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    • UKParliament
      Verified User verified user
    • By UKParliament Verified User verified user 10th Mar 17, 4:27 PM
    • 668Posts
    • 523Thanks
    UKParliament
    Paid over the odds for your energy? MPs are interested in hearing your experiences
    • #1
    • 10th Mar 17, 4:27 PM
    Paid over the odds for your energy? MPs are interested in hearing your experiences 10th Mar 17 at 4:27 PM
    MoneySavingExpert insert:

    Thank you to everyone who fed into the Parliamentary debate. If you didn't get to watch it you can watch on the Parliament website. Listen carefully and you'll hear some choice words!

    Also read our news stories:

    Energy firms accused of treating customers like 'chumps' as MPs argue for price cap

    Government to Act on Soaring Energy Prices



    Back to Parliament's original post...


    ---


    John Penrose MP and Caroline Flint MP want to hear your views on the big six energy firms’ treatment of out-of-contract energy customers on default tariffs.

    They have secured a debate in the House of Commons on energy prices on Thursday 16 March.

    In particular, they want your views and experiences of the following to help inform the debate:

    • Do you feel that your energy company keeps you up to date with their offers and best deals?
    • Were you notified when your energy contract was coming to an end?
    • Have you ever switched energy providers? How easy was that process?
    • Do you have any idea how much money you might save by switching energy supplier?
    • Do you think you will consider switching energy suppliers in the near future?
    • Do you know how many energy companies there are in the UK?
    • Do you know that by being on a default tariff the average customer could be paying over £300 too much?

    Your comments will be summarised and shared with MPs to use in the debate.

    You can watch the debate on Parliament TV and we will update this thread after the debate.
    Last edited by MSE Andrea; 17-03-2017 at 2:37 PM. Reason: Edited to add question
    Official Organisation Representative
    Iím the official organisation rep for the House of Commons. I do not work for or represent the government. I am politically impartial and cannot comment on government policy. Find out more in DOT's Mission Statement.

    MSE has given permission for me to post letting you know about relevant and useful info. You can see my name on the organisations with permission to post list. If you believe I've broken the Forum Rules please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. This does NOT imply any form of approval of my organisation by MSE
Page 2
    • gavrc
    • By gavrc 17th Mar 17, 11:18 AM
    • 6,492 Posts
    • 728,350 Thanks
    gavrc
    The Governments meddling in the privatised energy markets is costing consumers dearly. For example: Green taxes & subsidies for all sorts of "green" schemes and the insistence on simplifying tariffs, which just meant less choice for those savy enough to shop around.

    What we need is a nationalised, not for profit, provider. One without greedy directors and fat cats creaming the profits off - but under a Tory Government that's never going to happen for various reasons - not least of all that a Tory Government are friends of the corporates, not the plebs that vote for them.
    Originally posted by Andy_WSM
    Same applies to insurance. Government says you must have car insurance, but farms it out to private companies.They can charge whatever they like.
    • MSE Andrea
    • By MSE Andrea 17th Mar 17, 12:39 PM
    • 8,198 Posts
    • 20,246 Thanks
    MSE Andrea
    Thank you to everyone who fed into the Parliamentary debate. If you didn't get to watch it you can watch on the Parliament website.

    Also read our news story:

    Energy firms accused of treating customers like 'chumps' as MPs argue for price cap

    Follow MSE on other Social Media:
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    • phillw
    • By phillw 17th Mar 17, 5:06 PM
    • 519 Posts
    • 218 Thanks
    phillw
    My whole point is why must I have to swop away from a supplier I like just to get a reduction in my bill.
    Originally posted by robin58
    What do you really like about your supplier?

    It's likely it costs them more money to do that, so they have to charge more. Offering good deals to new customers is just a way of trying to lure people in. They hope the new customers stay after the price has been jacked the price up, because they really like their supplier.

    Money has no emotions, go where it's cheapest. If you don't want to do that, then that is why you must pay more.

    What we need is a nationalised, not for profit, provider. One without greedy directors and fat cats creaming the profits off - but under a Tory Government that's never going to happen for various reasons - not least of all that a Tory Government are friends of the corporates, not the plebs that vote for them.
    Originally posted by Andy_WSM
    Nationalised utilities didn't work out that well under Labour either. More money was creamed off & they had a monopoly.
    Last edited by phillw; 17-03-2017 at 5:10 PM.
    • Pincher
    • By Pincher 17th Mar 17, 9:50 PM
    • 6,493 Posts
    • 2,469 Thanks
    Pincher
    Switching gas and electricity is not as hassle free as switching car insurance. Switching is bandied about as a panacea when it is just a CheckaTrade rip off scam for middlemen to make commission.

    The idea of getting the best deal using a comparison service only works if there is an authority that holds all the licensed operators to account for their quality levels. If an airline doesn't maintain their planes to the correct standard, they are refused permission to fly.

    If NPower is consistently low on customer service, close it down.

    Ofgem seems to operate on the wishful thinking principle that a really bad supplier will just go bankrupt all by itself, because it's too rude to withdraw the license.
    What happens if you push this button?
    • bxboards
    • By bxboards 18th Mar 17, 9:06 AM
    • 1,187 Posts
    • 925 Thanks
    bxboards
    But the big power companies are foreign owned, so not the same as UK owned companies which could well be run by cronies.
    Originally posted by teddysmum
    I tend to think with the benefit of hindsight, that privatization of services like power companies and rail companies has been an absolute disaster, as a large majority of what used to be part of our national infrastructure has now been sold off, and in many cases are now foreign owned.
    • pugsley29
    • By pugsley29 18th Mar 17, 1:34 PM
    • 664 Posts
    • 2,413 Thanks
    pugsley29
    Prepay switching shouldn't be more difficult than main meter switching, only the cost of the key itself (although these can be reprogrammed anyway at some shops) and postage.

    Until prepay get great deals like others it will be the most vulnerable that are paying the most.

    Will wait and see if my bills go down due to the new changes, I would rather be able to switch easier.

    Have seen some switches targeting prepay if you agree with having a smart meter, I'm opting out of smart meters for now and probably they will have to take me to court to get one installed, this has happened in the USA with forced entry etc.
    Last edited by pugsley29; 18-03-2017 at 1:38 PM.
    • redux
    • By redux 18th Mar 17, 1:56 PM
    • 16,489 Posts
    • 20,230 Thanks
    redux
    My whole point is why must I have to swop away from a supplier I like just to get a reduction in my bill.

    Why can't I be offered the best competitive deal for my consumption from the supplier I'm already with.

    That's what is wrong with the system nowdays.
    Originally posted by robin58
    There are some providers who do behave ok, with a series of competitive tariffs.

    This house hasn't changed supplier for over 10 years, and it has always been within £5 a year of the cheapest available, except when it was on a long fix about £100 cheaper than anything else. More recently, from about 3 to 1 years ago, I swapped tariff 4 or 5 times a year as prices were falling until about June last year.

    Compare that to some of the other large companies whose main marketing seems to be promotional offers on group negotiated deals such as MSE occasionally organises, but then the rest of the time they don't have anything else competitive within £150, so those customers won't see any point in switching mid term during periods of falling prices.

    So it may be sacrilege to say it around here, but for some customers exclusive group tariffs might contribute towards a problem.
    Last edited by redux; 21-03-2017 at 3:50 PM.
    • molerat
    • By molerat 19th Mar 17, 5:13 PM
    • 16,280 Posts
    • 10,455 Thanks
    molerat
    Energy firms accused of treating customers like 'chumps'
    Aided and abetted by the not fit for purpose regulator.
    www.helpforheroes.org.uk/donations.html
    • Magnetron
    • By Magnetron 20th Mar 17, 11:54 AM
    • 7 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    Magnetron
    As others have noted part of the reason for the price increases is Government meddling in the free market in the first place. This has added to bills through various subsidies for green initiatives that the majority pay for to benefit the few. Others have mentioned "not for profit" providers, some of these have significantly higher prices than other alternative companies because they fund various social initiatives and there is one price for all. The only answer currently is to keep monitoring the market and switching, in my experience a competitive supplier one year will not always be so the next, just like car and home insurance and other services. Another recent development is the significant difference in standing charges but similarly priced units. This can make a big difference over the year. 50p a day is £182 a year and there are some suppliers that charge close to this.
    • miller
    • By miller 20th Mar 17, 1:56 PM
    • 1,125 Posts
    • 380 Thanks
    miller
    Could knock off 5% VAT which would actually be effective at reducing prices (albeit as a one-off).

    Probably wont happen while there is £2bn still to find from the other week. Or ever.
    • Hoopie1
    • By Hoopie1 20th Mar 17, 2:16 PM
    • 1,158 Posts
    • 1,696 Thanks
    Hoopie1
    Instead of political grandstanding, why doesn't the government choose between:
    1) A competitive market, where price gaps between customers/suppliers will necessarily exist (otherwise there is no reason for anyone to switch); OR:
    2) Regulated prices, where you don't think a competitive market works.

    Instead you have had politicians attempting to ride both horses, and then complaining about the results. Choose one or the other and move on.
    • teddysmum
    • By teddysmum 20th Mar 17, 4:22 PM
    • 7,503 Posts
    • 4,447 Thanks
    teddysmum
    Just switched from sse this morning using the cheap energy club on here.
    Estimated £347 a year saving.
    Originally posted by Marktheshark


    Is that a straight quote from the site or the difference between your chosen company and what you would have paid with your present supplier's fix? Only the latter is meaningful, as so called savings are assuming you are stupid enough to revert to standard rate with your supplier.


    I note that they are going ahead with restricting the difference between fixes and standard rate tariffs,so of course it will be the fixes which charge more rather than the standard rates dropping. Yet again we are punished because certain sectors of the population are stupid and/or lazy .


    The government has cost us more for phone and broadband, now power costs will have another hike,so I wonder if they will meddle with the systems used by the water companies next.


    Perhaps we should have council tax rises if we live in relatively clean aired areas , so they can give a discount to those who choose to live by busy roads or in inner city areas.


    Of course any increases we pay due to helpful (not) meddling will not affect the meddlers, as they probably get theirs paid for ,being deemed as necessary for their jobs.


    Our councillors get a fee large enough to pay their full phone bill,because they may need to use the phone to call on council business or to speak to a constituent. This goes back to before inclusive call packages, when calls could be very expensive and ridiculous in one case where councillor spouses got a double payout. (We knew about the latter as a relative
    knew the couple)
    Last edited by teddysmum; 20-03-2017 at 4:29 PM.
    • phillw
    • By phillw 20th Mar 17, 4:55 PM
    • 519 Posts
    • 218 Thanks
    phillw
    Despite all the endlessly repeated "switch and save up to £300" propaganda, ANY switch I did today would result in increased costs.
    Originally posted by One-Eye
    My energy use is low, so I was never going to save £300. You can't keep saving compared to last years prices, or they would eventually be paying you. You most certainly can keep saving compared to falling onto the standard tariff.

    Is that a straight quote from the site or the difference between your chosen company and what you would have paid with your present supplier's fix? Only the latter is meaningful, as so called savings are assuming you are stupid enough to revert to standard rate with your supplier.
    Originally posted by teddysmum
    That is still meaningful, because your current supplier isn't going to put you on it's cheapest deal automatically because they aren't allowed to tie you in.
    Last edited by phillw; 20-03-2017 at 5:01 PM.
    • miller
    • By miller 20th Mar 17, 5:57 PM
    • 1,125 Posts
    • 380 Thanks
    miller
    Our councillors get a fee large enough to pay their full phone bill,because they may need to use the phone to call on council business or to speak to a constituent.
    Originally posted by teddysmum
    I remember seeing something from the expenses scandal where an MP was arguing that he should have his phone bill paid for free because he needed it for broadband... except, he was getting fibre broadband from Virgin Media.
    • C_Mababejive
    • By C_Mababejive 21st Mar 17, 11:16 AM
    • 10,113 Posts
    • 9,234 Thanks
    C_Mababejive
    This whole energy debate is total rubbish. There is a free market and there is competition. Every time my contract comes up for renewal i have renewed at more or less the same rate as the previous year or better. We cannot hold the energy companies accountable for the inertia of certain customers.

    I tell ou how this will end. It will end with ALL of us subsidising the energy bills of the ones who havent got the will,skill or gumption to sort out their own accounts.

    How FAIR would that be?
    Feudal Britain needs land reform. 70% of the land is "owned" by 1 % of the population and at least 50% is unregistered (inherited by landed gentry). Thats why your slave box costs so much..
    • teddysmum
    • By teddysmum 21st Mar 17, 5:38 PM
    • 7,503 Posts
    • 4,447 Thanks
    teddysmum

    That is still meaningful, because your current supplier isn't going to put you on it's cheapest deal automatically because they aren't allowed to tie you in.
    Originally posted by phillw


    One would assume that the majority using a comparison site are likely to be on a fix and know about reverting to standard tariffs, so the quoted savings are unrealistic and the only people making those savings will be ones who are now on the standard tariff.


    The only way to find out what your saving will roughly be( as your usage could change), is choose, say, Company A and subtract the quoted saving or annual cost for your present supplier's new fix from the quoted amounts for Company A.
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