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

edited 17 March 2017 at 2:37PM in Energy
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edited 17 March 2017 at 2:37PM in Energy
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...


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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.
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  • POPPYOSCARPOPPYOSCAR Forumite
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    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.
  • beardiedogbeardiedog Forumite
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    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.
  • teddysmumteddysmum Forumite
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    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_WSMAndy_WSM Forumite
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    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.
  • teddysmumteddysmum 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.

    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_PerranporthBlackbeard_of_Perranporth Forumite
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    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.
    And at the end of yet day, there will still be some who cannot be bothered to look around!
  • spirospiro Forumite
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    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).
  • SystemSystem Forumite
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    teddysmum wrote: »


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


    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_PerranporthBlackbeard_of_Perranporth Forumite
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    spiro wrote: »
    Lots of people stay on the SVT because they do not want to pay by DD.
    And until the moon is blue, no amount of meddling by MPs will change this!
  • teddysmumteddysmum Forumite
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    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).
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