Paid over the odds for your energy? MPs are interested in hearing your experiences

edited 17 March 2017 at 2:37PM in Energy
35 replies 5.6K views
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  • edited 13 March 2017 at 9:31PM
    Blackbeard_of_PerranporthBlackbeard_of_Perranporth Forumite
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    edited 13 March 2017 at 9:31PM
    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!
  • Former_MSE_AndreaFormer_MSE_Andrea Former MSE
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    Thanks for getting involved everyone, keep your thoughts coming

    Andrea :)
    Could you do with a Money Makeover?


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  • One-EyeOne-Eye Forumite
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    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.
  • edited 14 March 2017 at 5:37PM
    teddysmumteddysmum Forumite
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    edited 14 March 2017 at 5:37PM


    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.



    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
  • edited 14 March 2017 at 9:56PM
    Blackbeard_of_PerranporthBlackbeard_of_Perranporth Forumite
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    edited 14 March 2017 at 9:56PM
    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.
  • UKParliamentUKParliament Organisation Representatives - Private Messages may not be monitored
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    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
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    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 [email protected]. This does NOT imply any form of approval of my organisation by MSE
  • SystemSystem Forumite
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    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.
  • MarkthesharkMarktheshark Forumite
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    Just switched from sse this morning using the cheap energy club on here.
    Estimated £347 a year saving.
    I do Contracts, all day every day.
  • robin58robin58 Forumite
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    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.!! ;)
  • gavrcgavrc Forumite
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    Andy_WSM wrote: »
    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.

    Same applies to insurance. Government says you must have car insurance, but farms it out to private companies.They can charge whatever they like.
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