customers by not automatically giving them the best deal.

I am pleased that Ministers are thinking about seeking powers to force companies to reveal to every customer on their bills whether they are on the cheapest tariff, amid concerns about lack of transparency.

The really big scandal is the near-Oligopoly operated by the big six power companies. That is why I also welcome the fact that further measures to address a lack of competition in the market are expected to be announced by energy regulator Ofgem:

The changes, which could be announced as soon as this week, are expected to force the big six – which have their own power stations – to auction up to a fifth of their generated output on the open market to make it easier for new players to enter the market.

The new measures are also expected to ensure that the huge array of tariffs – which has grown by 70% since 2008 to nearly 350 – are dramatically reduced so that customers can more easily compare prices between suppliers.

Ofgem first announced these proposals in March, following a four-month investigation. The regulator gave the big six – Scottish Power, nPower, EDF, Scottish and Southern, E.ON and British Gas – until 1 June to "engage constructively" with its proposals or face a referral to the Competition Commission.

This abuse of economic power has gone on too long and needs to be curtailed.
I did a check but all the prices quoted were higher than I pay now.

But I did shop around carefully in the first place. My monthly price is fixed until July 2012 so that also cancels another concern re present hikes in prices
"Consumer Power" ... what about "Cat Power"?

Here, 'take a butchers' at this video clip:


I have it on good authority that an emissary of Imus in the Morning has contacted this lady and now she wants to be a constituent of a certain Welsh politician who loves cats...

But this won’t work out as Peter is possibly married to

his cat(s).

Chris Wood, PhD (non-cat chemistry)
Seriously though, it seems the other energy suppliers are going to put their prices up to mirror Scottish Power.
Chris Wood
Well I had a look at British Gas was cheaper, three weeks later British Gas then copied the others upped the price, I went back and Scottish power was cheaper, so I changed to find Scottish power then put up it's price.

In the end I had lost out because I had a disability tariff which was then refused because I had left.

The simple fact changing suppliers is a political method of blaming the people for not shopping around the simple fact they are all out to make profits.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?