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    • Former MSE Helen
    • By Former MSE Helen 30th Apr 12, 12:58 PM
    • 2,324Posts
    • 971Thanks
    Former MSE Helen
    MSE News: Inefficient energy firms cost consumers dear, report says
    • #1
    • 30th Apr 12, 12:58 PM
    MSE News: Inefficient energy firms cost consumers dear, report says 30th Apr 12 at 12:58 PM
    This is the discussion thread for the following MSE News Story:

    "More than five million people could be overcharged because tariffs are not cost reflective, says new report"

Page 1
    • Consumerist
    • By Consumerist 30th Apr 12, 1:41 PM
    • 5,247 Posts
    • 2,630 Thanks
    • #2
    • 30th Apr 12, 1:41 PM
    • #2
    • 30th Apr 12, 1:41 PM
    "Ofgem must act faster, bare its teeth and enforce its policies."
    Shouldn't that be "gums".?

    Ofgems's pitiful attempts at regulating the energy market for the benefit of consumers are little short of contemptible. They seem to be no more than a mouthpiece for the energy industry and "regulation" only seems to be enforced by them when they are exposed to the widespread criticism of their utter ineffectiveness which they so demonstrably deserve.

    We, the consumer, are largely on our own. And that's the way the government likes it and is striving to keep it whilst giving only lip service to the contrary.
    Warning: In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.
    • michaels
    • By michaels 30th Apr 12, 9:03 PM
    • 22,822 Posts
    • 104,516 Thanks
    • #3
    • 30th Apr 12, 9:03 PM
    • #3
    • 30th Apr 12, 9:03 PM
    What so those of us who can be bothered to spend 5 minutes every six months typing our details in to a comparison website are being unreasonably diligent and everyone else would just be given the cheapest price regardless?

    What about mobile phone providers - should they be forced to give everyone the most competitive tariff. And no doubt mortgage companies are cheating us if they don't point out every year that we could save money by re-mortgaging elsewhere and when buying a new car shouldn't the dealer be forced to point out that the average running cost for a competitor's car will be lower (based on our mileage, driving style, insurance costs, likely depreciation etc etc).

    In fact I think there should be a Sainsbury's employee following me round the supermarket each time I shop and every time I put something in the trolley he should do a price comparison against all other brands and all other supermarkets in case I am overpaying.

    Also I don't think my wife is the lowest maintenance option. Surely when I was dating the regulator should have been on hand to point out that the slightly skanky looking one at the corner of the bar would work out 17% cheaper over the course of a typical relationship?
    Cool heads and compromise
    • Kite2010
    • By Kite2010 30th Apr 12, 9:22 PM
    • 4,168 Posts
    • 3,556 Thanks
    • #4
    • 30th Apr 12, 9:22 PM
    • #4
    • 30th Apr 12, 9:22 PM
    Simple solution would be to get rid of all the various tariffs and have 3 tariffs where you pay Xp per unit of electricity and Yp per unit of gas, with the other 2 tariffs for just electricity and gas (for customers whom are not on the mains gas network). Easy to compare and you can compare between customer services and other relevant details within the companies.
  • jamesd
    • #5
    • 30th Apr 12, 10:12 PM
    • #5
    • 30th Apr 12, 10:12 PM
    While true, the big long term issue is efficiency of wholesale energy generation and distribution. That includes things like cost-efficient generation and siting any expensive no- or low-carbon producers in places that are many hundreds of miles from the places where power is needed.
    • lithopsian
    • By lithopsian 1st May 12, 1:34 PM
    • 106 Posts
    • 49 Thanks
    • #6
    • 1st May 12, 1:34 PM
    • #6
    • 1st May 12, 1:34 PM
    Always consider the source. The IPPR has its own agenda and I'm not convinced that agenda is in my best interests as a consumer of energy.
  • Terrylw1
    • #7
    • 1st May 12, 10:18 PM
    • #7
    • 1st May 12, 10:18 PM
    Well in terms of efficiency, the utility sector is a bit of a dinosaur. These companies are now moving over to Lean practices but its so far behind other markets.

    Aside from many millions waste in operations, what about the difference between settled energy and customer billed energy? I know this is out by a long way and there have been large scale industry projects running to get some of it done. However, prices are always stated as linked to wholesale cost so any efficiencies can be absorbed into shareholder paypackets since the consumer doesn't ever know about them.

    There are hundreds of millions involved in all this, but when a suppliers says that, what faith is there that a price decrease will be expected. Belt tightening just results in higher shareholder payouts and board member bonuses.
    It's better to live 1 year as a tiger than a lifetime as a worm...but then, whoever heard of a wormskin rug!!!
    • davidgmmafan
    • By davidgmmafan 1st May 12, 11:29 PM
    • 1,450 Posts
    • 523 Thanks
    • #8
    • 1st May 12, 11:29 PM
    • #8
    • 1st May 12, 11:29 PM
    British Gas have just got rid of 550 or so staff hurrah!

    Seriously though there are loads of inefficiencies in the system but given that Ofgem can't even be bothered to enforce things like rules concerning direct debit reassessments I won't hold my breath. In fact I would go so far as to say any initiative which relies on Ofgem is doomed to failure.
    Mixed Martial Arts is the greatest sport known to mankind and anyone who says it is 'a bar room brawl' has never trained in it and has no idea what they are talking about.
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