An idea to sort out this pricing mess

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What do you think:

My idea is to set pricing thresholds so that people who use a lot of energy (for example heating an outside swimming pool) subsidise those that are just getting by trying to heat 1 room in a small house and cook dinner.

The thresholds would apply to everyone, but once a threshold is passed the per unit price would rise and any further energy consumed would be charged out at an increased rate. Any number of thresholds could be in place - ensuring that everyone can afford the basics required to survive this winter but those that wanted to and can afford to enjoy excessive use could do so whilst also supporting the less fortunate in society.

I'm not sure if my idea is practical but it strikes me as a fairer way to handle the current crisis.

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  • [Deleted User]
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    Annual, monthly, weekly or daily threshold? 

    Holiday homes and second home owners only pay the cheapest price, but people who are home a lot (pensioners, wfh parents with small children, people with some disabilities) have to pay the higher prices?

    People who have the disposable income to spend on insulation, heat pumps or whatever new technology arrives get to pay less, but people who can't are forced to use more and pay the even more expensive rates?

    It has been discussed - as have many other options - and the consensus appeared to be that what we have now is the least bad option.
  • mountyuk
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    It depends how/where you set your thresholds - the key would be to work out what is required to live comfortably, then once that threshold has been passed increases the per unit cost significantly. It would also encourage people to insulate and be more economical which given the climate issues is also only a good thing.
  • pochase
    pochase Posts: 3,449 Forumite
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    I am all for a small threshold of energy at a reduced price, but not to live comfortable. I am more thinking of the absolute basic needs like running a fridge freezer, cooking, light, washing machine and watch TV to keep up to date.

    That should be covered somewhere between 50KWh and 100KWh depending on how many people are in the household.
  • mountyuk
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    I guess peoples definition of comfortable vary - I mean "not struggle to pick food or heat."
  • [Deleted User]
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    mountyuk said:
    What do you think:

    My idea is to set pricing thresholds so that people who use a lot of energy (for example heating an outside swimming pool) subsidise those that are just getting by trying to heat 1 room in a small house and cook dinner.

    The thresholds would apply to everyone, but once a threshold is passed the per unit price would rise and any further energy consumed would be charged out at an increased rate. Any number of thresholds could be in place - ensuring that everyone can afford the basics required to survive this winter but those that wanted to and can afford to enjoy excessive use could do so whilst also supporting the less fortunate in society.

    I'm not sure if my idea is practical but it strikes me as a fairer way to handle the current crisis.

    Fairer to whom? 

    think that you need to review your thread title. Your proposed solution will do very little - if anything - to ‘sort out this pricing mess’. I also do not agree with your underpinning premise that those who use more energy should support those who use just a little. There are many reasons why some people do not use much energy (eg; they might live in a Passivhaus or they might have PV solar), and many good reasons why people might need to use more energy than the average.

    The last thing that we need is an Army of energy assessors trying to decide ‘any number of thresholds’ all of which could be open to a legal challenge.

    I assume that you are a low user?




  • jrawle
    jrawle Posts: 608 Forumite
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    The government could pay everyone's electricity standing charge for them and then give their first 450 kWh of electricity for free. With the October price cap prices, that would cost... about £400 per customer.
    Seriously, what is the difference between a lower price tier for the first so many units, and giving a fixed payment as the government are doing? The only difference would be for people who use so little that they don't even reach the upper tier, who would effectively be receiving less from the government. Those cases would be marginal. Everyone else would in effect receive the same subsidy. The big difference would be that a tiered system would be more complex and costly to administer, and confuse people even more, given how many clearly do not understand the price cap, fixed tariffs and direct debit payments as it is.
  • mountyuk
    mountyuk Posts: 6 Forumite
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    edited 25 October 2023 at 9:41PM
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    mountyuk said:
    What do you think:

    My idea is to set pricing thresholds so that people who use a lot of energy (for example heating an outside swimming pool) subsidise those that are just getting by trying to heat 1 room in a small house and cook dinner.

    The thresholds would apply to everyone, but once a threshold is passed the per unit price would rise and any further energy consumed would be charged out at an increased rate. Any number of thresholds could be in place - ensuring that everyone can afford the basics required to survive this winter but those that wanted to and can afford to enjoy excessive use could do so whilst also supporting the less fortunate in society.

    I'm not sure if my idea is practical but it strikes me as a fairer way to handle the current crisis.

    Fairer to whom? 

    think that you need to review your thread title. Your proposed solution will do very little - if anything - to ‘sort out this pricing mess’. I also do not agree with your underpinning premise that those who use more energy should support those who use just a little. There are many reasons why some people do not use much energy (eg; they might live in a Passivhaus or they might have PV solar), and many good reasons why people might need to use more energy than the average.

    The last thing that we need is an Army of energy assessors trying to decide ‘any number of thresholds’ all of which could be open to a legal challenge.

    I assume that you are a low user?




    Let's not let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

    I'm not a low user and would stray into higher thresholds. 
  • bordercars
    bordercars Posts: 1,353 Forumite
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    how about everyone ditches one and the same supplier, my suggestion would be EDF being French owned and apparently were subsidising the French publics 4% rise. If no one purchases from EDF then either they lower the price and others would have to follow or they quit the UK. Same for petrol / diesel ditch one and see what happens

    Div 1 Play Off Winners 2007
    CCC Play Off Winners 2010
  • mountyuk
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    jrawle said:
    The government could pay everyone's electricity standing charge for them and then give their first 450 kWh of electricity for free. With the October price cap prices, that would cost... about £400 per customer.
    Seriously, what is the difference between a lower price tier for the first so many units, and giving a fixed payment as the government are doing? The only difference would be for people who use so little that they don't even reach the upper tier, who would effectively be receiving less from the government. Those cases would be marginal. Everyone else would in effect receive the same subsidy. The big difference would be that a tiered system would be more complex and costly to administer, and confuse people even more, given how many clearly do not understand the price cap, fixed tariffs and direct debit payments as it is.
    the £400 is a one off payment and doesn't adapt to/with the price cap.
  • PennineAcute
    PennineAcute Posts: 1,161 Forumite
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    We, myself included, have become used to cheap energy, thereby turning on the heating when feeling nippy instead of putting on a jumper. 

    I am self employed and my printer was set to come on at 9am and turn off at midnight, as I found it an effort to turn the printer on and off when it was needed.  Now, I make that effort.  TVs were always on standby as I could not be bothered to reach behind and turn them off at the switch.  Now I am bothered.  Sometimes I would have a full weekend on my PS4, now I do not.

    Last year, I got myself a second fish tank.  Extra cost, at just over 12p a unit, was £70 a year.  I am now paying just over 38p a unit - so around £220 a year.  It upset me as I have got rid of my second tank.  I did not give it a second thought at 12p.  I would have at 38p.

    As a child, PS4s were not even a glint in Sony's eyes.  It did not harm me growing up without a PS4.  Whilst it may now be a shock to a child, they will also survive with only a couple of hours (if that) a week on their PS4.

    I have worked out that it is cheaper to watch TV on my PC than it is on the TV - so anything I do want to watch is done on my PC.  I have also since learnt that the radio is actually much better than TV.  Eastenders or The Archers?  Give me The Archers any day.

    I am in my fifties - and once a week, I will meet up with friends for a drink.  I would budget £20 for this.  When beer prices went up, it meant I had one less pint.  It did not mean I increased my budget.

    My health is not brilliant, but I do not claim disability - mainly because I was deemed to be eligible for DLA, but miraculously I was fit and able when I had to apply for PIP.

    Now, if we have people struggling after getting rid of non essential use, then we have a problem - but I wonder how many people are worried without working out how they can reduce their usage?
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