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  • FIRST POST
    • Former MSE Helen
    • By Former MSE Helen 20th Dec 12, 12:21 PM
    • 2,324Posts
    • 971Thanks
    Former MSE Helen
    MSE News: Fuel-save offers may cost you more
    • #1
    • 20th Dec 12, 12:21 PM
    MSE News: Fuel-save offers may cost you more 20th Dec 12 at 12:21 PM
    "Some energy adverts promising large discounts and free energy are leaving consumers duped and often out of pocket..."

Page 1
    • Pmatt
    • By Pmatt 20th Dec 12, 12:36 PM
    • 13 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    Pmatt
    • #2
    • 20th Dec 12, 12:36 PM
    • #2
    • 20th Dec 12, 12:36 PM
    I was quite surprised to discover that you have to have quite a high energy use to benefit from paying the standing charge and lower unit charge. My energy costs are well over 1200 per year and at present I am better off using the No Standing Charge option. I am somewhat surprised to hear the suggestion from Ofgem that the energy companies should provide tariffs that include a standing charge to provide lower overall costs for people on low budgets. As far as I can see it benefits the energy suppliers more than the consumers.
  • Wywth
    • #3
    • 20th Dec 12, 1:10 PM
    • #3
    • 20th Dec 12, 1:10 PM
    I was quite surprised to discover that you have to have quite a high energy use to benefit from paying the standing charge and lower unit charge. My energy costs are well over 1200 per year and at present I am better off using the No Standing Charge option. I am somewhat surprised to hear the suggestion from Ofgem that the energy companies should provide tariffs that include a standing charge to provide lower overall costs for people on low budgets. As far as I can see it benefits the energy suppliers more than the consumers.
    Originally posted by Pmatt
    If you have an annual energy cost of 1200 a year, it really doesn't make any difference if you pay an daily standing charge or the alternative 2 tier chaarging system.

    If you think it does, tell us the two comparable tariffs (SC and NSC) and the respective costs (unit costs, daily standing charges, etc) to demonstrate what you claim.

    Btw, the report says it is Which? (not Ofgem) that says:

    The consumer group is calling for the introduction of a single unit price to allow consumers to easily compare tariffs and new deals at a glance
    I'm not sure I agree, as it is unlikley the daily standing charges will be the same amongst suppliers, so consumers will still be baffled as to whether to accept say supplier A with a DSC of 33p and a unit charge of 10.5p or supplier B with a DSC of 18p and a unit charge of 14.2p
    Last edited by Wywth; 20-12-2012 at 1:16 PM.
    • Bongles
    • By Bongles 20th Dec 12, 2:33 PM
    • 232 Posts
    • 105 Thanks
    Bongles
    • #4
    • 20th Dec 12, 2:33 PM
    • #4
    • 20th Dec 12, 2:33 PM
    ...so consumers will still be baffled as to whether to accept say supplier A with a DSC of 33p and a unit charge of 10.5p or supplier B with a DSC of 18p and a unit charge of 14.2p
    Originally posted by Wywth
    I fear you may be right. And while that perhaps says something about energy companies' willingness (or lack of) to embrace clarity, if consumers really are baffled that also says something about how woefully we teach maths to our children. The arithmetic needed to compare tariffs such as you describe is not complicated at all. If bafflement is part of the problem here, we as a society must surely take some of the responsibility for having made ourselves so easy to baffle.

    It is easy - and quite justified - to argue that energy companies should not be attempting to take advantage of consumers through confusion, but we have done ourselves no favours at all by having allowed ourselves to become susceptible to such attempts.
    • JezR
    • By JezR 20th Dec 12, 3:15 PM
    • 1,580 Posts
    • 1,122 Thanks
    JezR
    • #5
    • 20th Dec 12, 3:15 PM
    • #5
    • 20th Dec 12, 3:15 PM
    If you have an annual energy cost of 1200 a year, it really doesn't make any difference if you pay an daily standing charge or the alternative 2 tier charging system.
    Originally posted by Wywth
    I personally use very little gas in the summer months. The quarter right in middle of the summer is typically 1-2 units on the meter (ie around 20 kWhr). I can't be the only one with this kind of pattern.
  • Wywth
    • #6
    • 20th Dec 12, 5:37 PM
    • #6
    • 20th Dec 12, 5:37 PM
    I personally use very little gas in the summer months. The quarter right in middle of the summer is typically 1-2 units on the meter (ie around 20 kWhr). I can't be the only one with this kind of pattern.
    Originally posted by JezR
    Even so, if you use 1200 worth of energy in a year I doubt a daily standing charge has much affect on the total cost.
    (1 fuel's daily standing charge for 6 months would amount to about 2% of total cost, and that also assumes no sculpting that nPower once favoured on their 2 tier pricing)
    • Eco Miser
    • By Eco Miser 22nd Dec 12, 2:00 AM
    • 3,444 Posts
    • 3,239 Thanks
    Eco Miser
    • #7
    • 22nd Dec 12, 2:00 AM
    • #7
    • 22nd Dec 12, 2:00 AM
    I personally use very little gas in the summer months. The quarter right in middle of the summer is typically 1-2 units on the meter (ie around 20 kWhr). I can't be the only one with this kind of pattern.
    Originally posted by JezR
    You're not. This year I used NO gas, and paid 0.00 for the spring, summer and autumn quarters.
    Eco Miser
    Saving money for well over half a century
    • JezR
    • By JezR 22nd Dec 12, 8:42 AM
    • 1,580 Posts
    • 1,122 Thanks
    JezR
    • #8
    • 22nd Dec 12, 8:42 AM
    • #8
    • 22nd Dec 12, 8:42 AM
    Even so, if you use 1200 worth of energy in a year I doubt a daily standing charge has much affect on the total cost.
    Originally posted by Wywth
    I don't though.
    (1 fuel's daily standing charge for 6 months would amount to about 2% of total cost, and that also assumes no sculpting that nPower once favoured on their 2 tier pricing)
    Yes well that is the kind of sneaky behaviour that 'simplification' should be aimed at.
    Last edited by JezR; 22-12-2012 at 8:46 AM.
    • davidgmmafan
    • By davidgmmafan 23rd Dec 12, 11:34 AM
    • 1,446 Posts
    • 522 Thanks
    davidgmmafan
    • #9
    • 23rd Dec 12, 11:34 AM
    • #9
    • 23rd Dec 12, 11:34 AM
    It is well known ofgem wants to go back to a standing charge. I believe the idea is for this to be set by ofgem and thr suppliers would compete on price per unit.

    This still has drawbacks for some (notably empty properties) but does address some of the concerns expressed here.
    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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