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As predicted, EDF Energy this month finally became the last of the ‘Big Six’ energy suppliers to announce a double-digit increase in gas and electricity prices.
The good news, however, is that with prices likely to remain stable for a while now is the perfect time to switch suppliers. At the Liberal Democrat conference last week energy secretary Chris Huhne launched an attack on ‘predatory’ energy suppliers, vowing to tackle confusing bills and force companies to better inform customers about where the best deals are – the idea being that even if energy companies do continue to introduce significant price increases at least we’ll be able to compare prices and switch suppliers more easily. Yet given how little the situation has improved since energy regulator Ofgem ordered suppliers to simplify their billing structures and provide customers with more information on switching this time last year, you can’t help but feel a little underwhelmed by Huhne’s sweeping promises. Now the issue of energy bills is being politicised perhaps this time we'll see some results – is the energy rip-off the new banking rip-off? However, until someone takes some actual action, it’s up to us to do the best we can to improve our own situations. So, having just moved into a new home I decided it was about time to do as I say: take some action.
Everyone should switch away from the Big Six who are making fools of us -try some of the smaller suppliers. Once you accept that "competition" is a myth, an illusionand that our energy needs are supplied by an effective cartel that controls the supply and price weare forced to pay, it all becomes clear.
I have been with British Gas for some years and my real gripe is not with their charges but with their opaque website. Many years ago (how time flies) I worked for British Gas selling gas and electricity to the public and small businesses. Alastair , My statements are an expression of my own experience through 1970's 1980's and 1990's and of my own business frustration caused by nationalised industries. Simplifying bills must be a watchdog priority, but a glance at another Citywire topic displaying comparisons between some EU Nations demonstrates that overall, the UK is not significantly worse off. The fuels I use are electricity and anthracite coal.My electricity bill is lower than average therefore I don't subscribe to the idea that I could make substantial savings if I switched. I have looked at various price comparison websites using my own figures and (in the East Midlands) Scottish Power always come out cheapest.
The Gov't is significantly adding to the cost of energy by surcharging the electricity producers using fossil fuels on the excuse that they damage the environment, it is a complex issue but what a con, and we pay for it.
I have never heard or seen any comment (in recent years) that the creation of competative activity in energy supply has ever benefited the customer.
After Boris announced he was backing Brexit, sterling suffered its biggest slump in six years.
What can SLI bring to the table for those who want to put their money into investment trusts?
Origin Smart – launched in Victoria this morning by Origin CEO Energy Markets, Frank Calabria – is a free-to-access web portal that uses half hourly data from a household’s smart meter and converts it into an analysis of electricity consumption and costs. Early feedback from a recent trial of the platform indicates a strong consumer appetite for the service, Calabria said, a service that Origin expects will set it apart in Australia’s remarkably change-resistant energy market.
Victorians can see the technology in action at the Origin Smart Home at Southern Cross station in Melbourne until the end of the week. Great concept, will it also show me what my solar power system is feeding back into the grid? Origin’s site is almost as good as United Energy in that it neatly charts meter data for those customers that care. Household bills have soared over the past 12 months, with families spending an extra A?4,000 a year on everyday expenses such as food, utilities and transport, says insurer Aviva.
Richard Lock, 68, and his wife Victoria, 34, cut about A?600 a year from their household bills by switching to a new energy supplier. They compared prices with uSwitch and moved to a fixed plan with Eon, cutting the monthly bill to A?90 in the colder months. I was paid A?3 a€“ and got my home cover for freeCashback websites link customers to thousands of recognisable company names and offer exclusive money back deals on everything from insurance and telecoms to clothing and travel.For a comprehensive Sky+ package with sports, films, unlimited broadband and anytime calls, you could get A?155 cashback with Quidco, equivalent to a discount of nearly A?13 a month. Martin Wrigley, 34, from Catford, South-East London, made a A?3 profit when he shopped for home insurance via Topcashback.
The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline. I want to borrow some money against my home but I'm past the state retirement age - can I still get a mortgage? They were today described as a 'great national scandal' by shadow energy and climate change secretary Meg Hillier at the Labour Party annual conference.
With bills so confusing though, it’s likely that a large percentage of people will end up staying on the same tariff, paying hundreds of pounds more than they need to for their energy.


After years of fighting against consumer groups' calls for a Competition Commission inquiry into the industry, several energy companies have now come forward and said they would support a full-blown, costly investigation.
Previously, as my live-in landlord had always managed the utility bills I’d pretty much stayed out of it. They were so complicated that each supplier took up a spreadsheet running into hundreds of different rates ranging from standing charges to various "discounts" for paying daily, weekly (5 days) weekly (7 days), monthly (28 days), monthly (calender), quarterly etc.
These people make it very difficult for you to find out what you could pay for a unit of electricity or gas. Take British Telecom in the 70's, technically a generation behind the curve relying on relays instead of semiconductors with a work ethic to match. All you need to know to understand how energy bills are worked out was included in GCE "O" Level Science in the 1950's, nothing complicated.I have switched without problems several times, sometimes using comparison sites, never rely on just one, and sometimes spending a few hours working out all the options myself.
My argument is based on the fact that you cannot compare like with like because suppliers do not adjust their tarrifs in unison. I am a Scottish Power customer and I rang them up to ask them if there was a cheaper tariff than the one I was using. As all these energy companies share the source of supply, the oncost of all these adverts, nuisance callers, comparison websites etc must be unproductive. This allows households to see how much energy they are using throughout the day and to predict the cost of future electricity bills, while also offering tailored energy efficiency tips, and the means to set personal goals for energy saving.
According to Origin, their new offering supports the 87 per cent of Australian households looking for ways to conserve energy in the face of rising energy bills. The disaster of sitting back on all those coal reserves, of disbanding the Gas and Fuel corporation and spending a pittance on research and development, has now come home to roost. The couple, who have four children, Daniel, 17, Ellie, 15, Rylan, 11, and Gaby, 4, were spending A?137 a month with npower to pay for heating and lighting their three-bedroom home in Dorking, Surrey.
Other services include uSwitch and MoneySupermarket.Energy prices are likely to continue rising but fixed tariffs can protect you a€“ sometimes for up to two years.
Dona€™t rest on your laurels, otherwise ita€™s money wasted.a€™The best deals are typically found online.
British gas website in my opinion has gone from very poor to very good over the last few years - I now find it deteriorating towards very poor again. To Anonymous3 if you want to go back to being served by state suppliers I would remind you that before privatisation we had the most inefficient energy industry in the western world and with correspondingly higher prices.
The latter was then compared with comparison sites to check their reliability.All very simple really, but maybe it is because I had a good Grammar School education. This means that a list of comparisons will be out of date within a month of publication, and you may find that after a short period of time the company you were originally with has now become the most competitive.I haven't changed my supplier for twenty years.
They very kindly told me there was and I switched with no problem.Surely it wouldn't be impossible for a simple piece of regulation from Ofgem to say that with each bill, the company involved should provide the cheapest rate for that bill and a free switching service. The answer – hey use less energy we will tell you how and by the way you will need one of these new meters, you know, the smart one. But there are easy ways to cut costs, and Financial Mail shows how.ENERGY BILLSBetween October and January the six main energy suppliers all increased prices a€“ with the average yearly gas and electricity bill reaching A?1,400. The point is the people in power are finally starting to take notice and highlight the fact that customers are suffering. Get it wrong and a company could end up paying ?000s in overcharges!At least with apples they taste different! I know what I am paying for gas now but can't find what I would pay on a different tariff that is recommended to me (websaver 13). As Chris Hune announced in Lib Dem conference that he will fight against energy companies to provide more information to the customers. They may have been inefficient but at least any additional cost was spent on employees, customer shops, meter readers etc. Origin Smart is currently unable to support Feed-in tariffs (FITs) for any power your solar electricity system feeds back into the grid. For those who are not bothered about particular TV channels or superfast broadband, it could be cheaper to unbundle.A Freeview or Freesat box for the TV is a one-off A?30 to A?300, depending on how sophisticated the set-top box is. As for Chris Huhne's comment, he is admitting that as well as all the extra costs promoting different Energy Companies' tariffs he expects us all to invest time and effort working out the best deal instead of doing something useful. The good news is we’re working hard on a future release of Origin Smart that supports customers with solar. According to comparison website uSwitch, there is a A?200 a year difference between the cheapest and most expensive deal on the market. It would be very good for the customer if Chris Hune could force energy suppliers to provide 5 or 6 products only in the same name for all companies. In the 70's when I personally called them under a guarantee policy to fix the electric timer on my central heating boiler what happened .


I pay for the first "x" number of units at a premium rate and then the remainder at a reduced rate, which is quite easy to understand.However, I had reason to query a recent bill. The biggest rip-off is that a single supplier can be overcharging an individual, not that the prices between suppliers is different.
We have your details on file and where possible we’ll let you know when we have a solution for you.
I was paid A?3 for a yeara€™s free home insurance.a€™An alternative approach is the Santander 123 current account that offers discounts of one per centA  on water bills, council tax and mortgage payments with the bank (up to A?1,000 a month), two per cent on gas and electricity and three per cent on mobile phone, landline, broadband and TV bills.
Also, if all comparative tariffs are written on the bill will be highly appreciated as it will help customers to decide where to switch. Over a three hour period three gas fitters arrived in three different vans and they finally concluded that they would have to call out an electrician as the fault was electrical. This was brought about because in our area they have reduced the number of meter readings from four to two. It also pays in-credit interest a€“ up to three per centA  for balances between A?3,000A  and A?20,000.Smartphone apps can also put cash in the pocket. The Shopitize app uses pictures of receipts to pay cashback on supermarket shopping and send exclusive product offers. Take the Electrical Supply industry in the UK which (despite being subsidised) charged nearly twice as much for electricity than the US or Hong Kong (my main competitor in my 80's career ) and made the UK non competitive in energy intensive processes. Comparison websites and marketplace websites such as Phones4u and Carphonewarehouse will often provide the phone for free, which means instant savings and is something a network might not offer when shopping with them direct.Websites change their offers regularly, so act quickly when you see a good deal.
So much so that we eventually recommended our customers to have energy intensive work done abroad.
If I had been acquiescent and just paid what I was billed, I would have had to pay the 30% deficiency at the higher rate when my meter was next checked. If online shopping is not feasible, visit both individual network shops and multi-deal shops.
No we cannot afford to go back to nationalised industries - history tells us they simply don't work. The problem was soon rectified however because the company has an online facility whereby customers can register their own meter readings if they dispute the estimation.My supply of fuel for my solid fuel range cooker with central heating boiler, has not been without its problems either. You see these all singing all dancing appliances look good in theory but from my experience, are deficient in one department or another. Customers also frequently opt for the wrong type of plan, choosing the cheaper option without enough minutes and texts or vice versa, paying for data and minutes never used.Billmonitor matches customers to a suitable plan based on information from previous bills. Competition is the only way forward and hopefully the present goverment will focus on this. Mine is excellent for heating the water for central heating and domestic use, but is seldom hot enough for cooking. Added extras, such as nationwide recovery or assistance on your driveway, should be included or discounted according to need as these have a large bearing on overall price.
Shop around using comparison sites to get the best deal.Policyholders less keen on scouring the internet should try bargaining with their current provider. I have never been one to blame someone else for my problems, so I now fetch my own fuel from a cash and carry yard, where they are only too pleased to sell me 100% anthracite.
Threatening to take your business elsewhere can win a discount.CAR, HOME AND LIFE INSURANCEGet lots of quotes when your car and home insurance come up for renewal. The cheapest provider last year might not be again this year.Also check whether there are any non-vital extras that could be removed from a policy.
Meanwhile pay-as-you-drive insurance can slash costs for young motorists and those with a low annual mileage who drive infrequently and at off-peak times. New quotes for home insurance should also be sought if locks, a burglar alarm or other security measures have recently been fitted.Healthy lifestyle changes should be shouted about, as life insurance providers should take stock of this when calculating premiums. This does not mean switching off the heating or taking cold showers a€“ some small alterations can make a big difference. You can make energy-saving home improvements with no upfront costs under the Green Deal, launched by the Government last month.
Repayments are made via energy bills and the loan comes attachedA  to the property a€“ not the occupant or homeowner.Loft and wall insulation, double glazing and new boilers are included in the scheme, while cashback offers are also available a€“ up to A?650 for solid wall insulation.




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