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    • UKParliament
      Verified User verified user
    • By UKParliament Verified User verified user 10th Mar 17, 4:27 PM
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    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 1
    • POPPYOSCAR
    • By POPPYOSCAR 10th Mar 17, 4:33 PM
    • 10,159 Posts
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    POPPYOSCAR
    • #2
    • 10th Mar 17, 4:33 PM
    • #2
    • 10th Mar 17, 4:33 PM
    The price of energy is a real problem now and going up all the time.

    Energy is a basic commodity and prices should be capped.

    Also not happy that my energy provider was recently offering deals to new customers and some customers who had only been with them 1 to 2 years.

    Loyalty does not pay.

    We have no gas supply to our property, we used to use oil but the price of that went sky high and we have to rely on electricity.
    • beardiedog
    • By beardiedog 10th Mar 17, 9:06 PM
    • 477 Posts
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    beardiedog
    • #3
    • 10th Mar 17, 9:06 PM
    • #3
    • 10th Mar 17, 9:06 PM
    I have switched energy suppliers twice since leaving British Gas some years ago when their prices skyrocketed.

    I was with E.on for several years on their Age UK tariffs and have switched tariffs twice with them in order to get a better deal. They have always let me know if they had a cheaper tariff and when my tariff period was coming to an end.

    This year, E.on are seriously uncompetitive so I have switched to smaller supplier Iresa which will save me approximately £260 against E.on's standard tariff and around £170 against their cheapest fixed tariff.

    I am sorry to leave E.on but they do not appear to be willing to reward loyalty and they allow loyal customers to leave rather than offer them a competitive tariff to keep them. I would have liked to have stayed with them but I just can't ignore that kind of saving.

    Switching has been quite straightforward in the past though switching to Iresa is taking longer than between 'the big 6'.

    A lot of the delay in switching seems to be due to the third party who have to verify the closing/opening meter readings. Maybe this is an area that could be improved. The gas switch takes longer than the electricity switch for some reason.

    New, small suppliers offer great tariffs to increase their customer base but tend not to be able to cope with the sudden influx which adds to delay and customer frustration. Maybe something could be done to help them in this respect.
    • teddysmum
    • By teddysmum 11th Mar 17, 3:58 PM
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    teddysmum
    • #4
    • 11th Mar 17, 3:58 PM
    • #4
    • 11th Mar 17, 3:58 PM
    According to the news, power companies are penalising loyal customers (defined as those staying on standard tariffs with no fixes) and the PM is due to discuss capping, next week.


    It has been suggested, by an MP, that the difference between the standard tariff and fixes should not be more than 6%.


    This, like interfering with how internet and line rental were priced, will do no favours, as instead of dropping the standard tariff to be nearer the fixes, companies will just make poorer fix offers. (Standard rate people won't pay any less and those on fixes pay more.)
    • Andy_WSM
    • By Andy_WSM 11th Mar 17, 8:11 PM
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    Andy_WSM
    • #5
    • 11th Mar 17, 8:11 PM
    • #5
    • 11th Mar 17, 8:11 PM
    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.

    • teddysmum
    • By teddysmum 12th Mar 17, 1:46 AM
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    teddysmum
    • #6
    • 12th Mar 17, 1:46 AM
    • #6
    • 12th Mar 17, 1:46 AM
    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
    But the big power companies are foreign owned, so not the same as UK owned companies which could well be run by cronies.
    • Blackbeard of Perranporth
    • By Blackbeard of Perranporth 12th Mar 17, 5:14 AM
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    Blackbeard of Perranporth
    • #7
    • 12th Mar 17, 5:14 AM
    • #7
    • 12th Mar 17, 5:14 AM
    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.t

    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?
      Yes, Scottish Power allow me to check when I enter my meter readings. I also use uswitch
    • Were you notified when your energy contract was coming to an end?
      No, I have not got to the end of a deal in the last ten years.
    • Have you ever switched energy providers? How easy was that process?
      No, for the sake of £20 a year, my current supplier is always competitive
    • Do you have any idea how much money you might save by switching energy supplier?
      Yes.
    • Do you think you will consider switching energy suppliers in the near future?
      No. I fixed last October until January 19
    • Do you know how many energy companies there are in the UK?
      Not interested.

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

    Deadline for comments is midnight on Tuesday 14 March.

    You can watch the debate on Parliament TV and we will update this thread after the debate.
    Originally posted by UKParliament
    And at the end of yet day, there will still be some who cannot be bothered to look around!
    No one dreams of escape
    From the aroma of a cheap jar of coffee
    • spiro
    • By spiro 12th Mar 17, 8:30 AM
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    spiro
    • #8
    • 12th Mar 17, 8:30 AM
    • #8
    • 12th Mar 17, 8:30 AM
    Lots of people stay on the SVT because they do not want to pay by DD.
    All suppliers have to write 42 days before a fix tariff is going to end.
    What more should be done, in my view nothing. We have some of the cheapest energy in Europe and only us and NI allow PPM meters, everywhere else it's a case of don't pay don't get. Personally I would require all none DD or PPM customers to pay monthly. I would also move all green taxes from the energy bill to general taxation because currently governments as using the energy suppliers as tax collectors.
    IT Consultant in the utilities industry specialising in the retail electricity market.

    4 Credit Card and 1 Loan PPI claims settled for £26k, 1 rejected (Opus).
    • Hengus
    • By Hengus 12th Mar 17, 2:02 PM
    • 3,668 Posts
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    Hengus
    • #9
    • 12th Mar 17, 2:02 PM
    • #9
    • 12th Mar 17, 2:02 PM


    It has been suggested, by an MP, that the difference between the standard tariff and fixes should not be more than 6%.
    Originally posted by teddysmum

    And if that happens, then the Law of Unintended Consequences comes into play and the cost of fixed tariffs rises. The best thing that MPs can do is focus on the Environmental and Social policy costs placed on electricity by Government. In 2010/11, these accounted for 4% of every customer's bill. In 2016/17, they account for 20%. Wholesale costs for electricity accounted for 51% of every bill in 2010/11 and that figure has fallen to 32% in 2016/17. It follows that if the wholesale cost of electricity doubled overnight, the cost of the bill should only go up by 16%.

    MPs should take a hard look at Ofgem's projected savings calculation methodology which allows some PCWs to claim that Miss A saved £379 by switching to a fixed tariff in March 2016: she can now save another £300 by switching again in March 2017. Yes, the methodology allows PCWs to make these claims.

    Please make the Government review the £12Bn being spent on smart meters which are overly complicated; subject to errors ( not compatible with PV solar or low emission bulbs), and carry significant risk of third-party attack. Time has passed and more and more people are cutting their energy costs without the need for an IHD. The only organisations that are benefitting are suppliers. The projected savings from these meters continues to fall, and I suspect that we will all pay more than the £7 saved to cover future consumer protection levies (supplier defaults).

    Finally, please review the role and function of Ofgem which as a regulator is as much use as a chocolate fireguard. It needs teeth and the ability to impose real fines for non compliance. For example, trying to get them to deal with a supplier that is billing using an incorrect calorific value formula for gas has been a frustrating experience. The Regulator should have stopped them from taking on new customers until the matter was solved.
    • Blackbeard of Perranporth
    • By Blackbeard of Perranporth 13th Mar 17, 12:46 PM
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    Blackbeard of Perranporth
    Lots of people stay on the SVT because they do not want to pay by DD.
    Originally posted by spiro
    And until the moon is blue, no amount of meddling by MPs will change this!
    No one dreams of escape
    From the aroma of a cheap jar of coffee
    • teddysmum
    • By teddysmum 13th Mar 17, 6:18 PM
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    teddysmum
    Regarding the government inflicted method for price comparison sites to use :


    Not everyone is good at maths, so it would be better, instead of considering parts of your current tariff with the rest of the year at standard rate, to give savings made , compared to a year at the standard rate of your current provider. (With a warning to check any exit penalties on a current fix).
    • Blackbeard of Perranporth
    • By Blackbeard of Perranporth 13th Mar 17, 9:28 PM
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    Blackbeard of Perranporth
    Good point TedsMam.

    Problem is most people have no clue to how much energy they have used. You can send them bills, but figures like 3,100 kWh elec and 12,500 kWh gas are above their head. These are my figures, because that is what I have used on average the last four years. It flues in th face though, as this year was slightly colder for winter, so I expect my gas to go up. Elec is stable.

    The other problem is when to fix. Radio is advertising at the moment super fixes, plying people to fix. Yet this rate is only their Standard Tarrif at today's rate fixed until 2021. How many would not see this? Yet we don't know if the market will fall or rise in the future!

    As for moving supplier, people wait until the end of the deal. Why. My supplier has allowed me to fix, and when the going was good, I fixed every other month while prices were falling. This I did from 2013 until Brexit occurred. In October, they proffered a price I could not refuse. I grabbed it, and fixed until January 2019! Yet at the time the rate was about £30 a year more expensive than my current fix (June17). How many would had gambled, I mean gambled on a higher rate? Not many. But the market last October has seen price increases now of around 10%. Today at uswitch, my fix is the best price, and I have not moved in the last five months.

    So to understand the market, not only do you have to know how much energy you use. But be averse to the prevailing market conditions.

    In the end, those that fix, most are to idle to continue to look at the market regularly. No amount of legislative meddling (Fr199ing) will change this.

    And others, older people wait until the bill, they expect accuracy, and pay when it arrives. They believe their little penny account at the building society pays interest compensating for paying full rate! It has not forvyears! In fact I pay less in my detached 3bed than my Father in Law in a 2 bed semi! And he does not put the heating on because of the cost!

    In the end, people who are savvy will get a decent price.

    The rest will pay for our fix!
    Last edited by Blackbeard of Perranporth; 13-03-2017 at 9:31 PM.
    No one dreams of escape
    From the aroma of a cheap jar of coffee
    • MSE Andrea
    • By MSE Andrea 14th Mar 17, 9:47 AM
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    MSE Andrea
    Thanks for getting involved everyone, keep your thoughts coming

    Andrea

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    • One-Eye
    • By One-Eye 14th Mar 17, 11:00 AM
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    One-Eye
    Switching energy supplier has been mainly trouble free, and switching tariffs whilst remaining with a current supplier has been totally trouble free. The first ever switch produced a good saving, but since then the savings have been insignificant as it mainly involves switching from a fixed tariff coming to an end to a new "best buy" tariff. Despite all the endlessly repeated "switch and save up to £300" propaganda, ANY switch I did today would result in increased costs.

    One of the biggest problems I encounter with energy bills is setting direct debits too high in order to force consumers to lend money to the energy suppliers. For example - "Your (very accurately) estimated energy costs on your fixed tariff over the coming year are £1200 and your current balance is £0. We have therefore set your direct debit at £125/month."

    Unfortunately, government (labour, coalition & conservative) action is overwhelmingly responsible for the increasing energy costs and there is little the energy companies and the consumers can do about it. Over the period 2007-2020 the commodity, production and energy company operating costs are basically constant, and the energy company profit margins are below 5%. In the same period, the charges on the consumer due to government policies increase by nearly £450. Today, one of the most attractive reasons for moving onto a fixed tariff is that it immunises you against these government originated increases. Mr Penrose & Ms Flint just need to look at each other to see the biggest problem with the energy market.
    • teddysmum
    • By teddysmum 14th Mar 17, 4:34 PM
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    teddysmum


    As for moving supplier, people wait until the end of the deal. Why. My supplier has allowed me to fix, and when the going was good, I fixed every other month while prices were falling. This I did from 2013 until Brexit occurred.


    In the end, those that fix, most are to idle to continue to look at the market regularly. No amount of legislative meddling (Fr199ing) will change this.
    Originally posted by Blackbeard of Perranporth


    Except for the new companies, testing the water, the number offering fixes without exit fees (even within their own tariffs) is decreasing.

    Last year I changed the tariffs with my supplier at least four times, but now there is a fee per fuel. I queried the charge for internal changes and it was confirmed that they did, indeed, apply.


    Except for knowing you will be paying more (price drops have been very rare and well below and after cost drops), deciding on a fix is a gamble , especially when you factor in the average dual fuel £60 penalty for jumping ship early.a
    Last edited by teddysmum; 14-03-2017 at 5:37 PM.
    • Blackbeard of Perranporth
    • By Blackbeard of Perranporth 14th Mar 17, 9:27 PM
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    Blackbeard of Perranporth
    On the subject of exit fees, while prices were good, prior to 2016, my provider did not have exit fees. They crept in as prices began to rise. The market forced this, as companies sought to impose penalties to those who leapt to upstart cheaper suppliers.

    We have seen the effect of this with the demise of GB Energy.

    Regulation, which is what Parliament would impose, would not free upmthe markets further, but restrict it. Those who are savvy are already on the better Tarrif.

    The rest of the proletariat cannot be bothered. Please don't close the door on fixes that we have, to pay the piper. The suppliers need those who fix, so they can plan as well!

    Also get rid of the smart meter tax and the green taxes.
    Last edited by Blackbeard of Perranporth; 14-03-2017 at 9:56 PM.
    No one dreams of escape
    From the aroma of a cheap jar of coffee
    • UKParliament
      Verified User verified user
    • By UKParliament Verified User verified user 16th Mar 17, 1:29 PM
    • 668 Posts
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    UKParliament
    Hi everyone,

    Thank you for your comments which were summarised and passed on to Caroline Flint MP and John Penrose MP.

    You can watch the debate on energy prices here. There is a short interruption a few minutes in before the debate resumes.
    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
    • Hengus
    • By Hengus 16th Mar 17, 2:16 PM
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    Hengus
    The debate was hardly worth Parliamentary time. Eighteen members present and little understanding of why political meddling in the markets will not work. Moreover, it would have helped had the politicians speaking actually understood that suppliers are required to notify customers that a fixed tariff is coming to an end. What the customer does or does not do with that information is a matter of personal choice?

    Cap the 'do nothing at the end of a fixed term contract' tariff, and don't be surprised if the cost of fixed tariff rises to the point that the capped tariff is the standard variable tariff. Fiddle with the market at your peril. I say that as a consumer with no links to the energy sector.
    • Marktheshark
    • By Marktheshark 16th Mar 17, 2:17 PM
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    Marktheshark
    Just switched from sse this morning using the cheap energy club on here.
    Estimated £347 a year saving.
    Brexit will become whatever they invent it to be.
    • robin58
    • By robin58 17th Mar 17, 12:36 AM
    • 1,475 Posts
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    robin58
    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.
    The more I live, the more I learn.
    The more I learn, the more I grow.
    The more I grow, the more I see.
    The more I see, the more I know.
    The more I know, the more I see,
    How little I know.!!
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