Should there be fewer gas and electricity deals?

edited 24 June 2013 at 4:12PM in Money Saving Polls
12 replies 1.8K views
Former_MSE_DebsFormer_MSE_Debs Former MSE
890 Posts
edited 24 June 2013 at 4:12PM in Money Saving Polls
Poll started 24 Jun 2013

Energy regulator Ofgem plans to cap the number of tariffs suppliers can offer to four per fuel, in a bid to simplify the market.

One potential negative is that prices for the cheapest deals could rise, as suppliers won’t be able to offer expensive standard tariffs. These are often £250 a year more than online deals, so they’ll need to make up the difference from somewhere.


Which of the options in this week's poll is closest to your view on how the market should look?



Did you vote? Why did you pick that option? Are you surprised at the results so far? Have your say below clicking reply to discuss. If you haven’t already, join the forum to reply. If you aren’t sure how it all works, read our New to Forum? Intro Guide .

To see the results from last time, click this.
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Replies

  • S0litaireS0litaire Forumite
    3.5K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    Think their should be some sort of "basic" standard option enforced by Ofgem across ALL energy suppliers that low/fixed income people or the unemployed can transfer to with no penalties.

    In an ideal world the energy companies would be nationalised giving better value for money than the current "For Profit" owners.

    (note I said in an ideal world! their is not guarantee the government would be better or worse than the current owners! but at least we have the option to Vote out the government every 5 or so years!)
    Laters

    Sol

    "Have you found the secrets of the universe? Asked Zebade "I'm sure I left them here somewhere"
  • Paxo456Paxo456 Forumite
    7 Posts
    Have always said that Gas and Electric prices should be fixed across the country and not subject to regional prices (as was) or fixed to whatever the rip off company can get away with. Works (fairly well) for water so should be the same with the other utilities.

    But will never happen as the MPs will back down in the face of the arguments that the companies cannot make a profit so there will not be the investment needed etc etc.
  • By jove, people voting in droves for prices set by a regulator. Can't you see what this would mean in the medium or long term? No competition, no option to compare anything, prices will go up willy-nilly and get sky high before we know it.
  • Paxo456 wrote: »
    Works (fairly well) for water so should be the same with the other utilities.

    Water prices aren't fixed nationwide. Nor should they, or other utilities, be.
  • S0litaire wrote: »
    Think their should be some sort of "basic" standard option enforced by Ofgem across ALL energy suppliers that low/fixed income people or the unemployed can transfer to with no penalties.
    Such a tariff would no doubt require subsidies. Who is going to pay these? Who would be administering who has a right to these tariffs? Who is going to pay for that administration?

    I suggest that all you would achieve with your plan is that prices for most people will go even higher - because most people will not be on low/fixed income or unemployed - and it would be those most people who would have to foot the bill.
    S0litaire wrote: »
    In an ideal world the energy companies would be nationalised giving better value for money than the current "For Profit" owners.

    (note I said in an ideal world! their is not guarantee the government would be better or worse than the current owners! but at least we have the option to Vote out the government every 5 or so years!)

    I am sorry, but that is just socialist claptrap. We used to have nationalised energy companies. They didn't provide better value for money than they do now. Being able to vote every 5 years (and then may be on the losing side) would make no blind bit of difference to energy prices because the nationalised behemoth would cost the same to run regardless of the colour of the government.

    I am not saying there is no room for improvement in the current energy industry but nationalisation seems just about the worst alternative I could think of. Luckily, I think we can be quite certain it wouldn't ever happen.
  • Paxo456Paxo456 Forumite
    7 Posts
    innovate wrote: »
    By jove, people voting in droves for prices set by a regulator. Can't you see what this would mean in the medium or long term? No competition, no option to compare anything, prices will go up willy-nilly and get sky high before we know it.

    Are you saying prices haven't gone up willy nilly and are not sky high currently?

    Even with competition between the suppliers.
  • I think that anything that is an essential, should be at least regulated in price, if not nationalised. I have no problem with businesses making profits as long as it is not crushing people to get there.
    If a pensioner receives the winter fuel allowance and is still frightened to put the heating on, something is very very wrong.
  • WestonDaveWestonDave Forumite
    5.2K Posts
    Rampant Recycler
    Whilst its true that limiting the number of tariffs would almost certainly hit the cheapest tariffs from the bigger companies, it might help to lower costs overall.

    At the moment BIG6Energy can rake extra money from their legacy customers on wildly overpriced tariffs and use that money to ensure that when people look at comparison sites, they are in with a reasonable chance of getting a share of those moving. Typically however the smaller operators (genuine operators not white label rebrands like M&S energy which is British Gas) are a bit more expensive than these "best" tariffs. If Big6energy doesn't have as much scope for cross subsidy its likely that these smaller leaner operators will start to come higher up the charts and start to cream off business from the big 6. The only way the big6 can counter this and retain market share is to start to take an axe to their own back office costs. Its not going to make a lot of difference any way up because even under a nationalised system core energy costs are expensive because of global gas and coal prices - GBGovEnergy is not going to sell electricity at less than cost price and as profit makes up a tiny amount of end prices the scope for actual price falls across the market aren't great. The only place where we can see genuine cost cuts rather than just changing the distribution from one group of customers to another is to put pressure on admin etc costs which is where allowing the smaller leaner operators a chance to win business might have some benefits.
    Adventure before Dementia!
  • Some people think that competition in utilities is a great thing, why? All the competition is about is how much profit the company makes, there is still the same gas, water and electricity coming through the pipes or wires. So customers go through a lot of hassle and confusion to get the same service and probably ripped off as a result.
  • chocaholicmancchocaholicmanc Forumite
    63 Posts
    Tenth Anniversary 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    Forumite
    My concern with less tariffs is that some of the more 'unusal tariffs' would be stopped. We have a tariff a bit like economy 7 where it is cheaper at night but we pay more during the day. As we both work full time and are rarely in during the day, and the fact we have an immersion heater which is running overnight, this tariff is perfect for us. From what I have seen so far this kind of tariff would not be available.
    It's all very well saying things need to be simpler but that shouldn't mean a limited number of tariffs. Fewer, yes. Limited, no!
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