Energy bills: Automatic switching plan for fairer tariffs
13/12/2020 | news | business | 743
Consumers could be automatically switched to cheaper deals when their contracts end.
1
13/12/2020 10:50:45 199 8
bbc
While this appears to be positive, I wouldn't trust it an inch. The consumer never finishes up better off.
7
13/12/2020 10:56:12 101 5
bbc
Absolutely correct All suppliers have to buy energy from just a few sources at wholesale prices Therefore price differences between different suppliers and the various tariffs are likely to be small and often offset by a deterioration in customer service
238
13/12/2020 12:20:53 1 0
bbc
I recently extended (three months ago) my current deal and the cost has rocketed by 4%. Having a look at alternatives now but it will cost tog et out and I am not sure what the saving will be. Probably hang on until nearer the time and then quite. Another thing I have learnt is that they are quite happy to install a smart meter but if it does not send data to them, they are not interested!
240
13/12/2020 12:21:19 2 0
bbc
Actually we can all be 'better off' if we keep control and not just opt-in opt-out and forget all about it. Having said that, this is some backroom boy re-inventing the wheel given that the likes of Money Saving Expert's Energy Club have been around for some years and offer a tailored service that keeps us 'involved' making informed decisions.
2
13/12/2020 10:53:38 9 8
bbc
Be wary of anything this Conservative government of dimwits interferes with...it is likely to turn into a shambles.
418
13/12/2020 13:16:40 0 0
bbc
Beware of anything ANY government interferes with
3
13/12/2020 10:53:42 3 1
bbc
it wont happen
165
13/12/2020 11:57:51 3 0
bbc
It will. Thats why the big push is on for smart meters. They can switch you off remotely check what your using and up the price when you plug in your electric car!
4
13/12/2020 10:54:19 4 2
bbc
Welcome news but there must be better oversight to report and and stop the inevitable scammers that will try their luck.
5
13/12/2020 10:55:41 10 2
bbc
The government also promised far less tarrifs on the suppliers website, that never happened either Scottish power has a list as long as my arm of differing tarrifs. I say choose your supplier yourself, bit of a fag but I save £200 a year on average, my bills have stayed at the same level for years.
6
13/12/2020 10:55:51 276 10
bbc
I hope whatever comes out of this it doesn’t involve having to ring the supplier. Because good luck with that if it does! Covid seems to be a handy excuse to cover customer service levels that already appear to have been cut to a minimum. “We’re experiencing very high call volumes.” Employ more staff then!
20
13/12/2020 11:03:27 53 190
bbc
"Employ more staff then!"

And then, of course, you'll complain when prices go up, won't you...

Or did you thing that customer service staff work for free?
282
13/12/2020 12:32:37 8 12
bbc
You don't have to ring your supplier anymore at all!

Register for online account.

OR if you want to switch to a new supplier the new supplier handles the switch and you just get your existing supplier contacting you to confirm you want to leave and with cap in hand to get you to stay.....
296
13/12/2020 12:36:34 37 0
bbc
It's not just energy companies that take ages to answer the phone, just about every organisation, including doctors' surgeries and Government departments, seems to take 45 minutes to get through to. Not helped when you get the message "Your call is important to us, you are number 62 in the queue".
347
13/12/2020 12:52:14 2 0
bbc
Www.online.com
Though valid points raised, I prefer to make my own choices+decisions.
490
13/12/2020 13:51:13 2 0
bbc
Spot on. The pandemic has caused companies' customer service to become virtually non existent. Something needs to be done about this.
524
13/12/2020 14:14:16 3 0
bbc
Alternatively these organisations could bring in a system where, after a specific length of time waiting, or number of calls , as a customer, you can request a message (SMS or e-mail) to arrange call back at a time when the call centre is less busy, and there will be a representative available. That way they would not need to employ as many additionals and can spread the load...
584
13/12/2020 15:07:38 1 0
bbc
Yes glad I retired otherwise I wouldn't have had the time to be put on hold. Unfortunately this year I have had to get in touch with my fuel supplier, phone and broadband supplier (BT say no more), Pet insurance and Amazon, days of my life I will never get back.
684
13/12/2020 17:38:47 0 0
bbc
Use your computer to contact your supplier. Most contract customers have an account for ease of contact.Please don't say that you haven't got a computer.

Why do people insist on trying to find problems, instead of using their brains to find simple solutions.

How are 'millions of households stuck', when they have the opportunity to change supplier, if they can be bothered.
1
13/12/2020 10:50:45 199 8
bbc
While this appears to be positive, I wouldn't trust it an inch. The consumer never finishes up better off.
7
13/12/2020 10:56:12 101 5
bbc
Absolutely correct All suppliers have to buy energy from just a few sources at wholesale prices Therefore price differences between different suppliers and the various tariffs are likely to be small and often offset by a deterioration in customer service
43
13/12/2020 11:09:32 13 7
bbc
Differences between tariffs are NOT small. For us the cheapest is almost 40% less than the dearest. The cheapest may have poor customer services, but for not much more than the cheapest you can get a good company and a good price. As posters above have already said.

But it's true there are lazy people who are on the internet on their phones all the time yet don't compare prices for energy.
177
13/12/2020 12:03:37 3 2
bbc
@"All suppliers have to buy energy from just a few sources at wholesale prices"

It's more than just a few sources.

There are a lot of different sources... multiple power stations run by different companies, multiple windfarms run by different companies, hydroelectric, etc.

We have amongst the cheapest energy utility bills in Europe.
184
13/12/2020 12:06:50 10 0
bbc
Just switched supplier and saved £40 a month. Old supplier couldn’t be bothered.
533
13/12/2020 14:19:17 1 1
bbc
Gov created middle men in an effort to 'Fake' competition, to support their moronic concept (Regan gift to Thatcher) that competition drives prices down in a free market. This isn't the USA & we're out of the EU.
On small islands with limited areas of dense population & massive regulations preventing Green Energy production, they've proven it's doesn't work, & promotes inequaltiy & hides fraud.
727
14/12/2020 10:42:54 0 0
bbc
Electricity is generated from various sources that in Global warming terms range from "Dirty" (coal, oil, gas) to "Clean" (nuclear, wind, solar, hydro etc) BUT FED INTO THE SAME GRID. I assume (or at least hope) that as demand varies, we always maximise use of "Clean" sources. Buying "Green Energy" is therefore a con. If you are using 100% Green, then someone else is using more of the "Dirty".
8
13/12/2020 10:56:31 8 8
bbc
They never mention that one MUST switch to Direct Debit.
I refuse to give these utilities spare money, from overpaying, to play around with.
Same with those smart meters, never mention DD compulsory.
23
13/12/2020 11:04:22 6 1
bbc
Agree which puts the poor at a disadvantage of only being allowed "top up" token/key meters. They pay more than those on DD without being able to switch.
9
13/12/2020 10:56:45 13 2
bbc
About time something was done. Ed Davey ( sir) ? when Energy minister was going to sort out the mess in the energy industry - all the tariffs. I can't remember anything being done.
10
13/12/2020 10:57:19 4 1
bbc
Not a great idea as the new deals on offer will only increase in price so that the companies maintain their profits. I am fed up of changing every year to have a similar price though, so anything that could work and stop the loyalty rip off is ok with me.
11
13/12/2020 10:57:21 59 7
bbc
Seems to me to still put the onus on the consumer. Why not control pricing more strictly?
37
13/12/2020 11:09:00 33 14
bbc
I think this may have happened before the days of Thatcher and her vegetables.
47
13/12/2020 11:10:38 0 6
bbc
competition
352
13/12/2020 12:54:52 1 0
bbc
Free market?
Excepts it not; the regulators set the maximum charges.
As you have the choice, shop at BM, Aldi, Tesco, Asda or Waitrose.
12
13/12/2020 10:57:26 4 10
bbc
This is welcome news but I have to say, it is very simple to check how much you are paying and switch if necessary. If people can't be bothered, it is not the fault of the energy companies.
22
13/12/2020 11:04:14 11 1
bbc
Not everybody is able to check what tariffs are avalable to them, not everyone has internet or nor 'smartphones'.
51
13/12/2020 11:11:30 1 1
bbc
For everybody?? Prove it
59
13/12/2020 11:14:10 1 1
bbc
For everybody?? Prove it
13
13/12/2020 10:58:18 123 5
bbc
Need to do something about dumb 'smart' meters. The 2nd generation meters are supposed to be transferrable. But the company that installs them just disables them remotely, putting them into a mode of not being smart at all. The consumer information unit stops working altogether. The new company can't take them over so they have to fit another new 2nd generation meter. Had 3 new meters in 3 years.
29
13/12/2020 11:06:14 106 5
bbc
We are going to have 100% electric transport infrastructure in 10 years while the smart meter farce has only taken 11 years & counting.
199
13/12/2020 12:11:31 8 1
bbc
I’m happy with my smart meters now being dumb.

The only advantage to me of smart meters is ease of reading (by means of a wireless monitor which I only use once every 3 months for that purpose alone).

I don’t mind having to do online submission of my readings.
205
13/12/2020 12:12:15 23 1
bbc
The £14 billion (and rising) cost of the 'smart meter' roll out - which doesn't of itself save any energy at all - is a national disgrace. Political posturing at its very worst.
259
13/12/2020 12:26:05 15 1
bbc
This is why I don't have or want a smart meter.
263
13/12/2020 12:26:38 7 9
bbc
The bigger worry is 'smart meters' are less accurate than the traditional mechanical meter.

Modern smart meters have the cheap & plasticy feel of a poundstore item.
Mechanical meters are robust precision instruments proudly marked 'Made in Gt. Britain'.
281
13/12/2020 12:32:11 13 0
bbc
It's a money making machine whereby these energy companies are incentivized to install these so called 'smart' meters. Another example of UK corruption same with 'needing a landline for broadband'.
288
13/12/2020 12:35:01 17 0
bbc
And can you honestly say that any one of those "Smart" meters made an iota of difference to the way, and/or amount, of electricity you used?
316
13/12/2020 12:42:59 8 0
bbc
Agree but this is now being fixed with the SMETs 3 meters so hopefully should resolve it. However, you're right, to date is been quite farcical that they were allowed to install without an agreed transferable standard in place
354
13/12/2020 12:54:56 5 12
bbc
I wish people would read about the dangers of smart meters.

They are unregulated RF units; unlike wireless routers or your phones, they are unmonitored for their health risks. Many studies however have indicated they may be responsible for rises in cancer, tinnitus, etc.

I wish the government wasn't bribed by numerous companies, and instead looked at scientific studies.
442
13/12/2020 13:22:58 5 1
bbc
We agreed to have so-called "smart" meters in September. The electricity one works OK but the gas meter has been replaced 3 times and still does not send a signal to the supplier. Allegedly due to no "WAN" signal but we live in a large northern city! We send manual readings which generate a request to view the meters. Crazy!
458
Ade
13/12/2020 13:32:22 6 0
bbc
Smart meters are a waste of time anyway, no point in them apart from saving the energy company money as they don't need to send out meter readers, saying that I have not seen one for years.
i am in no rush to have a smart meter, and they don't save money as you have to act on them and then it is pennies.

Just a way for the government to say, we are doing this to help stop climate change.
515
13/12/2020 14:04:30 3 1
bbc
A bit like "smart" motorways.......
554
13/12/2020 14:41:42 2 0
bbc
+Mine still only works for electricity. And when you ask for it to be fixed, they promise to ring you back in ten minutes - still waiting after eight months!! No longer answer the phone now and online chat is permanently unavailable.
594
13/12/2020 15:17:32 0 0
bbc
Having changed suppliers twice, our first generation smart meter is showing instantaneous consumption which is useful but the monetary figures are useless and I have to read the meters and enter readings on the current supplier's website.
602
DAT
13/12/2020 15:29:20 2 0
bbc
Smart meters, a totally pointless (but expensive) tick box exercise.
632
BD
13/12/2020 16:04:39 0 0
bbc
Also need to do something about energy companies repeatedly pressurising their customers to have a smart meter installed. My supplier does not seem to understand "I do not want one" ...
661
13/12/2020 16:24:18 0 0
bbc
Yes smart meters are a vastly expensive mess
735
14/12/2020 12:55:41 0 0
bbc
Told my elec supplier twice now that I don't want a so-called 'smart meter'. I have solar PV and low energy this that and the other and sometimes even look on https://gridwatch.co.uk/ to see if it's better to wait or use whatever.
14
13/12/2020 10:59:19 79 14
bbc
Why oh why can we not have one standard tariff for everyone all of the time?
21
13/12/2020 11:04:00 15 36
bbc
competition
27
13/12/2020 11:05:51 5 8
bbc
The socialist solution for fixing at the highest prices !
53
13/12/2020 11:12:26 6 13
bbc
Oh what a good idea, and while wer'e at it why not fix theprice of petrol and bread and beer and . . . . well lets go fullout communist.
286
13/12/2020 12:34:30 2 1
bbc
Exactly right. We don't need companies who neither actually produce nor supply energy becoming artificial middle-men in order to squeeze us dry.
583
13/12/2020 15:07:31 0 1
bbc
Because everyones needs are different!
15
13/12/2020 11:00:02 15 4
bbc
The trouble with most comparison sites is the requirement to put in your current supplier and tariff. Would be so much simpler to just put in your annual usage and then let them find the cheapest supplier / tariff.
175
13/12/2020 12:03:20 5 0
bbc
"So much simpler to just put in your annual usage and then let them find the cheapest supplier / tariff."
Which is exactly what I am always able to do with a particular Price Comparison site (that I will not name here for obvious reasons) when my existing contracts are about to terminate.
183
13/12/2020 12:06:39 2 0
bbc
just compare the standing charge rates and kW rate and find the cheapest.
481
13/12/2020 13:42:59 0 0
bbc
I give them the annual figure from my last bill.
It is a legal requirement to provide it on any bill.
They need your tariff to tell you how much yku are likely to gain/ lose. Another legai requirement.
16
13/12/2020 11:00:21 8 9
bbc
Most energy consumers are lazy. Can't be bothered to read the meters or check the bill when it arrives. Never mind actively chasing the most competitive tariffs when their deal comes to an end.
31
ken
13/12/2020 11:06:38 8 2
bbc
Better things to do in life than watch meters going round
34
13/12/2020 11:07:36 5 1
bbc
Who wants to spend time reading meters, checking bills and searching for a new supplier on the internet only to find after the next price rise they are no better off
For example in January my new supplier told me I needed to pay £125 per month for gas and electric by May they decided I needed to pay £172 per month so no saving compared to the previous supplier
Just a way of getting me to change
17
13/12/2020 11:01:42 17 12
bbc
I have switched electricity providers most years, I have kept a record of how much each year has cost me.

I am now paying less than what I did 13 years ago before I could switch.

If people could be bothered they could save money, all this is about is a solution for the " I cant be bothered brigade"

Happy as it is.
24
13/12/2020 11:04:36 23 4
bbc
"all this is about is a solution for the " I cant be bothered brigade""

And how about those folk without access to the internet such as the elderly?
107
13/12/2020 11:35:30 2 0
bbc
Oh you are clever. We are a small business and fix in every 3 to 5 years for a better deal. My ppkwh is a lot lower than my elderly parents. And the standard charge should be the same with every company. Sometimes its not a case of can not be bothered its average annual use and if the energy company have bought well or not that determines what deal you get.
18
13/12/2020 11:02:18 2 3
bbc
The auto switching should have been introduced a long time ago.
19
13/12/2020 11:02:27 49 8
bbc
Not a bad idea providing that they don't force unwanted 'smart meters' onto people who do not want them and know tht they don't save any energy. Some people seem not to realise how much they could save merely by changing supplier.
394
13/12/2020 13:09:00 19 1
bbc
I do use my smart meter, but agree the main benefit is to the suppliers.
Don't have to send meter readers, and the metsrs are paid for by us by a surcharge on our bills anyway.
6
13/12/2020 10:55:51 276 10
bbc
I hope whatever comes out of this it doesn’t involve having to ring the supplier. Because good luck with that if it does! Covid seems to be a handy excuse to cover customer service levels that already appear to have been cut to a minimum. “We’re experiencing very high call volumes.” Employ more staff then!
20
13/12/2020 11:03:27 53 190
bbc
"Employ more staff then!"

And then, of course, you'll complain when prices go up, won't you...

Or did you thing that customer service staff work for free?
123
13/12/2020 11:43:58 41 4
bbc
Whoosh !!

By definition .. you can't ALWAYS be experiencing very high call volumes .... unless you are telling porky pies ....
227
13/12/2020 12:17:28 36 1
bbc
Please support the customer, not the utility.
302
13/12/2020 12:37:32 33 6
bbc
"Employ more staff then!"
...of course, you'll complain when prices go up, won't you
Or did you thing that customer service staff work for free?
___

Happily omitting the unnecessarily taxpayer subsidised non-living minmum wage and profiteering that ensure six figure salaries for their board members.
NeoLibs defending the indefensible.
We never had these probs when they were Nationalised.
340
13/12/2020 12:49:52 21 2
bbc
Actually I would prefer that prices did increase if it meant some one answering the phone.. many years ago it was the norm to have the phone answered straight away by a real person.
355
You
13/12/2020 12:55:04 19 1
bbc
No, these companies and their shareholders should take less dividends.
367
Tim
13/12/2020 12:53:12 2 0
bbc
They had more staff before covid and the prices were cheaper !!
404
13/12/2020 13:11:13 8 0
bbc
The easier and cheaper way is to run your business well so that the customer doesn't need to continually contact you to get the best rates or sort out incorrect bills?

Or is that too easy?
469
13/12/2020 13:37:48 3 2
bbc
Of course, if the suppliers provided a good service and played fair they wouldn't need so many customer service staff. Just lately (following a 20%+ increase in a post contract renewal quotation) I'm becoming in favour of compulsory nationalisation for the power (fuel) and water industries.
506
13/12/2020 13:58:17 2 0
bbc
It's not about the number of staff it's about not been able to send emails and get issues sorted promptly. Anyone who has moved home recently or changed supplier with have experienced far too much grief!
514
13/12/2020 14:03:06 1 0
bbc
No, but the companies don't put in good systems to enable faster response and contact with managers so the customer can wait. I dialled 101 police yesterday and had to wait 40 minutes +.
555
13/12/2020 14:41:44 2 0
bbc
Furlough provided free money for the suppliers, while staff stayed at home doing nothing. First to be sent home were customer support. Cynical behaviour by greedy companies.
605
13/12/2020 15:31:41 0 0
bbc
YES! Employ more staff, ffs.
631
13/12/2020 16:03:26 0 0
bbc
Personally, I'd be happy to pay a little more for better service. It is still nigh-on impossible to compare suppliers even on cost.
712
14/12/2020 06:53:09 0 0
bbc
You are not normal... what about reducing their high profit margins?
14
13/12/2020 10:59:19 79 14
bbc
Why oh why can we not have one standard tariff for everyone all of the time?
21
13/12/2020 11:04:00 15 36
bbc
competition
155
13/12/2020 11:53:56 4 2
bbc
No .. you can still have competition. But just one tariff for domestic customers for any supplier.
236
13/12/2020 12:20:16 0 0
bbc
Competition is then based on the price for a standard contract, not hidden by all the various options.
519
13/12/2020 14:08:41 1 1
bbc
Clearly competition in the Market doesn't work, instead of trying to provide the best service for customers, these companies make as much profit as they can for their shareholders at customer expense. Been with each big 6 each of them are unable to bill correctly (e.g. Npower increasing my monthly DD by £70/month "based on their usage estimates"), even though I was £100s in credit.
12
13/12/2020 10:57:26 4 10
bbc
This is welcome news but I have to say, it is very simple to check how much you are paying and switch if necessary. If people can't be bothered, it is not the fault of the energy companies.
22
13/12/2020 11:04:14 11 1
bbc
Not everybody is able to check what tariffs are avalable to them, not everyone has internet or nor 'smartphones'.
8
13/12/2020 10:56:31 8 8
bbc
They never mention that one MUST switch to Direct Debit.
I refuse to give these utilities spare money, from overpaying, to play around with.
Same with those smart meters, never mention DD compulsory.
23
13/12/2020 11:04:22 6 1
bbc
Agree which puts the poor at a disadvantage of only being allowed "top up" token/key meters. They pay more than those on DD without being able to switch.
17
13/12/2020 11:01:42 17 12
bbc
I have switched electricity providers most years, I have kept a record of how much each year has cost me.

I am now paying less than what I did 13 years ago before I could switch.

If people could be bothered they could save money, all this is about is a solution for the " I cant be bothered brigade"

Happy as it is.
24
13/12/2020 11:04:36 23 4
bbc
"all this is about is a solution for the " I cant be bothered brigade""

And how about those folk without access to the internet such as the elderly?
49
13/12/2020 11:11:00 2 6
bbc
There are organisations / charities who specifically will do this for such people.
173
13/12/2020 11:59:50 5 2
bbc
Just because a person is elderly, that does not stop them from accessing the Internet. I am over 70 years of age and use the Internet every day without any problems at all.
478
13/12/2020 13:40:34 1 1
bbc
Citizens Advice.
25
13/12/2020 11:03:02 2 8
bbc
This just promotes more laziness.

All you need to do is invest an hour phoning around.
35
13/12/2020 11:07:41 2 8
bbc
Phoning? Christ what century do you live in?
94
13/12/2020 11:30:03 2 1
bbc
Why should consumers have to waste their time phoning around (or browsing the internet)?
26
13/12/2020 11:05:30 19 1
bbc
About time. When Tonik went bust I was moved to Scottish Power on a terrible tariff, it took me weeks to discover the rate. I was in credit by around £160's, in just over 9 weeks my surplus had gone. It wasn't just the rate but the standing charge. When I managed to speak to someone I was told the reason was " so that I could move without penalty". Disgraceful. I have moved on principal.
14
13/12/2020 10:59:19 79 14
bbc
Why oh why can we not have one standard tariff for everyone all of the time?
27
13/12/2020 11:05:51 5 8
bbc
The socialist solution for fixing at the highest prices !
383
13/12/2020 13:03:48 0 0
bbc
Just not true, Waterwitch.
28
13/12/2020 11:06:09 18 5
bbc
Why not just renationolise them and that will cure the greedy b++++++s
41
13/12/2020 11:09:23 0 4
bbc
Wouldnt stop processing up.
46
13/12/2020 11:10:30 3 1
bbc
You do realise we've got a Conservative government, don't you?
13
13/12/2020 10:58:18 123 5
bbc
Need to do something about dumb 'smart' meters. The 2nd generation meters are supposed to be transferrable. But the company that installs them just disables them remotely, putting them into a mode of not being smart at all. The consumer information unit stops working altogether. The new company can't take them over so they have to fit another new 2nd generation meter. Had 3 new meters in 3 years.
29
13/12/2020 11:06:14 106 5
bbc
We are going to have 100% electric transport infrastructure in 10 years while the smart meter farce has only taken 11 years & counting.
319
13/12/2020 12:44:05 10 2
bbc
You have more confidence than I do.
Charging infrastructure in Apartment blocks, terraced houses witb no front gardens or on-street parking?
30
13/12/2020 11:06:27 4 1
bbc
Comp websites have 1 major flaw. They compare your historic usage/cost with the SVR costs going forward. Thus it always seems you are going to save £000's when actually you are not. They should compare your last years cost with the best option going forward. This will show realistic savings and stop people being fooled into thinking they will make great savings and then be disappointed.
176
13/12/2020 12:03:30 1 0
bbc
Just compare standing charge and kW rate, that's all you need to know. If one is charging 20p per utility SC and another 25p, and the kW rates are cheaper too, then you know your bill will be cheaper. Octopus and Bulb are cheaper than BG for example.
16
13/12/2020 11:00:21 8 9
bbc
Most energy consumers are lazy. Can't be bothered to read the meters or check the bill when it arrives. Never mind actively chasing the most competitive tariffs when their deal comes to an end.
31
ken
13/12/2020 11:06:38 8 2
bbc
Better things to do in life than watch meters going round
79
13/12/2020 11:23:44 0 2
bbc
presumably you have money to burn.
32
13/12/2020 11:06:42 5 1
bbc
I think it would be fairer better for most people . Imagine buying milk and getting charged a different amount depending on if you bought it there before or not
139
13/12/2020 11:48:55 2 0
bbc
Milk is traded like that. My neighbours are paid a different price than us depending on the company you sell to! I am afraid its how every business works, we may not like it and can do very little about it, its not fair sometimes. You choose and you pay for the ethics you want to support.
167
13/12/2020 11:58:37 2 0
bbc
But you do realise if you buy a two-pint bottle you pay less than if you buy two one-pint bottles...
33
ant
13/12/2020 11:06:54 3 2
bbc
Cheapest is not always best.
44
13/12/2020 11:09:41 9 2
bbc
True in a lot of cases but as ALL the utilitity companies are a shower of sxxt when it comes to cust service and as the electric and gas come from basically the same source in this case Cheapest often is best.
16
13/12/2020 11:00:21 8 9
bbc
Most energy consumers are lazy. Can't be bothered to read the meters or check the bill when it arrives. Never mind actively chasing the most competitive tariffs when their deal comes to an end.
34
13/12/2020 11:07:36 5 1
bbc
Who wants to spend time reading meters, checking bills and searching for a new supplier on the internet only to find after the next price rise they are no better off
For example in January my new supplier told me I needed to pay £125 per month for gas and electric by May they decided I needed to pay £172 per month so no saving compared to the previous supplier
Just a way of getting me to change
189
13/12/2020 12:08:16 0 1
bbc
Its not about the total cost. Compare your Ppkwh and annual usage. I would def start looking at your energy usage unless your running an olympic swimming pool or have a large plant farm in the loft.
25
13/12/2020 11:03:02 2 8
bbc
This just promotes more laziness.

All you need to do is invest an hour phoning around.
35
13/12/2020 11:07:41 2 8
bbc
Phoning? Christ what century do you live in?
66
13/12/2020 11:13:33 4 1
bbc
21st.

If you use comparison sites to get your “best” rates then I’m afraid you’ve already fallen for the price scam.
78
13/12/2020 11:23:39 2 0
bbc
I assume you have lost the power of speach.
36
13/12/2020 11:07:51 51 6
bbc
What the government should do, is stop energy companies discriminating against people who don't want unnecessary and hugely overrated smart meters fitted. Charging people more, simply because they're exercising a choice that makes the energy company look bad, is abhorrent.
84
13/12/2020 11:25:05 47 3
bbc
Too true, all those meters do is add another device to the system that is using more power.
163
13/12/2020 11:56:11 3 3
bbc
My smart meter is brilliant - I can see how much I am using and reduce things like heating if it's not really needed yet. I have knocked around £50 a month of my bill which is a nice saving over the year. I wouldn't be without it now.
557
13/12/2020 14:36:26 3 0
bbc
In this instance, the supplier aren't to blame. Smart meters are a government scheme, and suppliers are mandated to do it or face enforcement action from Ofgem, they could even lose their licence. As it is Ofgem don't think suppliers are doing enough to push smart meters so are setting binding targets from July 2021.
11
13/12/2020 10:57:21 59 7
bbc
Seems to me to still put the onus on the consumer. Why not control pricing more strictly?
37
13/12/2020 11:09:00 33 14
bbc
I think this may have happened before the days of Thatcher and her vegetables.
391
13/12/2020 13:06:45 1 0
bbc
and what a farce that was, particularly Telecoms, any phone you want as long as its the GPO's black one, and we'll fit it when it suits us, maybe in 3 months. Then as a sop to customers, they produced a Grey phone - wow!
38
D-D
13/12/2020 11:09:03 170 10
bbc
Tariffs should be simple and easy for everyone to understand. Too many of them are complicated and harder to calculate or compare. Higher fixed charge plus lower usage rates, lower fixed charge then higher usage rates, lower fixed charge and lower for 'x' usages, then higher for 'y' usage. Crazy. Scrap them all and make them a simple charge everyone can understand.
72
13/12/2020 11:20:10 94 6
bbc
That sums this country up BT is the same
115
13/12/2020 11:39:23 6 14
bbc
So almost everyone gets a rate that doesn't suit them?

Maybe teaching people maths would be a better idea - after all, everyone posting here has a device that is capable of doing complicated sums....
142
13/12/2020 11:48:45 3 4
bbc
It's simple to sort the wheat from the chaf with a spreadsheet
317
13/12/2020 12:43:06 2 0
bbc
Hear, hear!
378
13/12/2020 13:03:18 8 0
bbc
I agree, and the way to achieve simple tariffs is to abolish standing charges, which customers dislike, and to have only a kW/hr price for each fuel. More complex tariffs, which might suit some customers who want to do the sums, could be available on request.
501
13/12/2020 13:56:30 2 1
bbc
All you need to know is your annual useage and your annual charge will be estimated with the cheapest tarriff first.

How this is made up is of no interest to me and no need for any spreadsheets or complicated analysis of tarriffs.
528
13/12/2020 14:14:59 1 0
bbc
Using a common energy consumption (e.g., 10000kWh for gas & 3000kWh for elec) then even if figures are notional, the rest is a simple arithmetical exercise. Your gas/elec provider will tell your annual usage in kWh if you ask them. Plug the figures into excel. It's not Track & Trace difficult. Read meters monthly & keep records to compare year on year readings. Beat them at their own game.
577
13/12/2020 15:05:01 2 3
bbc
You mean you find basic maths (like multiplication) too complicated. If you can't be bothered to do a few sums, why should my energy prices be higher to "compensate" you for that?
If you can't be bothered, you shouldn't benefit - simples! (as a meerkat would say)
609
13/12/2020 15:38:47 0 0
bbc
You cant do that to private companies. Totally up to them.
658
13/12/2020 16:23:09 0 0
bbc
Mostly a daily standing charge and a price per kWh. It can't be simpler than that!
39
13/12/2020 11:09:12 173 40
bbc
Another failed tory privatisation sham, just like others - rail, water, mail etc, which leads to a fragmented, dysfunctional system, where consumers are ripped off, service deteriorates & companies which are mostly foreign owned make vast profits. How about we actually run these as critical public services on non-profit bases for benefit of consumers & economy as a whole, rather than shareholders?
70
13/12/2020 11:19:23 56 57
bbc
Been tried, didnt work well as we had some of the highest energy prices in europe. We dont wato go back there.
145
13/12/2020 11:50:19 17 0
bbc
The problem is not people making a profit or shareholders, it is the ridiculous "lets play games with customers" interface these companies all have.

And the dismal inability to answer a telephone call without a 15 minute spiel first then a long wait.
208
13/12/2020 11:59:15 9 10
bbc
Yes cause the public sector is so well run, I don't think so!!!
235
13/12/2020 12:20:16 10 8
bbc
@"Another failed tory privatisation sham, just like others"
--

It gives us some of the cheapest consumer utility bills in Europe.

So it can't be that much of a failure.

Energy is a global commodity, so the cheapest bills in Europe is no mean feat.

Be careful what you wish for.

Don't let ideology get in the way of pragmatism. The existing commercial competition *is* keeping your bills down.
283
13/12/2020 12:32:57 9 3
bbc
Absolutely. Nationalise it, along with water, telephone, and everything 'capita' runs to squeeze the taxpayer dry. Shouldn't take a second thought.
375
13/12/2020 13:02:52 3 1
bbc
Drew is spot on. Even if the companies wanted to do so, the "free market" is structurally incapable of providing the supposed benefits of competition in these industries, as well as being much too inefficient. Sadly, to put in place the sensible, civilised, grown-up alternative needs a degree of courage that our politicians are completely devoid of.
443
13/12/2020 13:23:32 2 0
bbc
That Idea would be great, in fact thats how many other countries nationalised industries are. Unfortunately we just turn them into underfunded political pawns in a Party politics power game and everyone comes out better off.
568
13/12/2020 14:57:23 1 0
bbc
I was with a company which was supposedly a 'not for profit' supplier for several years because I was happy with my tariff. Then out of the blue, I got an email from them informing me that my account was being transferred to new owners - British Gas. I wonder if they operate as 'not for profit' or for the shareholders? The shark has swallowed the minnow!
582
13/12/2020 15:07:25 1 0
bbc
When the public sector tries to run essential services on a not-for-profit basis, they do it really well. Any by that, I mean the not-for-profit element rather than the service provision.
Nottingham City Council lost around £40m running Robin Hood Energy. Civil servants are, generally, not business people and have no experience of running businesses so, when required to do it, do it badly.
597
13/12/2020 15:22:16 1 0
bbc
This person is obviously not old enough to remember when railways and telephones were publicly, as bad as some services are now they were far worse then.
725
WM
14/12/2020 10:29:56 0 0
bbc
Why don't you pack your bags and move to Russia? I'm sure you'll be far happier there.
736
14/12/2020 13:12:39 0 0
bbc
My energy bills are lower than they were 10 years ago, and fifteen years ago. The market works, you just have to be bothered to shop around.
40
13/12/2020 11:09:13 16 5
bbc
Of course this will be a world beating scheme that won't work unless you've got the very latest phone and download the very latest app that hasn't been tested.
28
13/12/2020 11:06:09 18 5
bbc
Why not just renationolise them and that will cure the greedy b++++++s
41
13/12/2020 11:09:23 0 4
bbc
Wouldnt stop processing up.
42
13/12/2020 11:09:24 87 13
bbc
Just ban all standing charges etc so comparison become a simple mater of lowest price per kWh.
386
13/12/2020 13:05:18 39 2
bbc
or standardise all standing charges, they are supposed to represent the cost of the delivery infrastructure and every company uses the same delivery infrastructure.
537
13/12/2020 14:24:30 0 0
bbc
It's reasonable to have a standing charge to cover infrastructure costs, but it must reflect true costs & therefore be standardised across the board, not be used as a cash cow, as has happened with phone line rental, which is supposedly used by BT Openreach to maintain the network, but which BT hikes the price of each year to subsidise sports broadcasting.
726
WM
14/12/2020 10:32:47 0 0
bbc
What a poor understanding you have, The standing charge is to cover distribution costs not usage. Even you should be able to compare one kWh price with another as they are shown as such.
7
13/12/2020 10:56:12 101 5
bbc
Absolutely correct All suppliers have to buy energy from just a few sources at wholesale prices Therefore price differences between different suppliers and the various tariffs are likely to be small and often offset by a deterioration in customer service
43
13/12/2020 11:09:32 13 7
bbc
Differences between tariffs are NOT small. For us the cheapest is almost 40% less than the dearest. The cheapest may have poor customer services, but for not much more than the cheapest you can get a good company and a good price. As posters above have already said.

But it's true there are lazy people who are on the internet on their phones all the time yet don't compare prices for energy.
33
ant
13/12/2020 11:06:54 3 2
bbc
Cheapest is not always best.
44
13/12/2020 11:09:41 9 2
bbc
True in a lot of cases but as ALL the utilitity companies are a shower of sxxt when it comes to cust service and as the electric and gas come from basically the same source in this case Cheapest often is best.
45
13/12/2020 11:09:42 2 3
bbc
Tis a con all this switching. You've paid your months DD to your existing supplier. The new supplier takes their first DD, then you have to pay up your balance to your old supplier. Stay where you are on their lowest tariff
97
13/12/2020 11:31:20 1 0
bbc
You rightly point out that people with a debit balance and no way to clear it become trapped, but if you can clear a debit balance or are in credit staying on the cheapest tariff as you suggest can cost you several hundred pounds a year more. For my friend staying with Eon would have cost £240 more than going to BG, last year staying with BG £220 more than going to Eon on a £720 bill.
152
13/12/2020 11:53:18 1 0
bbc
That's only because you use more in winter but the monthly bill is a whole year divided by 12 . For example, you use £60 a month (6 months) for normal gas and electric in the summer, but 120 a month (6 months) in winter because you use more heating. Over the year that will be around £1080, so you pay £90 a month DD. If you change after winter then you haven't paid for the extra you used in winter
28
13/12/2020 11:06:09 18 5
bbc
Why not just renationolise them and that will cure the greedy b++++++s
46
13/12/2020 11:10:30 3 1
bbc
You do realise we've got a Conservative government, don't you?
11
13/12/2020 10:57:21 59 7
bbc
Seems to me to still put the onus on the consumer. Why not control pricing more strictly?
47
13/12/2020 11:10:38 0 6
bbc
competition
369
13/12/2020 12:59:09 0 0
bbc
Except that is the legal intention.
Collaboration, certainly among the Big Six, is the reality.
SSE, £53 pm, UW, 35.40 pm.
And I am moving down again now.
48
13/12/2020 11:10:48 2 2
bbc
When the cap was introduced on the bills the number of deals seemed to drop away making it more difficult to find significant savings by switching . The cap helped out the lazy and punished those who switched as soon as their deal finished or could be beaten.
24
13/12/2020 11:04:36 23 4
bbc
"all this is about is a solution for the " I cant be bothered brigade""

And how about those folk without access to the internet such as the elderly?
49
13/12/2020 11:11:00 2 6
bbc
There are organisations / charities who specifically will do this for such people.
82
13/12/2020 11:24:46 4 4
bbc
Ahhh, so let the profiteering companies get away with it and rely on charities.

The kind of disgusting right wing attitude that's made a mess of this country.
50
13/12/2020 11:11:10 1 8
bbc
If the govt is choosing for you which company you end up with then why not just nationalise the lot and have done with the illusion of choice. Not saying it is good or bbad. Just weird how hard left wing this government is becoming with the economic decisions it keeps making. Makes Corbyn look like Thatcher..
55
13/12/2020 11:13:08 2 1
bbc
They aren't, it's a cheaper contract with the same company. Read the article.
12
13/12/2020 10:57:26 4 10
bbc
This is welcome news but I have to say, it is very simple to check how much you are paying and switch if necessary. If people can't be bothered, it is not the fault of the energy companies.
51
13/12/2020 11:11:30 1 1
bbc
For everybody?? Prove it
52
13/12/2020 11:12:11 5 2
bbc
About time to! Daylight robbery how its been done at the moment.
14
13/12/2020 10:59:19 79 14
bbc
Why oh why can we not have one standard tariff for everyone all of the time?
53
13/12/2020 11:12:26 6 13
bbc
Oh what a good idea, and while wer'e at it why not fix theprice of petrol and bread and beer and . . . . well lets go fullout communist.
536
13/12/2020 14:23:56 0 0
bbc
Ah yes, the famous opening line of the Communist Manifesto:
"A spectre is haunting Europe — the spectre of standard tariffs."
54
13/12/2020 11:12:41 66 14
bbc
Smart meter = this is what turning a light on for 5 hours costs you.
Smart person = Do I need to have that light on for 5 hours.
Smart Meter + Smart person = possible reduction in usage, emissions and costs
Smart meter + dumb consumer = wasted energy, increased emissions and higher cost
Conclusion smart meter is only as good as the consumer using it.
133
13/12/2020 11:47:00 33 2
bbc
Completely agree. I can decide if I need the heating on or not and can save a fortune - can easily knock £50 a month off my bill just by having the heating on a bit less.
305
13/12/2020 12:38:50 9 1
bbc
A smart consumer knows how much energy is used by appliances without having a monitor to tell them.

It’s as simple as looking at an appliance’s power in watts or kilowatts.

As a general rule, anything which heats uses a significant amount of power. The longer it is used the more it uses.

Think about tumble dryers, electric showers and air conditioners - don’t worry about LED Christmas lights.
349
13/12/2020 12:52:44 5 0
bbc
Smart meter doesn't tell you that though, unless the ONLY thing you have using electricity is a single light. In any case, you aren't that smart if you didn't already know that having a light on for 5 hours when not needed, is costing you some amount of money!
390
13/12/2020 13:06:13 4 0
bbc
Conclusion smart meter is only as good as the consumer using it? No. You forgot the bit that even with so called Gen-2 we are faced with this so called 'Smart' meter not being smart at all when we switch supplier.
You do realise that the push for 'Smart meters' has nothing to do with saving us money, don't you. It's all about charging us real time for real time use to the point of 'daily payment'.
395
13/12/2020 13:09:22 4 0
bbc
Things may have improved, but an Engineer who installed smart-meters told me a few years ago they were nothing but a Government publicity stunt because no company had one that would work with another company's systems or even work reliably with their own, and on being warned HMG said 'roll them out anyway'
452
13/12/2020 13:29:17 3 0
bbc
All my lights are Zled, mai ly 6w, but I still turn them off when I leave a room.
Turn off the router and tv box at the socket every night.
Only fridge/ freezer left running.
The smart meter let me know how much each took, and they add up to a significant amount.
565
13/12/2020 14:48:06 2 0
bbc
Presumes your smart meter works. Mine works only for electricity and the supplier seems incapable of fixing it. It was installed because I am getting older and reading the meter is difficult. Not much use having one that only half works.
590
ab
13/12/2020 15:12:17 2 1
bbc
Why do you need a smart meter for this? Surely if you are using something switch it on. If you aren't, switch it off.
603
13/12/2020 15:29:25 0 1
bbc
Those so called Smart Meters are really very dumb. If there were up to the job, we'd be able to download our usage values (logged every 15 mins or so) so that we could look at them directly and allow us to see what used what and when. They don't so they are dumb, dumb and dumber. All they do over the old ones is to allow remote reading.
50
13/12/2020 11:11:10 1 8
bbc
If the govt is choosing for you which company you end up with then why not just nationalise the lot and have done with the illusion of choice. Not saying it is good or bbad. Just weird how hard left wing this government is becoming with the economic decisions it keeps making. Makes Corbyn look like Thatcher..
55
13/12/2020 11:13:08 2 1
bbc
They aren't, it's a cheaper contract with the same company. Read the article.
77
13/12/2020 11:23:11 0 0
bbc
"Read the article."

On a HYS, how often does that happen? :-)

It'd be good if they did, though, most times...
56
13/12/2020 11:13:29 116 29
bbc
Ahhh electricity. Yet another failed tory privtisation.

Along with gas, water, telecoms etc - essential services which were built by our money, and then given away by the right for a pittance.
106
13/12/2020 11:34:37 76 2
bbc
It all comes down the same wires from he same generating companies using the same distribution network.

Just go for the cheapest.

However it would be nice if energy companies changed their strategy.

Give existing customers the best deal rather than abusing customer loyalty on automatic renewal.
381
13/12/2020 13:03:28 2 1
bbc
Telecom's isn't a failure, unless you don't count mobile phones and the internet as being telecoms. The GPO were useless
575
13/12/2020 15:03:31 0 1
bbc
Failed? How so. We have cheaper tariffs and greater choices than much of europe. I guess we could nationalise it all and have a failing, inefficient system held to ransom by the unions, but why relive the 1970's - which were crap.

You could also argue the competition has driven efficiency at source: efficiency = cheaper generation = more customers.
662
13/12/2020 16:26:30 0 0
bbc
Yes, I bought a big part of my house with profits from Tory privatisation share sales
57
13/12/2020 11:13:29 148 24
bbc
The first thing trhey should do is ban standing charges where they issue a charge per day wether or not you actually use anything. All charges should be based on use.
73
13/12/2020 11:21:47 61 75
bbc
standing charges cover infrastructure costs which exist if you are connected whether you use it or not. If you don't like it disconnect.
96
JGC
13/12/2020 11:31:11 5 3
bbc
I agree with you. Until around 5 years ago most tariffs didn't have standing charges though many suppliers charged higher rates for the first X units. The Government decided having 2 unit charges was too "confusing" so replaced it with 2 charges (a standing charge + unit rate). But it still means you need guess at usage (as generally high standing charge = low unit rate and vice versa).
125
13/12/2020 11:44:07 10 6
bbc
Your remark over-looks one very simple concept: maintenance. The infrastructure that enables the energy to arrive at your home requires maintenance - and that costs money. Such maintenance costs are independent of the quantity of the energy you actually use - and pay for.
171
13/12/2020 11:57:49 2 0
bbc
If they do this then it should be across all industry so no line rental on phones same principle.
178
13/12/2020 12:04:27 7 3
bbc
It is also wrong to have tariffs that have a cheaper rate for greater use.

In the interest of the environment we should be discouraged from using more energy than necessary.
188
13/12/2020 12:07:31 3 7
bbc
Would you be happy if priority for an engineer visit to fix problems with your supply also be based on your energy consumption?

If you only use a little energy, a power cut is less of an inconvenience than for someone who uses a substantial amount of energy.
299
13/12/2020 12:36:57 0 3
bbc
Three examples of UK corruption 1) standing charges, 2) requiring a landline for broadband, and 3) paying for leaks and failing infrastructure to have drinking water
586
13/12/2020 15:08:27 0 0
bbc
So who pays to install and maintain the cable and pipe which supply your house?
593
13/12/2020 15:16:59 0 0
bbc
I tried telling Martin Lewis that.
58
13/12/2020 11:13:43 99 32
bbc
Just re-nationalise and be done with it.
74
13/12/2020 11:22:52 42 68
bbc
So no competition to drive prices down. Great idea...
221
13/12/2020 12:15:42 6 7
bbc
What a stupid comment. It does not matter whether the state or a company owns the utility, the energy still has to be paid for at source. The Government does not have a never ending money supply (well, in the sense that the taxpayers fund most of everything). Do you want an increase in direct or indirect taxation to fund Government follies - again?
477
13/12/2020 13:40:11 6 0
bbc
No need. Just create a utility company wholly owned by the government. If it can charge less than other companies then its customers will be better off, and eventually everyone will voluntarily move to it.
12
13/12/2020 10:57:26 4 10
bbc
This is welcome news but I have to say, it is very simple to check how much you are paying and switch if necessary. If people can't be bothered, it is not the fault of the energy companies.
59
13/12/2020 11:14:10 1 1
bbc
For everybody?? Prove it
60
13/12/2020 11:14:24 123 18
bbc
Should just have 1 tariff be done with it.
71
13/12/2020 11:19:42 10 103
bbc
Small house vs big house. That would not be fair.
130
13/12/2020 11:46:05 9 13
bbc
Competition has given the UK tremendous investment in renewables and new technology. This is funded by profits. Be careful for what you wish.
181
13/12/2020 12:05:13 23 4
bbc
It is also wrong to have tariffs that have a cheaper rate for greater use.

In the interest of the environment we should be discouraged from using more energy than necessary.
230
13/12/2020 12:18:01 3 5
bbc
no way.
I have reduced my bill from £57 pm to £ 35pm, and am about to reduce it again.
My standing charges account for £16 of that; I should be getting £11 off that with current usage.
Slightly higher unit cost, but by being careful use, I will save.
254
13/12/2020 12:24:57 2 4
bbc
Because 'one tariff' = no competition = no insentive to drive down the price
393
13/12/2020 13:08:06 4 0
bbc
Mine has one tariff - Igloo Energy. One of the cheapest that has no exit fees. I could save a little if I switched but I have had no problems with them and I like their philosophy of having only one tariff so it makes them keep their eye on rates charged.
589
13/12/2020 15:10:38 0 1
bbc
Why? That means, for example, people who use energy outside of peak hours (which helps reduce investment costs) can't be rewarded through lower charges.
Bigger users require less admin cost per unit bought so should get it at a lower unit cost.
Do you ever buy a large bag of any product in a supermarket because the unit price is lower?? Thought so
61
13/12/2020 11:14:59 6 4
bbc
What if I don't want the cheapest? I want the greenest!
95
13/12/2020 11:30:54 7 2
bbc
Then make your own.
223
13/12/2020 12:16:22 1 1
bbc
The electric utility company I use claims to be 'green energy', it must be on a complete separate national grid. And they expect me to believe this?!
62
13/12/2020 11:15:27 2 5
bbc
Green tariffs will be dead in the water from this.
63
13/12/2020 11:15:46 54 4
bbc
Following the failure of Robin Hood Energy I am no longer convinced that the "comparison" sites are performing a useful task. I had never heard of RHE; but when it failed I was told that my "supplier" was just a brass plate (one of 18), fixed to the front door of RHE. So how many truly different companies are on a comparison site?
292
13/12/2020 12:36:14 23 9
bbc
No company should be allowed to claim to supply energy unless they are actually the company who puts the pipes and wires to your home, and generates the power and pressure that goes through them. The rest can fold for all I care.
373
13/12/2020 13:01:02 0 0
bbc
Right, so, "let's blame the comparison sites" for the failings of the Ombudsman.
I went for Money Saving Expert's Cheap Energy Club back in 2013/2014 and I've never had any 'problems' avoiding 'brass plate' suppliers and getting the 'best deal for me'. The deal I am on now since February this year is more than £50 a year CHEAPER for me than the CHEAPEST offered today and it's British Gas Evolve!
374
13/12/2020 13:02:06 4 0
bbc
The comparison sites are paid for moving you from your current supplier, to the one which pays the highest commission.
669
13/12/2020 16:32:48 1 0
bbc
I was with RHE when its prices were competitive. All of a sudden they became uncompetitive. Obviously the time to bail out. We have to accept that some companies may go to the wall.
64
13/12/2020 11:16:07 17 1
bbc
Problem is, you only get offered the best tariff with the company your with
You still need to shop around to get maximum savings
Just a piece of advise, don't go anywhere near the Utility Warehouse, basically they're gangsters... Removed
35
13/12/2020 11:07:41 2 8
bbc
Phoning? Christ what century do you live in?
66
13/12/2020 11:13:33 4 1
bbc
21st.

If you use comparison sites to get your “best” rates then I’m afraid you’ve already fallen for the price scam.
67
13/12/2020 11:17:22 7 6
bbc
Surely the price of producing energy is a fixed cost so if those who cant be bothered to get the best deal and dont mind paying more are automatically put on a lowere rate then overall the suppliers profit would drop! In which case to preserve their income they will have to increase the lower prices to compensate. The astute energy buyer loses out by government market interference.
110
13/12/2020 11:36:30 2 0
bbc
Only if you think that profit is a key part of the price. It wasn't until Thatcher decided to rip us all off ..
187
13/12/2020 12:07:11 0 0
bbc
Surely the price of producing energy is a fixed cost.
Yes, to the average domestic user, it would appear that way - but, unfortunately, it's not as simple as that.
68
13/12/2020 11:18:49 2 7
bbc
My fuel bills combined are £250 a month. Anything cheaper is good.
6 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms
TV and iPads and phones on the go all day.
80
13/12/2020 11:24:09 4 0
bbc
Blimey 4 bathrooms.

I'd be more worried about the water and sewage bills :)
69
13/12/2020 11:19:08 24 9
bbc
Why should we pay a standing charge to have a meter in your house when its them that require it to see what your usage is ?
85
13/12/2020 11:25:58 18 7
bbc
Just move the supply to 100% nuclear & no meter will be needed as the energy will be so cheap it's not worth charging for (1950s nuclear energy propaganda)
87
13/12/2020 11:26:50 6 1
bbc
It's to cover the cost of the cabling infrastructure.
117
13/12/2020 11:40:29 5 0
bbc
It goes toward paying for the supply distribution to your house - the generators, transformers, pipes , cables etc in the street, and the engineers/administration etc. Whether you use any gas or electric or not, all those things need to be maintained, repaired and paid for before you even use a single watt.
149
13/12/2020 11:52:15 4 0
bbc
The standing charge is not only to cover the cost of that meter. There are other costs as well; costs that are not related to actual energy use.
400
13/12/2020 13:10:23 2 0
bbc
It also pays for the cabling and maintenance of the distribution system, however much energy you use.
408
13/12/2020 13:12:41 0 1
bbc
Sorry but you 'missed a bit' there. Energy companies want 'smart meters' in our homes to save them money 1) having the meter read every year, 2) pay daily for the energy used the day before, 3) adjust direct debits EVERY MONTH and FORCE us to request a refund of monies 'overpaid'.
39
13/12/2020 11:09:12 173 40
bbc
Another failed tory privatisation sham, just like others - rail, water, mail etc, which leads to a fragmented, dysfunctional system, where consumers are ripped off, service deteriorates & companies which are mostly foreign owned make vast profits. How about we actually run these as critical public services on non-profit bases for benefit of consumers & economy as a whole, rather than shareholders?
70
13/12/2020 11:19:23 56 57
bbc
Been tried, didnt work well as we had some of the highest energy prices in europe. We dont wato go back there.
150
13/12/2020 11:52:33 16 5
bbc
I'm not that bothered either way, but the fact is we had less power cuts in the 70s than we do now. It was fine before. Probably a bit inefficient, just needed someone to go in and boot some people up the backside. No reason it could not be done under public ownership.
737
14/12/2020 13:13:21 0 0
bbc
No, we don’t. Germany electricity prices are way higher than ours, for example.
60
13/12/2020 11:14:24 123 18
bbc
Should just have 1 tariff be done with it.
71
13/12/2020 11:19:42 10 103
bbc
Small house vs big house. That would not be fair.
81
13/12/2020 11:24:41 46 2
bbc
Why is that not fair, big house would pay more based on usage.
Whats not fair is the big difference in tariffs for prepaid meters on poorer households.
If you use / waste a lot of energy you shouldn't be rewarded for it.
90
13/12/2020 11:27:29 40 1
bbc
With a larger house, you'd expect to use (& pay for) more energy, what is unfair about that with a single tariff, I think you need to explain.
127
13/12/2020 11:44:35 31 0
bbc
Of course it would - you all would only be paying the same for what you use. If you have a big house you need to use more energy to heat it so you pay more. Nothing unfair about that. The more people living there the more energy they use, the more they pay, but at the same rate as everyone else. People with bigger families don't pay less for food do they, we all pay the same at the same shop
250
13/12/2020 12:23:39 8 0
bbc
What are you going on about? A tariff is per unit of energy used NOT per dwelling!
372
13/12/2020 13:00:16 3 0
bbc
it would be perfectly fair, unless you think everything should be priced on what size house you live in.
479
13/12/2020 13:40:37 5 0
bbc
How does charging £x per unit become unfair? The more you use the more you pay.
521
13/12/2020 14:11:02 2 3
bbc
ahhh, the Poll tax argument where those in the smaller dwelling subsidise those in the bigger dwelling........
Or you could move to a smaller more energy efficient house....
636
BD
13/12/2020 16:05:57 0 0
bbc
Why not?
38
D-D
13/12/2020 11:09:03 170 10
bbc
Tariffs should be simple and easy for everyone to understand. Too many of them are complicated and harder to calculate or compare. Higher fixed charge plus lower usage rates, lower fixed charge then higher usage rates, lower fixed charge and lower for 'x' usages, then higher for 'y' usage. Crazy. Scrap them all and make them a simple charge everyone can understand.
72
13/12/2020 11:20:10 94 6
bbc
That sums this country up BT is the same
274
13/12/2020 12:29:49 9 1
bbc
BT is much worse charging £19.99 for a landline we never ever use on the basis that it is needed to to provide us broadband. Such nonsense. No wonder they lobbied paying millions for it to be Fibre to Cabinet, copper wire to home. Disgraceful example of UK corruption.
321
13/12/2020 12:44:18 3 0
bbc
Agree. Their customer service is good but you feel stuck with them and if you adjust the contract it's now a 2 year term... I've had shorter mortgages!
462
13/12/2020 13:35:05 6 0
bbc
Ditto for BT, try calling them to speak to someone...I did last week about the lack of an itemized phone bill. Only to be told to sort it on line..this took another 20 minutes. Is this progress or the Monty Python gas cooker sketch come to be the norm?
57
13/12/2020 11:13:29 148 24
bbc
The first thing trhey should do is ban standing charges where they issue a charge per day wether or not you actually use anything. All charges should be based on use.
73
13/12/2020 11:21:47 61 75
bbc
standing charges cover infrastructure costs which exist if you are connected whether you use it or not. If you don't like it disconnect.
101
JGC
13/12/2020 11:32:13 21 1
bbc
No they don't. Every tariff has a different standing charge, even with the same supplier. The infrastructure costs are the same which means the standing charge should be the same.
118
13/12/2020 11:41:13 5 1
bbc
Exactly.
198
13/12/2020 12:11:19 1 0
bbc
Just like in the more simple old days of yore
234
13/12/2020 12:18:58 0 2
bbc
Please try and support the customer, not the provider.
273
13/12/2020 12:29:31 0 1
bbc
So what are the profits for some should be used to support infrastructure. Oh forgot must keep share holders happy and sod the rest of us.
314
13/12/2020 12:42:42 2 2
bbc
Tesco has infrastructure costs but we don't pay a standing charge to use the place. Standing charges are another scam that the utilities won't give up without a fight.
330
13/12/2020 12:46:30 1 1
bbc
Nonsense. Infrastructure costs are way way less than the income standing charges brings in. Have you looked at the breakdown of your energy bill? 20% of your gas bill is 'standing charge'. 20%!!!
Broadband £15 a month BUT have to have a landline costing £19.99 a month. A landline never needed for calls because it costs too much money to use landline to make a call!
556
13/12/2020 14:43:09 0 0
bbc
And they are twice as much per day as Electric usage and 8 times more than gas. Why?
559
13/12/2020 14:45:42 0 0
bbc
The installation has been done. If you disconnect the company doesn't save money. It would make charging much more comparable if the standing charge was included in the unit rate. The polluter should pay.
599
13/12/2020 15:25:33 0 1
bbc
As previously mentioned most of the energy suppliers have been nowhere near a gas platform or a power station. They are just retailers who buy and sell fuel or energy. They have no infrastructure costs.
623
13/12/2020 15:54:53 0 1
bbc
Your comment is nonsense. Do you pay a standing charge to use petrol pumps, visit a shop, etc.? Of course not! The costs of infrastructure are part of the costs of running the business and the charges for services or products should reflect that. This nonsense about the infrastructure is a lie put about by the energy companies to screw more money out of us all.
649
13/12/2020 16:16:57 0 0
bbc
If I buy fuel for the car I only pay for the amount I buy; why should any other sort of fuel purchase be any different? Standing charges are just one more con trick, just another excuse to rip us all off, the same as all the other Utilities, foreign owned milk cows and easy money for the investors. So-called green energy only adds to the pain of users. More cons!
58
13/12/2020 11:13:43 99 32
bbc
Just re-nationalise and be done with it.
74
13/12/2020 11:22:52 42 68
bbc
So no competition to drive prices down. Great idea...
92
13/12/2020 11:28:51 19 3
bbc
At least it wouldn't be borrowing money just to pay dividends and would also bring in revenue nationally. Most if not all the profit goes abroad that strangely have limits on Utilities, go figure.
141
13/12/2020 11:49:40 11 2
bbc
Not as simple as that. 'Competition' usually produces an apparent 'lower cost' but at the cost of an inferior service to the paying customer.
161
13/12/2020 11:55:29 17 1
bbc
Prices have not come down in the last 10 years DESPITE raw energy costs being much lower. So you are 100% wrong.
233
13/12/2020 12:18:54 6 3
bbc
What you need is a mix of both public and private.

A public 'default' provider which sets standards and prices ; and

A host of competitive private sector providers to innovate and drive costs down through competition, with their aim to become better value than the public provider.

Take a bank. HMG could set one up offering great interest rates. Other banks would follow or lose market share.
357
13/12/2020 12:55:43 8 1
bbc
No shareholders dividend to keep prices high.
387
13/12/2020 13:06:03 1 0
bbc
You misunderstand the fundamentals, whatever your name is, DM8192....
511
13/12/2020 14:02:33 4 2
bbc
There is no competition in the energy market, it's a sham market, just like the railways & hasn't driven down prices, all we've seen over recent years is large increases & price fixing, one company raises prices by x% and the others follow by the same. All while these companies (many foreign owned, some state companies, make billions in profits
626
13/12/2020 15:59:08 0 0
bbc
Most are owned by by other countries - EDF Electricity de Franciour, EON - Germany - create a not for profit UK supplier and get rid of the foreign profiteers!
75
13/12/2020 11:22:56 20 3
bbc
My old tariff had no standing charge (SC), but the company offered me a better one with a low SC, since then tariffs with no SC's have been scrapped and the charge has increased annually. I asked for a tariff with no SC and was told they had to pay a different company a fee for the meters. If that is so then all standing charges should be capped at one standard price for everyone or scrapped.
146
13/12/2020 11:50:53 11 3
bbc
it is terrible for low users and even worse if you only use electricity (as I’m on a district heating scheme. No dual fuel discount and pestering if I want to buy gas too.
304
13/12/2020 12:38:27 2 0
bbc
The ridiculous thing is that 'energy suppliers' actually supply nothing at all. They don't generate energy, they don't connect consumers, they don't fit or even own meters. In short they are not energy suppliers at all!
76
13/12/2020 11:23:05 14 1
bbc
What's the betting that "errors in the algorithm" will result in many of the most vulnerable consumers remaining on an expensive tariff or being moved to an even more expensive one?

What's needed is a reduction in the proliferation of tariffs so that it's possible for those of us with reasonale arithmetic skills to work it out for ourselves.

Never trust an algorithm you haven't written yourself!
55
13/12/2020 11:13:08 2 1
bbc
They aren't, it's a cheaper contract with the same company. Read the article.
77
13/12/2020 11:23:11 0 0
bbc
"Read the article."

On a HYS, how often does that happen? :-)

It'd be good if they did, though, most times...
35
13/12/2020 11:07:41 2 8
bbc
Phoning? Christ what century do you live in?
78
13/12/2020 11:23:39 2 0
bbc
I assume you have lost the power of speach.
31
ken
13/12/2020 11:06:38 8 2
bbc
Better things to do in life than watch meters going round
79
13/12/2020 11:23:44 0 2
bbc
presumably you have money to burn.
68
13/12/2020 11:18:49 2 7
bbc
My fuel bills combined are £250 a month. Anything cheaper is good.
6 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms
TV and iPads and phones on the go all day.
80
13/12/2020 11:24:09 4 0
bbc
Blimey 4 bathrooms.

I'd be more worried about the water and sewage bills :)
102
13/12/2020 11:32:42 0 0
bbc
Yes those are expensive too. House with 3 teenagers. I’m not helping climate change much. ??
71
13/12/2020 11:19:42 10 103
bbc
Small house vs big house. That would not be fair.
81
13/12/2020 11:24:41 46 2
bbc
Why is that not fair, big house would pay more based on usage.
Whats not fair is the big difference in tariffs for prepaid meters on poorer households.
If you use / waste a lot of energy you shouldn't be rewarded for it.
217
13/12/2020 12:15:04 12 9
bbc
@"Whats not fair is the big difference in tariffs for prepaid meters on poorer households"
--

You wouldn't expect to pay the same insurance premium on your car as someone who drives like a lunatic and has a lot of points on their licence.

So why should you, as a dependable energy customer, pay to cover the costs of those likely not to pay their own energy bills?
218
13/12/2020 12:15:18 5 4
bbc
@"Whats not fair is the big difference in tariffs for prepaid meters on poorer households"
--

You wouldn't expect to pay the same insurance premium on your car as someone who drives like a lunatic and has a lot of points on their licence.

So why should you, as a dependable energy customer, pay to cover the costs of those likely not to pay their own energy bills?
242
13/12/2020 12:21:34 2 0
bbc
Get a budgeted account, rather than prepaid.
My expenditure is averaged over the year, I know how huch to pay every month.
Any excess/ rebate averaged over the next year. 2 bedroomed, fair-sized house.
49
13/12/2020 11:11:00 2 6
bbc
There are organisations / charities who specifically will do this for such people.
82
13/12/2020 11:24:46 4 4
bbc
Ahhh, so let the profiteering companies get away with it and rely on charities.

The kind of disgusting right wing attitude that's made a mess of this country.
83
13/12/2020 11:24:49 103 19
bbc
Tell Sid we've been ripped off.

Energy should never have been privatised.
120
13/12/2020 11:37:46 42 4
bbc
Probably lost on our younger readers who never saw the ad in the 80s.
287
13/12/2020 12:34:56 4 1
bbc
Nothing should have been privatised.
591
13/12/2020 15:12:42 1 0
bbc
Do you think a cash strapped Government would have invested billions in renewable energy or do you think it would have said "we've already got coal fired power stations, lets just keep using them"?
598
13/12/2020 15:22:59 0 1
bbc
And they want to put a Statue of her up, she also sold plenty of council houses off cheap. Londoners (and plenty moved to our area) thought they had won the pools when they sold and moved out a few years later, now no one can afford to live there.
36
13/12/2020 11:07:51 51 6
bbc
What the government should do, is stop energy companies discriminating against people who don't want unnecessary and hugely overrated smart meters fitted. Charging people more, simply because they're exercising a choice that makes the energy company look bad, is abhorrent.
84
13/12/2020 11:25:05 47 3
bbc
Too true, all those meters do is add another device to the system that is using more power.
160
13/12/2020 11:55:21 4 1
bbc
The energy that any meter uses is absolutely tiny in comparison to the energy you actually use.
320
13/12/2020 12:44:15 3 0
bbc
Traditional 'dumb' meters also need power to turn those little wheels - in either case the amount consumed is trivial compared to the amount you use.
69
13/12/2020 11:19:08 24 9
bbc
Why should we pay a standing charge to have a meter in your house when its them that require it to see what your usage is ?
85
13/12/2020 11:25:58 18 7
bbc
Just move the supply to 100% nuclear & no meter will be needed as the energy will be so cheap it's not worth charging for (1950s nuclear energy propaganda)
128
13/12/2020 11:45:05 4 0
bbc
"Too cheap to meter" was the promise, not too cheap to charge for...

Most people don't pay for the internet by the megabyte, but they still pay for it!
398
13/12/2020 13:09:54 1 1
bbc
You need to check your facts: over the years, nuclear energy has always been by far the most expensive option when all the costs are factored in.
410
13/12/2020 13:13:28 0 0
bbc
Dream on. The gov promised the Nuclear providers guaranteed energy prices for the next 60 years. They get in excess of the current prices, I believe more than double the current cost, to allow for inflation over the next 60 years.
86
13/12/2020 11:26:50 18 7
bbc
So let's analyse this. Automatic selection of the lowest tariff. So companies have to have all these systems, all these overheads, various rate plans but just one product each.

If someone can tell me how that's going to work and not resulting in a meltdown leaving just two companies, I'm all ears.

I have a cheaper way. Nationalise the whole supply chain and set a single tariff for everyone
69
13/12/2020 11:19:08 24 9
bbc
Why should we pay a standing charge to have a meter in your house when its them that require it to see what your usage is ?
87
13/12/2020 11:26:50 6 1
bbc
It's to cover the cost of the cabling infrastructure.
88
13/12/2020 11:27:07 39 5
bbc
Just wondering if I could charge my energy company rental (equivalent to the Standing Charges) on the cupboard space it uses inside my house.
186
13/12/2020 12:06:58 20 2
bbc
Yes. We get a princely sum of £1.26 a year for having an electicity pole on our premisis. I have never cashed the cheque.
89
13/12/2020 11:27:16 0 2
bbc
More Tory slogans with no substance
71
13/12/2020 11:19:42 10 103
bbc
Small house vs big house. That would not be fair.
90
13/12/2020 11:27:29 40 1
bbc
With a larger house, you'd expect to use (& pay for) more energy, what is unfair about that with a single tariff, I think you need to explain.
135
13/12/2020 11:47:50 6 4
bbc
"I think you need to explain."

Probably something along the lines of ...

He is a no-lifer. The only thing that floats his miserable boat is knocking a few pennies off this and that. If there is only one tariff for electricity, it is one less thing to play scrooge with. So make up any excuse to justify multiple tariffs even if it is completely stupid.
91
13/12/2020 11:27:36 5 2
bbc
Please stop this merry go round of confusion and complicated tariffs. It's only this way to confuse customers and increase profits.

There are only a few actual generators of energy and prices. How about making it fair by charging everyone the same few tariffs based solely on personal requirements.
103
13/12/2020 11:32:54 0 1
bbc
Differential charging should only be allowed when the generating companies are labelling each individual electron with its source & the meter is selectively rejecting those that don't come from the generator you've signed up to.
74
13/12/2020 11:22:52 42 68
bbc
So no competition to drive prices down. Great idea...
92
13/12/2020 11:28:51 19 3
bbc
At least it wouldn't be borrowing money just to pay dividends and would also bring in revenue nationally. Most if not all the profit goes abroad that strangely have limits on Utilities, go figure.
592
13/12/2020 15:14:04 0 0
bbc
Dividends which are essential to private sector employees who need to save for their own pensions unlike civil servants on their gold-plated, final salary, index linked pensions paid for by, oh wait, those same private sector workers who are having to try and save for themselves too.
93
13/12/2020 11:29:20 3 1
bbc
We have been forced into a smart meter to get a better tariff.
Installation a disaster. Boiler needed an engineer at out expense.
The smart meter is meaningless. We use what we need anyway. We has an electric monitor fitted 10 years ago.
108
13/12/2020 11:35:46 0 2
bbc
I love my smart meter because I can see how much gas and electric I am using and can decide if I need the heating on just yet or not. It has knocked £50 a month of my combined bill. Without it, I would have no idea how much I was using and would have carried on paying through the nose. Changing the meters should not have affected your boiler at all unless it highlighted an existing issue.
25
13/12/2020 11:03:02 2 8
bbc
This just promotes more laziness.

All you need to do is invest an hour phoning around.
94
13/12/2020 11:30:03 2 1
bbc
Why should consumers have to waste their time phoning around (or browsing the internet)?
222
13/12/2020 12:10:46 1 0
bbc
You don’t.

You have the choice today of buying anything you like
61
13/12/2020 11:14:59 6 4
bbc
What if I don't want the cheapest? I want the greenest!
95
13/12/2020 11:30:54 7 2
bbc
Then make your own.
57
13/12/2020 11:13:29 148 24
bbc
The first thing trhey should do is ban standing charges where they issue a charge per day wether or not you actually use anything. All charges should be based on use.
96
JGC
13/12/2020 11:31:11 5 3
bbc
I agree with you. Until around 5 years ago most tariffs didn't have standing charges though many suppliers charged higher rates for the first X units. The Government decided having 2 unit charges was too "confusing" so replaced it with 2 charges (a standing charge + unit rate). But it still means you need guess at usage (as generally high standing charge = low unit rate and vice versa).
327
13/12/2020 12:45:39 0 0
bbc
your energy company provides your annual use on your bill, by law.
45
13/12/2020 11:09:42 2 3
bbc
Tis a con all this switching. You've paid your months DD to your existing supplier. The new supplier takes their first DD, then you have to pay up your balance to your old supplier. Stay where you are on their lowest tariff
97
13/12/2020 11:31:20 1 0
bbc
You rightly point out that people with a debit balance and no way to clear it become trapped, but if you can clear a debit balance or are in credit staying on the cheapest tariff as you suggest can cost you several hundred pounds a year more. For my friend staying with Eon would have cost £240 more than going to BG, last year staying with BG £220 more than going to Eon on a £720 bill.
98
13/12/2020 11:31:25 80 8
bbc
Or perhaps just go back to having a single electricity and gas supplier charging a nationally consistent price minimised as far as possible with no profits going to shareholders or foreigner owners?
Electricity and Gas Boards they were called - seemed to work pretty well really and no-one was ripped off...
405
13/12/2020 13:11:30 20 18
bbc
EU didn't like that
653
13/12/2020 16:18:52 2 0
bbc
Your nostalgia chip is faulty.

The old gas boards were a byword for inefficiency.
667
13/12/2020 16:29:54 1 0
bbc
No, everyone was ripped off equally. Not much better in my opinion.
696
13/12/2020 19:33:35 1 1
bbc
I would guess you weren't a consumer in the Seventies: Most Utilities were a complete joke! Every quarter your Gas and Electricity Bill had gone up. Full of dead-leg workers(?) who could not be sacked>
704
13/12/2020 23:26:28 0 0
bbc
In theory having an old style CEGB style structure for electricity, and separately gas, is looks sensible at first glance, but in practice it does not work because it produces single point failure in labour relations. In the 1970's unions felt they could demand what they please, oppose all attempts to improve efficiency, & send the bill for losses caused by restrictive practices to the tax payer
711
14/12/2020 06:27:28 0 0
bbc
In principle yes, but the consumer was held to ransom, the unions cutting off supplies nearly every year in order to extract as much cash for their members as possible.
99
NW8
13/12/2020 11:32:04 3 1
bbc
Just switched from BG to OVO, its been an absolute nightmare. They are both totally incompetent. Going to complain to Energy Ombudsman.
100
Bob
13/12/2020 11:32:12 1 1
bbc
Technology exists to enable most homes with a roof and a couple of sq metres of ground to run off grid. No meter, no bills. Existing capital cost is about £6k with annual maintenance cost of about £150. Lifetime is 20 years. At present elec retail prices that equates to £450 a year, less than half the present national average and not subject to blackmail price increases by the energy industry